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The only known U.S. postal envelope mailed through the Confederate post office at Salem Virginia; it was used to carry a letter requesting support for the appointment of the Roanoke College President as a Chaplain in the Confederate Army

The only known U.S. postal envelope mailed through the Confederate post office at Salem Virginia; it was used to carry a letter requesting support for the appointment of the Roanoke College President as a Chaplain in the Confederate Army

James McCauley This letter was mailed using a U.S. 3-cent Nesbitt (Scott #U10) envelope on May 24, 1861, after Virginia had joined the Confederacy. As such it should have been rejected by the Confederate postal authorities. The letter is datelined, Salem May 24, 1861 and the envelope bears a strong circular Salem postmark also dated May 24. Both are in nice shape. In this letter, John McCauley, a long time Roanoke representative in Virginia's General Assembly, requests Davit Hartman to encourage Virgiania's Governor Letcher to appoint the founder and president of Roanoke College, Dr. David Bittle (a Lutheran minister), as a chaplain in one of the state's volunteer regiments that were forming in the early days of the Civil War. Apparently, Hartman's actions, if he took any, had little effect on the governor as Bittle is well remembered at Roanoke College for keeping the school open throughout the Civil War. That, however, did not preclude Bittle from playing a military role during the conflict. He organized the school's students into a Corps of Cadets that fought alongside the Confederate Army near Salem in December of 1863. The students, however, were no match for their union opponents and quickly forced to surrender after which they were just as quickly paroled and sent back to their studies. A college company was mustered once more in September of 1864, this second time as a unit in the Virginia Reserves, but saw no action before the war ended. (Although the Virginia Military Institute's participation in the Battle of New Market is said to have inspired the Corps of Cadets scene in the John Ford-John Wayne movie, The Horse Soldiers, I've thought it possible that the "Holy Joe" President of the film's Jefferson Military Academy was based upon Dr. Bittle.) An important letter documenting Dr. Bittle's attempt to receive an appointment as Chaplain in a Virginia volunteer regiment, and an especially scarce use of a U.S. postal envelope within the Confederacy. Any use of U.S. stamps or postal envelopes is scarce, however the Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Postal History (p.22) records no use of any U.S. postal envelopes through the Salem, Virginia post office. The Virginia Tech Special Collections holds two McCauley letters from the Civil War.
Small packet material relating to Tom Water's piano-comedy

Small packet material relating to Tom Water’s piano-comedy, The Mayor of Laughland

Fred G. Nixon-Nirdlinger This lot consists of three items: a booking letter on illustrated letterhead, its accompanying illustrated advertising cover, and a second, different illustrated advertising cover. In the booking letter, Nixon humorously confronts a theater manager regarding a disagreement over a booking contract, noting "I am afraid when the day comes that I will have to play . . . at the terms you mention, that I will have to quit the business." The letterhead and its matching envelope both feature the logo of Nixon's company and the envelope has an addition cartoon advertisement for "Laughland" in red. The other advertising cover features a large red oval with a photo of Tom Waters and touts "The Mayor of Laughland." Both envelopes are franked with red 2-cent Washington stamps (Scott #309) that are cancelled with Philadelphia machine postmarks. The backflap of the Tom Waters envelope is missing. Nixon-Norlinger was apparently a booking agent in addition to being the manager of the Park Theater in Philadelphia. Tom Waters was a successful musical-comedy actor who began his career in minstrel shows, made his theatrical debut in One of the Bravest, and gained fame as the star of the Broadway hit The Pink Lady. He was an accomplished pianist and was noted for his piano-comedy act, The Mayor of Laughland which toured throughout the United States and abroad. (see The Indian Territory Journals of Colonel Richard Irving Dodge).
Business letter and invoice for a phonograph wholesaler enclosed in an illustrated advertising envelope featuring the famous "His Master's Voice" illustration of a dog listening to a recording

Business letter and invoice for a phonograph wholesaler enclosed in an illustrated advertising envelope featuring the famous “His Master’s Voice” illustration of a dog listening to a recording

B. M. Pierce The letter and invoice address a payment made to the company by a retailer located in Middleton, Ohio. The letterhead reports that the Eclipse Musical Company was the "exclusive distributors of Everything in Talking Machines and Supplies," and "Jobbers" of Edison Phonograph Records, Victor Talking Machines, and general supplies for cylinder and disc machines. The advertising envelope features an illustration of the famous painting, "His Master's Voice." It is franked with a 2-cent red Washington stamp (Scott #332) tied to the cover with a Cleveland machine postmark dated 1909All are in nice shape; tiny chip to the bottom right corner of the invoice. In the early days of musical recordings, the word "phonograph" was strictly applied to the cylinder machines produced by Thomas Edison. His largest rival, Emile Berliner, manufactured disc based machines known as Gramophones. "Talking machine" was a generic term used to refer to either disc or cylinder based machines. The famous "His Master's Voice" logo painted by Francis Barraud and first used by Berliner's Gramophone company, which was based in the United Kingdom. It found immediate favor in Berliner's American subsidiary, the Victor Talking Machine Company, where it was used extensively. "According to contemporary Gramophone Company publicity material, the dog, a terrier named Nipper, had originally belonged to Barraud's brother, Mark. When Mark died, Francis inherited Nipper, with a cylinder phonograph and recordings of Mark's voice. Francis noted the peculiar interest that the dog took in the recorded voice of his late master emanating from the horn and conceived the idea of committing the scene to canvas." (see Wikipedia) The Eclipse Musical Company was a large wholesaler of talking machines and related supplies that did especially well selling higher-priced items. (reported in several issues of Talking Machine World, 1908).
Two photographs of the last lynching in California following the kidnapping and brutal murder of Brooke Hart

