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Satirical "Salt River" type handbill advertising a probably fictional "Freedom of Speech

Satirical "Salt River" type handbill advertising a probably fictional "Freedom of Speech," anti-Lincoln, pro-McClellan campaign rally featuring a balloon ascension and speech by the exiled Ohio politician Clement Vallandigham

Unidentified Unidentified place, publisher, and year, but probably somewhere in Ohio shortly after the Presidential election of 1864. The small broadside measures 6.5" x 9" and features a large image of a balloon ascension. The thin, fragile paper has been expertly backed with silk tissue. It is lightly soiled with a chip at the bottom margin affecting a few words of the text. The text reads in part: "You are respectfully invited to accompany the Peace Makers in their Ariel Flight to the Land of Rest. / Where there well be Freedom of Speech [and] Freedom of the Press, to print what we Please, – Lawful, Immoral, Treasonable or any other species of Information. / Our nightly dreams will not be haunted by the Spectre Ghost of Old Abe nor our day dreams, by the Fear of Tyranny. . . . / The Mourners will provide Crape and Grey Butternut Clothing, at their own expense. . . . / The McClellan Campaign Song, will be Sung immediately after starting. / Vallandigham will address the Audience, supported by Pendleton, and letters from prominent men, such as Jeff Davis, Breckenridge and others will be read.". Clement Vallandigham was a member of the House of Representatives from Ohio who lead the anti-war Copperhead faction of the Democratic Party during the Civil War. A major thorn in the President’s side, he was arrested in May, 1863 for giving a speech at Mount Vernon, Ohio in which he referred to "King Lincoln" while expressing "sympathy for those in arms against the Government of the United States, and declaring disloyal sentiments and opinions, with the object and purpose of weakening the power of the Government in its efforts to suppress an unlawful rebellion." When he was sentenced by a military tribunal to imprisonment for the duration of the war, his numerous supporters became enraged. Not wishing to create a martyr in Northern territory, President Lincoln, released Vallandigham from prison and exiled him to the Confederacy. Vallandigham soon escaped by a blockade runner and set up a headquarters in Windsor, Ontario, where he campaigned for the governorship of Ohio. Although he won the Democratic nomination in a landslide, he lost the general election. In June of 1864, Vallandigham returned incognito to Ohio and gave a speech at a campaign rally (perhaps the event noted in this handbill). When President Lincoln took no action, he then openly attended the Democratic Convention in Chicago as a delegate from Ohio. Although initially enamored by General McClellan’s candidacy, after McClellan rejected Vallandigham’s "peace plank" in the party platform, Vallandigham withdrew his support and stopped campaigning on McClellan’s behalf. The style of this handbill is similar to the "Salt River tickets" that were issued to ridicule political opponents after they had been vanquished in an election. Perhaps, this was issued by Ohio Republicans after Lincoln defeated McClellan in 1864, and Vallandigham became a political non-entity. Quite scarce. As of 2018, there are no other examples for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows no auction results for this handbill, and OCLC locates only two institutional holdings, one at the Lincoln Presidential Library and one at the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Original comic watercolor documenting life aboard a post-World War II U.S. Army ship transporting displaced persons from Europe to a new life in the Americas

Original comic watercolor documenting life aboard a post-World War II U.S. Army ship transporting displaced persons from Europe to a new life in the Americas

By Sulima W. This original line and wash watercolor measures 14.25" x 12.25". It is titled "Voyage No 5 Bremerhaven, Germany – Valparaiso, Chile" and the name of the ship, General W. M. Black, is prominently shown in the colorful drawing along with refugees killing time on their voyage to a new home in South America. The artist has included an image of himself painting a portrait of one of the ship’s crew. This is life the way it was on the ship without much exaggeration: sunbathing, romance, citrus fruits, kindly crewmembers, an IRO worker, MPs, card-playing, seasickness, and smoking under a blue sky and smiling sun. It would appear that the artist, Sulima, was one of the refugees as he portrays himself in a painter’s smock and beret rather than a uniform. The artwork is in very nice shape. By the end of World War II, 20 million people had been driven from their homes. Some had survived concentration camps, some had fled Communist regimes, some were Germans from destroyed cities, but most were slave laborers brought to Germany and France to work in factories and build coastal defenses. Despite Allied efforts at repatriation, more than 800,000 men, women, and children remained in camps run by the International Relief Organization until 1948 when some nations agreed to allow their immigration. 40 troopships of the U.S. Army Transportation Service made 150 trips to transport the refugees to new homes in England, Australia, Canada, the United States and South America; Chile accepted over 5,100 from a mix of Baltic, Central, and Eastern European countries. There are a number of personal accounts of these voyages, bittersweet in that they express a sorrow over leaving their homelands forever, but anxiously joyful with the expectation to begin a new life in freedom. All, however, express amazement at their time spent aboard the troopships where many ate citrus fruit for the first time and food was plentiful and relatively tasty. Commissaries and exchanges provided soft drinks, sweets, and cigarettes. Often dozens of languages were spoken. And those in charge, the ships crews, IRO staff, and military police provided benevolent oversight. They universally describe rough Atlantic seas, the passengers’ constant seasickness, and the inescapable resultant malodorous stench as the most unpleasant part of the voyages. An absolutely unique visual record of the Army’s humanitarian effort to resettle displaced persons following the war. As of 2018, nothing remotely similar is for sale in the trade or held by institutions per OCLC. As well, there are no similar auction records in the Rare Book Hub database.
One-page Mexican-American War letter from a newly appointed ensign in the Missouri Volunteers as his unit prepared to depart Camp Lucas in Missouri on the Great Platte River Road in route to establishing Fort Kearny for protection of the Oregon Trail