Two photographs of the last lynching in California following the kidnapping and brutal murder of Brooke Hart

Unidentified photographer Each b/w semi-matte 6" x 4.5" photograph shows a different white man hanging from a tree. One man (John M. Holmes) is naked and the other (Thomas H. Thurmond) is naked but for a shirt and jacket. These are probably silver-gelatin images, as both have faded slightly and show the beginning of some silvering. They are lightly soiled and worn. In 1933, Brooke Hart was the 22-year-old heir to San Jose's landmark department store owned by his prominent, highly regarded, and well-liked local family. On the night of November 9th, his family received the first of several phone calls from a man informing them that he had kidnapped Brooke and demanding $40,000 for his safe return. After several sets of traced ransom delivery instructions were exchanged, Thurmond was arrested at a pay phone. He confessed and identified Holmes as his partner. As it turned out, the men murdered Brook immediately after his kidnapping. He was taken at gunpoint to the San Mateo Bridge where one of the kidnappers bashed him twice on the head with a brick. His arms were bound with wire and a concrete block was tied to his feet before throwing him into the river where he slowly drowned. Immediately after the killers' capture, the sheriff's office began receiving lynch threats, and a San Jose newspaper called for "mob violence" against the two "human devils". When newspapers reported that Thurmond intended to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, and Holmes's lawyer suggested he might repudiate his confession, the populace became even more inflamed, and 20 prominent friends of the Hart family declared they intended to ensure the prisoners received an "immediate and drastic punishment." Following the pair's indictment, threats against the men increased, however, California Governor James Rolph announced to reporters that he would take no action to prevent a lynching, and he informed Holmes's lawyer that if any lynchers were somehow convicted, he would pardon them. After Brooke's decomposed body was found in the river on 26 November, radio stations began calling for a lynching to be conducted that evening, and a mob estimated to be as large as 15,000 men, women, and children assembled in St. James Park. An assault on the jail began at 11 pm., and the kidnappers were dragged to the park, stripped, beaten, and hung from two different trees. Jackie Coogan (a former child movie star and later TV's Uncle Festus) was a college friend of Brooke's and is said to have held one of the ropes used in the lynching. Despite thousands of witnesses, no formal charges were brought against anyone. These lynchings are generally accepted as the last to occur in California, although some claim-without any details or confirmation-that another occurred in Callahan in 1947. Very scarce. As of 2019, although digital copies and postcards of similar images exist, no other photographs of these lynchings are for sale in the trade, and there are no records reflecting any auction sales at the Rare Book Hub. Photographs of white lynchings are much less common than those of African-Americans; OCLC shows that only seven white lynching photographs are held by institutions.
A photographic archive of the 8th Infantry Regiment at Fort D. A. Russell in Wyoming

A photographic archive of the 8th Infantry Regiment at Fort D. A. Russell in Wyoming

Photographs related to General (then Lieutenant) Russell C. Langdon; taken by Henry C. Langdon 14 card-mounted albumen photographs of life at Fort Russell in Wyoming during the 1890s. The photographs measure 4.5" x 3.75"; the cards approximately 6.5" x 5.5". Several of the cards are captioned on the reverse. All are in nice shape. The photographs show officers quarters at the fort including Langdon's quarters during a visit by Professor James O. Churchilll, supply wagons and wagon trains, a tent camp, and life in a bivouac. One especially intriguing photograph is of a soldier standing next to a bicycle with an attached canvas bag labeled "U. S. Mail.". In 1897, the army experimented to determine if it was feasible for infantry units to incorporate bicycle transport. A twenty-man platoon from the 15th Infantry Regiment at Fort Missoula, Montana, peddled all the way to St. Louis, Missouri along the right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad. Their five-week trip was arduous, but it showed that a well-conditioned bicycle unit could travel long-distances twice as fast as foot soldiers or cavalrymen. In the end, the army decided not to equip any units with bicycles. This photograph shows that at the same time, bicycles were being tested at Fort Missoula, at least one and possibly more were in use by other western infantry regiments. As this image appears to have been taken during the 8th Infantry bivouac, it may be that the rider was tasked with making round-trips to Fort Russell to pick up soldiers' mail. Fort Russell continues in operation today, however its name was changed to Fort Warren in honor of Wyoming's first governor and later one of its senators for 37 years. In 1947, it became an Air Force missile base. Russell Langdon was awarded a Silver Star for Gallantry in 1898 during the Spanish-American War and later served as a regimental commander in World War One when he was awarded both the Distinguished Service Medal for especially meritorious service and the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism. He retired as a Brigadier General. This is a terrific visual record of army life on the western that presents a start point for further research into the army's use of bicycles at the end of the 19th Century. As of 2019, no similar collections documenting life at Fort Russell are for sale in the trade, and no records showing any have been sold at auction. OCLC shows one collection of five Fort Russel photographs is held at an institution.
A letter from a Union soldier from Massachusetts stationed at one of the main colonies of escaped slaves describing the receipt of a food box from home and joking about feeding garbage to the "darkies"

A letter from a Union soldier from Massachusetts stationed at one of the main colonies of escaped slaves describing the receipt of a food box from home and joking about feeding garbage to the “darkies”

Calvin Rice to Oscar Rice This four-page letter, datelined "Edisto Island May 10th 1862," was sent by a trooper in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry stationed in South Carolina to a family member at home in Brighton, Massachusetts. Its envelope is franked with a 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott #65) that has been cancelled with a bullseye hand stamp. It bears a circular Port Royal postmark dated May 12. The letter and cover are in nice shape. A transcript will be provided. In this letter Rice describes the receipt of three food "boxes" by soldiers in his company, "min was the largest of the lot." His box "was just what I wanted," and contained knives and forks ("half the company wanted to buy them"), cake ("just tuched with the heat but went down good"), "tip top" boots that "fit just right" and stockings. Unfortunately, "they open all the boxes before they get her to see that there is no rum in them. But I was glad to get it anyway." The only thing that didn't arrive safe and sound were the cheese and doughnuts. They were spoiled, inedible, and "moldy . . . so [I] gave them to the darkies" who "devour[ed] them like rats." He also chuckles over "John Warren . . . I can't stop laughing over him. He got through off his horse yesterday jumping a ditch and his head went clear in the mud out of sight - bunging up his eye. . . . he looked like a downcast grave digger." And, perhaps most interesting, Rice reports: "Last night myself and a squad of four men surrounded and took two prisoners . . . over to the Provost Marshall (I dint say they was rebels) They belonged to the 55 Penn Reg and was smashing in the doors to the negro shantees. They was drunk". Edisto Island was, for a time, home to a large colony of abandoned and escaped African-American slaves, perhaps as many as 10,000. It was also a major Union staging area holding as many as 13 regimental-sized units-including the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry and the 55th Pennsylvania Infantry-while they prepared to assault Charleston, South Carolina. A fine record of the types of foods and clothing Union soldiers prized but were simply not available through the army or sutlers. And . . . a testament to how many Union men actually felt about the slaves they were fighting to free.
Two Civil War albumin photographs of African-Americans at military camps in Virginia

Two Civil War albumin photographs of African-Americans at military camps in Virginia

One attributed to Mathew Brady Both photographs are approximately 3.5" square and are mounted on matching gray, heavy card mat stock suitable for framing. The photos are in nice shape with some minor creasing and edge-wear. One photograph, known as "The Ruins of White House Plantation" (the historical home of George and Martha Washington and the temporary residence of the arthritically-crippled wife of General Robert E. Lee ), shows an African-American civilian tending to a cow at the Union military camp on the site of the remains of the plantation's great house which had been destroyed earlier in the war during General George McClellan's retreat following the Seven Days Battle in June, 1862. This photograph is attributed to Mathew Brady in Benson Lossing's classic reference, Mathew Brady's Illustrated History of the Civil War. The second photograph, identified by the Library of Congress as "Fort Burnham, formerly Confederate Fort Harrison, James River, Virginia," shows African-American soldiers standing in front of the camp which consisted of wood and canvas tents. The large squares structures in the foreground are believed to be bomb-proof quarters. Following McClellan's defeat at the Seven Days Battle, the Union Army established Fort Burnham on the James River on the site of a former Confederate camp, Fort Burnham. The African-American soldiers are probably members of the 6th U.S. Colored Troops who were stationed at the fort following the Battle of Cheffin's Farm in September, 1864, during the Siege of Petersburg. The photograph is unattributed but cataloged as LCCN 985035652 by the Library of Congress. A nice pair of albumen images showing African-Americans during the Civil War, both as civilian contraband and as soldiers serving in the United States Colored Troops. As of 2019, there is no record of physical examples of either image having appeared at auction or for sale in the trade. The Library of Congress holds an example of the Fort Burnham photo; OCLC shows other institutional holdings of either image.
A stampless cover from an officer in the 57th Georgia Infantry Regiment posted at Vicksburg

A stampless cover from an officer in the 57th Georgia Infantry Regiment posted at Vicksburg, Mississippi as a parolee after he was wounded and captured during the Battle of Champion Hill (Baker’s Creek)

Lieutenant A. J. (Andrew Jackson) Miller This stampless cover was mailed by Miller from Vicksburg to a friend back home in Georgia. He has annotated it along the left edge, "From A J Miller / Co. K 57th Ga Rgt". It bears a 25mm double-circle Vicksburg Miss postmark dated "Jun 25". A "10" rate mark was handstamped next to the postmark indicating that it was sent 10-cents postage due. The rate mark has been covered over with ink cross-hatching probably applied when it was picked up and the post due fee was paid. The envelope shows some wear and is missing a small part of its back flap. This a rather scarce Vicksburg postal marking. See page 121 in the Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History. Company K of the 57th Georgia Infantry Regiment was known as the Oconne Greys. The regiment was organized in the spring of 1862 from residents of Troup, Peach, Montgomery, and Onconne Counties. It first served in Tennessee and Kentucky before being reassigned to T. H. Taylor's Brigade where it was employed in the defense of Vicksburg. It fought in the bloody battle of Champion Hill (Baker's Creek) twenty miles to the east of Vicksburg on 16 May 1863, the most important engagement during General Grant's Vicksburg Campaign and considered by some to be the pivotal battle of the entire war. The Union need to win to achieve ultimate victory, and the Confederacy needed a victory to survive. One of the Union commanders at the battle reported that it was a savage struggle; "It was literally a hill of death." Following the Confederate Army's decisive defeat, the siege of Vicksburg became inevitable, and the fate of the city was sealed Official records show that Lieutenant Miller was captured during the Battle of Champion Hill after being critically wounded in the leg. He was immediately paroled and allowed to rejoin his unit which retreated into Vicksburg on the 2nd of June where it remained until the city fell on July 4th, and the entire regiment was forced to surrender. Miller was invalided on December 15, 1864 and allowed to return to his home at Milledgeville where he remained until the end of the war. A scarce postmark from an identified Confederate soldier who was wounded and captured at Vicksburg, but a little raggedly, so priced accordingly.
A Bastardy Bond from Georgia ensuring the child of an unwed mother would be cared for until the age of fourteen