One-page Mexican-American War letter from a newly appointed ensign in the Missouri Volunteers as his unit prepared to depart Camp Lucas in Missouri on the Great Platte River Road in route to establishing Fort Kearny for protection of the Oregon Trail

John V. Masters to the Honorable C. Masters This one-page stampless folded letter measures 15.5" x 10" unfolded. It is dated "Camp Lucas May 30th 1847." The cover must have been delivered by hand, outside of the postal system, as it is unfranked and bears no postmarks. It is in nice shape. A transcript is included as is a copy of Masters’s service summary showing he was assigned to Lt. Col. Powell’s Missouri Volunteers. In the letter John Masters informs his father that he has been appointed an ensign in "1st Battalion of St. Louis Volunteers, Comp (E)" and will be departing for Santa Fe the next morning. He asks his father to pay a $15 debt he incurred with a St. Louisan and informs him to address future letters to him in care of the battalion at Santa Fe, noting that mail for Santa Fe departs St. Louis on a monthly basis. Masters’s official military records show that he had enlisted as a private in Lt. Col I. E. Powell’s Battalion of Missouri Mounted Volunteers (also known as Mounted Battalion Missouri Mexican War Volunteers and later as Powell’s Battalion Oregon Volunteers) just two week before this letter was written. When the unit was organized, it was originally intended to travel to New Mexico via the Santa Fe Trail to fight in the Mexican-American War. However, Congress had recently determined that a Regular Army force was needed to protect pioneers from attacks by Native Americans while traveling to the Northwest along the "Oregon Route." So, the battalion was diverted from its Santa Fe assignment and instead charged with protecting the Oregon Trail until a Regular Army unit could be deployed. By May 30th, the battalion had assembled at Camp Lucas on James H. Lucas’s pasture just west of the St. Louis city limits at what is now 12th Street (Tucker Boulevard) and Olive Street. Public records (United States Congressional serial set, Issue 2711) reflect that by December, the battalion had marched through Fort Leavenworth to a point on the Missouri River known as Table Creek (now Nebraska City) where it established winter quarters. It broke camp in April of 1848 and marched west along the Great Platte River Road where in June it established a fortification-which it christened Fort Childs-on the south bank of the Nebraska (Great Platte) River just below the head of Grand Island. While there, Lt. Col. Powell concluded a peace treaty with the four confederated bands of Pawnee Indians: the Grand Pawnee, Loups Pawnee, Republican Pawnee, and Tappage Pawnee. The battalion remained at Fort Childs, which had been renamed Fort Kearny, until October of 1848 when its term of service expired, and it was relieved by a Regular Army unit after which it was mustered out of the service. Although the battalion never made it to New Mexico, Congress eventually approved Mexican-American War pensions for its surviving members in 1889. While Mexican-American War mail from units deployed via the Santa Fe Trail to fight in and defend New Mexico are scarce, correspondence from the first military unit sent to protect the Oregon Trail and establish an Army post that eventually became Fort Kearny appears to be non-existent other than this letter. As of 2018, no correspondence from this unit is for sale in the trade, and no other correspondence from the unit has appeared at auction per ABPC and the Rare Book Hub. OCLC shows no institutional holdings of correspondence from this unit.
Playbill for a theatrical production based on Charles Reade's potboiler novel

Playbill for a theatrical production based on Charles Reade’s potboiler novel, Foul Play and, more importantly, announcing an upcoming performance of Lotta Crabtree