A Bastardy Bond from Georgia ensuring the child of an unwed mother would be cared for until the age of fourteen

Elen Jones and George Bennett This Bastardy Bond from Forsyth County in Georgia is dated "May the 3rd 1866. It is in nice shape with some minor insect predation along its storage folds. The document reads in part: "We Elen Jones as Principal and George Bennett as Security . . . acknowledge ourselves held and bound . . . in the sum of . . . six hundred and forty two dollars and eighty five and three quarters cents . . . Whereas Elen Jones a Free white single woman of said County has voluntarily come before Josiah H Woodliff a Justice of the Peace of said County and made oath that on the fourth day of March Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Three in the County of Rabur (sic - Rabun) and state afforesaid that she was Delivered of a Female Child which Child is a bastard and is likely to become Chargeable to said County of Forsyth Now should the said Elen Jones well and truly Educate and maintain the said Child until it shall arrive at the age of Fourteen years and also save harmless the said County from Expences with said Child boarding nursing and maintaining then the above obligation to void otherwise of force this May the 3rd 1866. ". Bastardy Bonds were used by several southern American colonies (and later state) to ensure that communities did not become fiscally responsible for children born to unmarried women. Generally, the bonds required the father of the child either swear to provide regular payments or a lump sum to the county for support of the child. If the mother refused to name the father or the father could not be located, she, her father, or another interested party might sign the bond. Variations in the process occurred, and in the case of this bond, the father is not named and the mother, Elen Jones, pledged to support the child herself until the age of fourteen. If she failed to do so, her guarantor, George Bennett, would be required to pay the county, $642.85¾ on her behalf. The bond does not indicate Bennett's relation to Jones. Neither does it indicate what punishment would be meted out to Jones and Bennett should neither "maintain and educate" the child nor fulfill the financial terms of the bond. As of 2019, no bastardy bonds are for sale in the trade, and the Rare Book Hub shows only one has ever been sold at auction. OCLS identifies only two bastardy bonds held by institutions, one from South Carolina and one from Tennessee.
Waybill and receipt from the Oregon State Company (California and Oregon Stage Line)

Waybill and receipt from the Oregon State Company (California and Oregon Stage Line)

Two items from the Oregon Stage Company, which had been previously known as the California and Oregon Stage Line and the California and Oregon United States Mail Line. The $345.53 receipt measures 8.5" x 3" and is headlined, "Oregon Stage Company" and was written for "17 Tons 553 lbs of Baled Timothy Hay delivered at Yreka." It is dated November 8, 1866. The large waybill (9.5" x 15.5" unfolded) is titled "Way-Bill. California and Oregon United States Mail Line - Marysville and Yreka. Oregon State Company" and is dated Sunday, August 26th 1866. It provides details about passengers and trips-including names, fees, departure times, and drivers-transported between Oroville, Tehama, Red Bluff, Shasta, Yreka, Trinity Center, and Sacramento. Both items are in nice shape. The Oregon Stage Coach Company, owned by newspaper publisher and future senator Henry W. Corbett, ran a stagecoach line-initially known as the California and Oregon Stage Line-between Portland and Sacramento. "At 6: A.M. each day one or two pair of horses threw their weight agains their collars to pull a wooden-wheeled Concord stagecoach from the Arrigoni Hotel . . . in Portland . . . onto the Stark Street Ferry to cross the Willamette River and then roll south to California." The company's fiscal security was assured after receiving a U.S. mail contract that paid $90,000 per year and continued until the two states were linked by rail in 1887. (see Harlow's Old Waybills: The Romance of the Express Companies and Culp's Early Oregon Days.) Rather scarce. As of 2019, there is one other waybill for sale in the trade, and three have been sold at auction over the past forty years. Waybills are held by three California institutions. Receipts have been a little more frequently available.
Large photograph album documenting life in the Cole Brothers and Dailey Brothers Circuses during the 1940s

Large photograph album documenting life in the Cole Brothers and Dailey Brothers Circuses during the 1940s

Unknown compiler This large album measures 15" x 11.5" and contains over 140 b/w photographs measuring between 3"x2" and 4"x6". The photographs are all attached using corner mounts. About 25 show the Cole Brothers Circus, the remainder are of the Dailey Brothers Circus. Many have manuscript captions dated 1942 or 1944 on the reverse, and some include the names of the show's performers and staff. They are a mix of personal snapshots and images recorded by commercial or press photographers. The commercial photographs have backstamps from Eddie Jackson, Robert D. Good, and Gene Baxter. Many of the Cole Brothers photos are primarily of performers, clowns, and staff. The Dailey Brothers photos (taken at various times and locations) chronologically document a stop on a circus tour beginning with the arrival of the circus train. They show the locomotive, flat cars loaded with wagons and circus cars filled with animals, animals (elephants, camels, horses, etc.) being unloaded from the train, simple and ornate circus wagons, a band wagon, calliope, and trucks (perhaps awaiting to begin the parade into town), raising of the big top and other tents, the circus entrance, crowds beginning to mill around the circus grounds, and performers. One image is of an elephant that died from a broken leg suffered while attempting to turn around on a narrow plank. And, there is an interesting image of four clowns; one is holding a toilet seat with a sign reads, "Frame for Hitler's Picture.". A very nice collection of images from two important circuses operating in the 1940s.
A court-approved set of "interrogation" questions for an out-of-area material witness with regard to a defamation of character lawsuit stemming from a claim that a man "had been Caught in the act of Committing Bestiality with a Sheep"

A court-approved set of “interrogation” questions for an out-of-area material witness with regard to a defamation of character lawsuit stemming from a claim that a man “had been Caught in the act of Committing Bestiality with a Sheep”

Various people This set of questions from the defendant's attorney in an Interior (civil) Court case for Sarah Long, who was not then residing in the area, was sent to a well-respected lawyer for presentation to her. The lawyer was instructed to record her answers "plainly and distinctly written" and return them to "closed up under your hands & seals." The civil suit, between James Key and William Lee was for defamation. "Interrogation to be exhibited to Sarah Long material female witness for Defendant. . . . Int 1st Do you know the parties? Int 2nd Did you or did you not tell to Defendant or say in his presence that you had learned or had been informed by Hiram Long or some one else that plaintiff had been Caught in the act of Committing Bestiality with a Sheep or words imparting this Charge and please relate what you did say & when it was. Int 3rd Please relate all you know in favour of defendant". An annotation at the bottom of the page reads, "Plaintiff excepts to the foregoing interrogation on the grounds that the defendant seeks thereby to show that he had an author for the defamating words spoken by him respecting the plaintiff. . . .". In mid-century Georgia, an accusation of Bestiality was not to be taken lightly as it was regarded as a more heinous offense than rape. Bestiality, which the code defined as "the carnal knowledge and connection against the order of nature by man or woman in any manner with a beast," was to be punished by "imprisonment at labor in the penitentiary, for . . . the natural life of the person convicted of this detestable crime." See A codification of the statute law of Georgia, 1848. No wonder James Key sued William Lee for making the allegation. Exceptionally scarce. As of 2019, there are original source legal documents regarding 19th century bestiality for sale in the trade or, per OCLC, held by institutions. Additionally, there are no auction records for any similar material found at the Rare Book Hub.
Letter from an Indiana soldier stationed at Suffolk

Letter from an Indiana soldier stationed at Suffolk, Virginia commenting upon an attemp by Indiana Democrats to overthrough the state goverment

W. Lewis This four-page letter is written on patriotic stationery that features an illustration of the U. S. Capitol. In it, Lewis-a member of the 13th Indiana Regiment-reports that it has been quiet as "the enemy has retired beyond the black water a distance of 20 miles from here [and] nothing worthy of notice has transpired here since the siege [of Suffolk] was raised on the 4th this month." He also proudly notes that the unit has just presented its commanding officer with a $400 sword. Most interesting, however, is the anger he expresses about the Battle of Pogue's Run: "I herd a few days ago that the Butternuts were about to take possession of Indianapolis and that they had raised our old flag over one of their Seceshmetings now if this be true someone will have to suffer for it if ever get home the life of the man that toock our flag out of the state library is not worth a great deal if any of our boys should meet him.". While Lewis may have been mistaken about a Butternut raising a Seceshmetine flag at Indianapolis, the attempt by the Indiana Democratic Party to incite a rebellion against the Union was real. Many of the delegates-most of whom were members of the Knights of the Golden Circle-to the party's state convention entered the meeting hall with concealed weapons as part of a plan to over through the state government. The governor, who had been notified of the plot, order eight soldiers with cocked rifles and fixed bayonets to enter the 10,000-man convention and begin seizing the hidden revolvers. The meeting, of course dissolved in chaos, and later that night the Democrats boarded many trains for home and began firing rounds into the city as the departed. A group of Union soldiers placed a cannon on the tracks to stop two of the trains near Pogue's Run, and then searched each car, demanding the surrender of all firearms. Over five hundred pistols were confiscated from just these two cars and over the next few days nearly 2,000 more firearms were found to have been thrown of the train windows into creek. (The Knights of the Golden Circle was a secret cabal of wealthy southern slave-holders and their Democratic allies in several northern states who-before the war-had plotted to create a slave-holding empire by seizing parts of the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.) A scarce report by an indignant Indiana soldier serving in Virginia of a thwarted state coup initiated by the Democratic Party back home in Indiana. As of 2019, nothing similar is for sale in the trade, there are no auction records for similar items, and nothing similar is held in institutional collections.
Hand-illustrated envelope to a legendary country journalist featuring a wonderful pen and ink drawing of a Native American mustang roundu

Hand-illustrated envelope to a legendary country journalist featuring a wonderful pen and ink drawing of a Native American mustang roundu

By Jimmie. This legal-size envelope is illustrated with a pen and ink drawing of an exciting Native American mustang roundup. It is franked with three 1-cent green Washington stamps (Scott #804) that have been cancelled by a Bixby, Oklahoma machine postmark. The envelope is addressed to Bill Hoge, Skiatook, Oklahoma, "Editor and publisher of oolagah . . . . oozing." It is in nice shape with some light edgewear. The scene shows two braves with lassos attempting to capture horses from a small herd of mustangs. One brave is astride his horse just beginning to throw his lasso. The other is being pulled along the ground having already roped a mustang and dismounted his horse. The drawing is signed "By Jimmie.". During the 1930s, Bill Hoge, a local Oologah barber, began publishing a small town newspaper, Oologah Oozings, more of less as a hobby. He disdained all mention of crime or politics, instead filling his paper with a mix of fact and fantasy including local news, heartwarming articles, and quirky stories. It proved incredibly popular outside of Oologah and soon, Hoge had subscribers from across the country and his articles were often reprinted in the New York Times, New York Sun, New York Post and other newspapers around the country and in magazines including Time and Look. For more information, see the online article at Tulsa World, "Only in Oklahoma: Oologah paper oozed homestyle news.") I could find no information about the artist, "Jimmie." One of the nicest pieces of western postal art that we've encountered.
Negroes and the War