Charles Reade and Lotta Crabtree This playbill measures 8.75" x 19.5". It is printed on very thin, fragile paper and features a stirring illustration of a shipwreck. It is complete but with the expected wear of a 19th century broadside. Two tape repairs on the reverse. Charles Reade was a popular 19th century author who was favorably and frequently compared to Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, Bulwer-Lytton, and Swinburne. In 1868 his publisher paid £2,000 for Foul Play, a "greatly daring ‘sensation’" novel about a wrongly convicted clergyman sentenced to be transported to an Australian penal colony who became romantically involved with an aristocratic woman after they were shipwrecked alone – Oh, the horror – on an uninhabited island. See the Dictionary of National Biography. The playbill also announces an upcoming performance of a soon-to-be superstar, Lotta Crabtree ("Who will make her first appearance in one of her characters"), a beautiful and talented ingénue and protégée of Lola Montez. With encouragement from Montez, who was a Grass Valley California neighbor, Lotta became a sensational child performer during the Gold Rush. In the 1860s, she embarked on an Eastern tour which led to international stardom, and she became the most popular and highest paid actress of the 1870s and 1880s. Rather scarce. As of 2018, one other-but un-illustrated-playbill for Foul Play is for sale in the trade, Rare Book Hub shows no Foul Play playbills having been sold at auction. OCLC identifies two Foul Play playbills held by institutions. No other early (1860s) Lotta Crabtree playbills are for sale in the trade or listed in OCLC; Rare Book Hub shows that only one has been sold at auction.
Letter from a French ship captain in San Francisco to a wine wholesaler in Southern France franked with the first Lincoln stamp issued by the United States

Letter from a French ship captain in San Francisco to a wine wholesaler in Southern France franked with the first Lincoln stamp issued by the United States

From G. Caussy to the Gautier Brothers This three-page folded letter, in French, measures 16.5" x 10.5" unfolded. It is dated "Sn Francisco le 7 Yuillet 1869" and franked with a 15-cent black Lincoln stamp (Scott #77) canceled with a ‘fancy’ black circle-of-wedges. Three postmarks are on the front: a clear San Francisco postmark (Jul 8) in black, a large circular New York Paid postmark (Jul 17) in red, and a Calais foreign mail receiving mark (Jul 29) in blue. A Paris postmark (Jul 29) and a scuffed Cette receiving stamp (Jul 30), both in black are on the reverse. Docketing notes the letter was mailed from San Francisco by G. Caussy on July 7th and received in Cette on the 30th. The letter is in nice shape with postal and opening wear. The #77 Lincoln stamp is sound and sharp with deep color; its perforations touch the design at the right and bottom. In this letter from San Francisco, Caussy explains to the wine merchants who had contracted his service that he has had a difficult voyage; three-quarters of his crew deserted, and his ship was damaged in a collision with an American vessel. He further notes that he had been unable to sell the merchants’ Bordeaux because it had darkened badly during the voyage. He suggests that in the future, the merchants export fortified wines like sherry or port to San Francisco as he had discovered both sold much better than ordinary wine. Additionally, he encourages the brothers to join in partnership with Victor Dumont, a French importer living in the city. In closing, Caussy reports that the repairs to his ship have been completed and he will soon sail for Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro. (A transcript and translation of the letter are included.). The 15-cent Lincoln stamp is considered by some to be the first U.S. commemorative stamp. It was first issued on 14 April 1866, the one-year anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and was printed in mourning black. At the time, 15 cents was the postage rate to Belgium, France, and Germany, and examples on postally used envelopes are scarce; letters with content even more so. (See Haimann’s "15-cent Lincoln" at Arago: People, Postage, and the Post, Gasbarro’s "Early Postage Stamps Honoring Abraham Lincoln" at the Civil War Blog, and Scott’s Specialized Catalog of U.S. Stamps.) Although letters with 15-cent franking from the United States to Europe are uncommon but not rare, most extant examples are from major east coast cities to major European cities like Paris, Berlin, and Brussels. Covers from San Francisco to the French Mediterranean town of Cette are decidedly uncommon. Only one other known example exists. (See Frajola’s PhilaMercury.) This letter traveled for ten days from San Francisco to New York where it was loaded on a ship bound for Calais, France. It was then dispatched to Paris, where it was redirected south to the Mediterranean city of Cette. At the time this letter was written, California’s viticulture industry was still in its infancy, and millions of liters of wine were being imported from French Mediterranean ports. By itself, Cette exported 57,000 pipes of wine in 1870 alone. The imported red and white wines were almost always of poor quality and shipped in wooden casks. Once the casks arrived in San Francisco, their contents were blended together by importers into various colors and strengths, and given a variety of impressive sounding names; "under the guise of fictitious labels, [customers were led] to suppose [they] were drinking fine Bordeaux wines, whereas, in fact, [they] were drinking trash, . . . and [were] the laughing stock of the French wine exporters. . . ." This, however, started to change in the last two years of the 1860s when excellent California wines began to be made in marketable quantities, and imports of ordinary wines from France plummeted, although a market for foreign ports and sherries remained. (See Statements and Arguments . . . against the Proposed Franco-American Commercial Treaty, San Francisco: 1879.) This letter wins a desirability trifecta. Covers bearing this stamp are scarce; the letter’s route from San Francisco to Cette is highly unusual if not unique, and the content reveals the dying market for imported French wines just as California viticulture was taking hold. As of 2018, nothing similar is for sale in the trade; Rare Book Hub and ABPC show no auction records for similar items, and no similar letters are held by institutions per OCLC.
Chromolithograph Album Card Set