Negroes and the War

Chandler Owen This 10" x 13" pamphlet contains 72 unnumbered pages encouraging African-Americans to support the U.S. effort in World War Two. Complete, but as usually found, it is quite worn as it was printed on cheap acidic paper. There is extensive repair to the cover with what looks like archival tape. This propaganda pamphlet was issued to drum up African-American support for the U.S. participation in World War II. It contains Chandler's introduction followed by a series of photo-essays titled: "We've come a long way, We have built great institutions, From the humblest beginnings . . . out of our deepest need we have built the Negro Church, The Negro farmer's life improves steadily with Government help, In the city, We go forward in health, The young generation in the city, and In the Armed Forces." The half-tone images in this pamphlet are exceptional and include home, farm, work, the Tuskegee airmen, and other military scenes as well as portraits of contemporary African-American celebrities in business, medicine, entertainment, and the arts including music and literature. The most impressive page in the pamphlet is inside the rear cover and features a full-page image of champion boxer Joe Louis in an Army combat uniform lunging forward with fixed bayonet. Chandler Owen, was an exceptionally popular and influential African-American writer, editor, and political activist, who as the founder of the socialist journal, The Messenger, campaigned vociferously against African-American participation in World War One. He eventually became disenchanted with leftist politics, and by the time World War Two began, Owen was a prominent member of the Republican Party. Despite his disgust with President Roosevelt and the Democratic Party's policies toward African-Americans, Owen accepted a position with the Office of War Information where he authored this pamphlet. This important publication is fairly scarce and seldom found complete. Most of the two million copies have disintegrated over the years, and extant examples usually ragged and tattered. This example shows significant wear but is in far better shape than most, even those found inside institutions. As of 2019, no examples are for sale in the trade, and per Rare Book Hub, it has only appeared once at auction. Although digital and microform editions of the pamphlet are available, OCLC shows only seven institutions hold physical examples in their collections. Faults so priced accordingly.
Grouping of three mounted minstrel photographs and two minstrel music pamphlets belonging to a member of an Ohio post of the Sons of Veterans of the United States

Grouping of three mounted minstrel photographs and two minstrel music pamphlets belonging to a member of an Ohio post of the Sons of Veterans of the United States

Owned by Burton McElwain One photograph, measuring 9.75" x 7.75" shows an entire finely-dressed blackface minstrel company posed on a ornately curtained stage. A second photograph, approximately 7" x 5", shows eight members of the company posed on the same stage carrying a drum, sabers, and pennant for Cedarville, Slippery Rock College, and the University of Michigan. The third photograph, approximately 7" x 4.5", shows members of the Cedarville Sons of Veterans Band posed in a group photograph while wearing a variety blackface, clown, and hobo costumes. Each has a backstamp for The Nagley Studio of Cedarville. All are in nice shape. The two musical pamphlets are titled The Witmark Minstrel Overture and The White-Smith Minstrel Opening Chorus. One contains 15 pages, the other, eight. One was published in 1914, the other in 1915. The leaves of one have separated long ago and are now bound with an old ribbon. The cover of the other has split almost entirely along its spine, but the inside signature of leaves is intact. Both have some soiling and mends; one bears the name Burton McElwain on the front cover. The minstrel show was a distinctly American form of entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, jokes, song, and dance depicting slaves and later free African-Americans, usually-but far from entirely-portrayed by white men in blackface. Immensely popular in the 1800s, professional minstrel shows were eclipsed by vaudeville by the 1920s, however amateur club and school performances continued until the 1960s when they became seen as racially insensitive by nearly all white Americans. Cedarville, Ohio is a small town located near Dayton that is best known for its historic opera house, which is probably where the minstrel shows were performed. It is likely that the on stage photos were taken inside the opera house and the band alongside its exterior. The Sons of Veterans was a fraternal group initially composed of the sons of Civil War veterans who were members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). It continues in operation as a patriotic organization today with hereditary membership being open to male members who can show an ancestor served in the Union Army and "associate" memberships for men whose ancestors did not. Similar organizations, including the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, limit their membership to females. A nice set of photographs depicting a well-organized amateur minstrel group organized bya fraternal Civil War veterans' organization. As of 2019, a late 1940s minstrel photo album is for sale in the trade. OCLC shows seven institutions that hold similar amateur minstrel show photographs. The Rare Book Hub lists several auction records for photographs of professional minstrel shows, but none for amateur productions like this Cedarville set.
Beer serving tray designed by Dr. Seuss for Narragansett Lager & Ale featuring the colorful

Beer serving tray designed by Dr. Seuss for Narragansett Lager & Ale featuring the colorful, cigar store Indian character, Chief Gansett, he created

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) This 12" diameter multi-color Narragansett Lager & Ale features the company's iconic cigar store Indian, Chief Gansett, mounted on wheels and racing to deliver a draft beer. Text includes two company slogans, "Gangway for Gansett!" and "Too Good to Miss!" Images of barley and hops fill the inside of the tray's 1.25" tall rim. The image is 'signed' Dr. Seuss in the lower right.The tray displays well. Its colors are bright. There are no scratches or dents as commonly found. Overall, a very nice example with some table rubbing/soiling to the bottom, and minor pitting to the surface. In the early 1930s, "Robert Haffenreffer, Jr. and his brother Theodore came to Narragansett Brewing Company to help their father, Robert Haffenreffer Sr. "liven up" the company. As it happens, both the younger Haffenreffers had attended college with a budding artist, Theodor Geisel, soon to be the famous "Dr. Seuss". Robert Haffenreffer, Jr. was also a fan of cigar store Indians, so Dr. Seuss' "Chief Gansett" was a natural!" (See the Narragansett Beer website.) At the time this tray was produced, Narragansett Beer was the largest brewery in New England. It dominated the market, primarily through sponsorship of Boston Baseball teams. After both teams switched sponsors, the Red Sox to Ballantine in 1950 and the Braves to Schaeffer the next decade, Narragansett lost control of the New England market. The Falstaff Brewing Company purchased Narragansett in 1965, intending for the Haffenreffers to continue to run it as an independent subsidiary. The State of Rhode Island, however, objected and pursued an anti-trust suit against Falstaff. Although, Falstaff eventually prevailed in the Supreme Court after a long-running court battle, the cost was staggering, and Falstaff was bought by a corporate raider who moved Narragansett production to Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Cranston plant shut down in 1982.
A LETTER FROM A MEMBER OF THE 3RD ALABAMA HOSPITAL TO HIS COUSIN INFORMING HER OF HIS EFFORT TO SHIP HOME THE REMAINS OF HER HUSBAND

A LETTER FROM A MEMBER OF THE 3RD ALABAMA HOSPITAL TO HIS COUSIN INFORMING HER OF HIS EFFORT TO SHIP HOME THE REMAINS OF HER HUSBAND

J. B. Henderson to "Sarah In this three-page letter, Henderson explains to his cousin that as she requested, he had disinterred her husband's remains and another cousin, a Confederate Lieutenant, would be escorting them to her. A metallic Case would have cost 180 dollars, a zinc Case $150, but I had his remains disinfected for $25, paid $10 for a new Box $5 for disinterring $5 for Hearse & $5 for other incidental expenses amounting in all to $50. I have done for you as I would have done for myself I hope you will be satisfied. The check which you sent . . . will pay all actual expenses. I had his grave beautifully turfed over two weeks since not knowing that you would have hm removed. I only paid $2.00 for it but that & all my trouble I cheerfully willingly & gladly give for the comfort of my Dear disconsolate Cousin & would that I could do ten times as much. I have not as yet been able to get his account or claims audited, from the fact that I, notwithstanding all my efforts, have been unable to obtain any information in regard to John's last payment &c. I will persevere until I have it all right. I send John's sword by Cousin Wade. In closing, he cautions: "You must not think of such a thing as opening Johns Coffin as it will not do. It is unclear where Sarah resided and the full name and unit of her husband John is not disclosed, however, the dateline of Henderson's letter indicates he was either a assigned to or a patient in the 3rd Alabama Hospital and its content relates that he had taken care of John's burial and personal effects. At the time this letter was written, the 3rd Alabama Hospital was located in Richmond at the W. R. Robinson tobacco factory where it had been providing care for Confederate casualties since the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run), where three Alabama regiments had fought. An unusual letter summarizing the costs of preparing remains for transport to kin folk at home.
Four-page letter from a sutler describing how he sold goods to soldiers at a large training camp

Four-page letter from a sutler describing how he sold goods to soldiers at a large training camp

Sam In this letter a sutler, named Sam, describes his method of selling wares to soldiers at one of the largest Union training camps during the Civil War. "I had a very good trade yesterday amounting to 70$ so I went to town this morning to prepare for another accason of the same kind only better, which only is when there is a number of soldiers paid The Sutlers all cary their goods to Head Quarters get in side of the guards Pile them on Boxes & Sell all they can The soldiers are called on one side and & came out on the other (we get on the other) This was the first time that I have sold in that way any. I looked rather too much like a Boy Pedling Papers or Apples. But I have my camp tax to pay equal to any others & I concluded I would try the same & see what virtue there was in it. I think I will try it again if an opportunity affords. They tried so many things that we put on an extra margin when there There will be some paid tomorrow. There is only 470 in camp now There will be some 100 day men in tomorrow which will revive the Business some." He also grouses about having to pay federal tax noting that he will need to pass that cost along to his customers. "I am very Lazy now though you knew that long before I don't have enough to do to keep a two year old Boy out of mischief. Well the Infernal Revenew man just came around and called for ten Dollars which you see will give me something to do. In order to make up will have to mark my goods all over." A nice first-hand description of how sutlers marketed their goods to soldiers on paydays, and in the time-honored practice of retailers anywhere, simply passed the cost of additional taxes on to the consumer. As of 2019, no similar sutler's letters or for sale in the trade, and there are no auction records at the Rare Book Hub. OCLC shows no similar letters held by institutions.
Letter from a young lawyer and recent graduate of Hanover College to a friend who was still enrolled reporting the founding of an early independent Memphis fire company to include the purchase of an engine and misconduct at a firemen's ball

Letter from a young lawyer and recent graduate of Hanover College to a friend who was still enrolled reporting the founding of an early independent Memphis fire company to include the purchase of an engine and misconduct at a firemen’s ball

Xenophon] B. Sanders to Edward "Ned" C. Porter This four-page stampless folded letter measures 15" x 9.5" unfolded. Sent from Memphis to South Hanover, Indiana and bears a circular Memphis postmark in blue and a manuscript "10" rate marking and the annotation "via river mail." It has a 1.5" split on one mailing fold and a small hole where its seal was removed. Much of the letter concerns discussions about friends at Hanover College, however a significant portion discusses an early Memphis fire company: "I have joined "liberty fire Co no 3," We have just ended a fair of two nights for our benefit with a ball. . . . During the fair I enjoyed myself very well. . . . as you know it could not be otherwise. There was however an unfortunate circumstance connected with it which very much allay our enjoyment. It was this, It was reported that Y. L. Conant who is a member of our Company insulted the young ladies who have a table at the fair which of course you are aware reflected no honor on the company. . . . Poney being one of the committee of arrangements and consequently feeling himself personally agrieved by the ungentlemanly act of (YLC) in the next meeting of the Company arose and after speaking for about 40 minutes ended by moving that the company expel (YLC) or make some other demonstration of its sentiment and Y had in answering him grossly contradicted him when Poney bounced him and give him a regular built flogging, and I now have the pleasure of announcing that Conant is no longer a member of our Co, I understand that he has threatened to shoot P on sight, he has seen him several times however, and hasn't 'burned powder yet.' We have nearly money enough made up to purchase a new engine and think we will soon send on after one, We intend getting a rowboat engine, . . . the best now in use.". Liberty Fire Company No. 3 was established in 1849, shortly before Sanders wrote this letter. It was the the third fire company established in the city; the first was founded three years earlier Rowboat engines like the company wanted to purchase were cumbersome machines that could require up to 30 men to operate. The men would sit atop the engine and pull handles (much like the oars of a rowboat) that would shoot water much farther, faster, and in greater volume than it could be thrown from a bucket. An insider's first-hand report of an early independent volunteer fire engine company. Very scarce. As of 2019, nothing similar is for sale in the trade or held by institutions per OCLC. While the Rare Book Hub reports auction sales of several engine company log books and meeting minutes, there are no auction records of similar description of misbehavior at firemen's balls or expulsions and fisticuffs steaming from "ungentlemanly" conduct.
Letter from a father in Alabama to his son in the Republic of Texas discussing his plans to emigrate as well and establish a large cotton plantation

Letter from a father in Alabama to his son in the Republic of Texas discussing his plans to emigrate as well and establish a large cotton plantation

Nathaniel Davis to Nathaniel Hart Davis This four-page stampless folded letter, dated "Xmas Eve 1840," measures approximately 16" x 9.5" unfolded. It bears a circular blue "Huntsville / Ala" postmark dated "Dec 26," a blue "25" cent manuscript rate mark (postage from Huntsville to New Orleans), a brown "56" cent manuscript rate mark (50 cents for distances >100 miles plus 6.25 cents for receipt of ships mail), a blue "PAID" handstamp, and a black "SHIP" handstamp. In the lower left corner, it has a manuscript annotation that reads, "Care of Messrs / Bowe & Crenshaw / New Orleans." A black oval handstamp on the reverse reads Wm Bryan / New Orleans / Agent of the Texian Post Office (See ASSC, v.1, p.382." There are splits along the folds, some partially mended with what appears to be archival tape; the repairs should probably be redone. A transcript will be provided. In this letter, the father poses numerous questions about Texas to his son, and makes it clear that he dearly wants to use his slaves to get rich, either by hiring them out to wealthy planters or to establish a large plantation of his own perhaps near "Legrange, Bastrope, Austin, Braxoria, or any other western town not too near the Coast". He also expresses a confident concern that if necessary, he could defend his family and property against Mexicans, Comanches, and other western threats. "What inducements have the wealthy planters to settle on the [flooded] Colorado [River] at the probable low price of cotton as long as Slavery exists the profits of growing that staple will be destroyed entirely by a land carriage of any but a very short distance either on railroads, turnpikes or wagons. . . . it will be highly desirable that I make some money out of my negroes and . . . I should go to some flourishing healthy town where I could hire my negroes out by the month & keep a boarding house & perhaps a livery stable . . . to make an honest living until I could resume the planting business upon a scale more flattering to my bride than what I have done in Ala. . . . You have thought proper in some of yr former letters to allude to the probability of another Mexican invasion. . . . If I . . . perish in heroic battle there is no place on earth should have my preference over Texas. . . . I have bot me a highly finished German 30 inches steel barrel . . . carrying ½ Oz ball percussion lock & double triggers, will shoot level across Tennessee. . . . I have sworn to kill a baffaloe and I may perchance shoot at a Comanchy I have contracted with Taylor . . . to make me . . . a bowie knife." All in all, a terrific letter with a rather scarce "Texian" postal marking from an especially eager emigrant who planned to become rich once he relocated to the Republic of Texas.
Inferior court petition charging a man for "seduction . . . debauchery

Inferior court petition charging a man for “seduction . . . debauchery, & carnally knowing a young girl “by which she became sick & pregnant”Daniel Stephens

This three-page Inferior (civil) Court document was filed by Daniel Stephens seeking damages from Leland Vaughn for the seduction, debauchery, and carnal knowledge of daughter, Nancy, which caused her to become pregnant. U.S. Census records show that Nancy was only ten years old when this petition was filed. It is in nice shape and reads in part: "The petition of Daniel Stephens showeth that he is about to commence his action on the case for seduction in the Superior (criminal) Court . . . against Leland Vaughn . . . for the Seduction . . . committed upon Nancy Stephens [his] daughter and servant [which included] debauching & carnally knowing the said Nancy by which she became sick & pregnant with child. . . . [after which he] lost the services of the said Nancy . . . [amounting to] the sum of Five Thousand Dollars damages." As a result of the petition, the Inferior Court set Leland Vaughn 's bail in this civil court at $2,000. In the early years of the 19th century "southern statutes stipulated execution for white men convicted of rape, and . . . in cases involving the sexual assault of female children, southern courts did not hesitate to inflict the death penalty on white men [however] by the mid-nineteenth century . . . most States in the South imposed lesser penalties. . . " See Bardaglio's "Rape and the Law in the Old South" in The Journal of Southern History, Nov 1994. This was the case in Georgia, as the state code in 1860 specified imprisonment at hard labor for not less than two years nor more than twenty. The results of both this civil and Vaughn's criminal trial as well are certainly worthy of research. As of 2019, there are two similar documents for sale in the trade, however both are related to the rape of an adult rather than a child. The Rare Book Hub shows one similar document has been sold at auction, also regarding an adult rather than a child, and OCLC shows that two similar documents, also for adult rapes, are held by an institution.