Chromolithograph Album Card Set, "Street Scenes in New York"

Louis Prang This is a complete set of 12 album cards. Each measures 2.5" x 4". All are in nice shape with light soiling at the corners. In the company’s product list published in the April, 1869 issue of Prang’s Chromo, the set is titled, "Street Scenes in New York." The cards depict a variety of people that could be seen on the city’s streets. They are individually titled: 1) "The Drum Major" – A finely uniformed drum major with faint images of other musicians in the background. 2) "The Convoy Over Broadway" – A uniformed man helping two women and a young girl cross the street. 3) "Emigrants Just Arrived" – A mother with babe in arms and two young children carrying small bundles. 4) "Muddy Street" – A beautifully dressed young woman lifting her skirt while walking her beribboned dog. 5) "The Fruit Pedlar" – An African-American woman carrying two baskets, one filled with apples. 6) "French Nurse" – A prim and proper nanny with two well-dressed children, standing in front of a lion statue (looks a little like one of the famous New York Public Library lions, but that can’t be as ‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude’ weren’t carved until 1911). 7) "Newspaper Boy ‘Tribune Sir?’" – A street urchin waits with outstretched palm while a top-hatted businessman pulls a coin from his waistcoat. 8) "The Old Coin Merchant" – A seated man sits by his kiosk while a soldier and two other men examine his inventory as a basket-carrying girl walks between them. 9) "On Broadway" A well-dressed swell and a fashionable young women walk down the sidewalk past window-shoppers. 10) "The Street Singers" – An accordion-playing woman and her two children, one with a tambourine, perform in front of display of broadsides. 11) "Street Musician" – A grizzled organ-grinder and his monkey perform as a family looks on. 12) "Walking Advertisement Balloon Seller" – A ragged young street seller with a bunch of red balloons attempts to speak with a tired, worn-out man advertising an all-weather coat and hat by wearing one festooned with large slogans testifying to its quality. Prang was an American pioneer in color printing who first gained fame selling Civil War maps. In 1864, he traveled to Germany to learn about cutting-edge German chromolithography. Upon his return, Prang began producing a variety of color prints and card sets, specifically sold to be mounted in company-produced albums or scrapbooks. A very attractive and exceptionally scarce set of early cards. Burdick’s American Card Catalog identifies this set (W70), as one of the seven most desirable album card sets of album cards, much less common than Prang’s "Views of Central Park," landscape series, or animal sets. As of 2018, there is one other set for sale in the trade as part of a larger Prang collection. The Rare Book Hub shows has no records reflecting any auction sales. OCLC shows that only one incomplete set is held at an institution, the American Antiquarian Society.
An exceptional archive related to Leona Watson

An exceptional archive related to Leona Watson, a successful early 20th Century singer-actress who later invented the menstrual cup.

Probably compiled by Leona and her mother. This large group of over 230 images, letters, reviews, etc. was likely compiled by Leona and her mother between the early 1909 and the eary 1950s. It includes: • Three portrait photographs, • Ten letters between Leona and her mother. In one Leona emotionally notifies her mother that she has eloped with a man her mother despised and in another that is equally emotional, her mother informs Leona of her father’s attempted suicide. • Eight letters from Leona’s agent, Chamberlain Brown, regarding possible performances late in her career. • Two copies of a handbill, "How to Find the Soul of Your Voice," by Leona Watson. The handbill features a dramatic headshot of Leona along with two smaller illustrations of a mouth and throat. The printed text of one handbill has been corrected in pencil and it also notes that the sheet was published by Watson who was starring as "Adelina" in the Broadway hit, "The Climax. ‘ • Approximately 40 newspaper-magazine photos or drawings of Leona, several of which show her on-stage in The Climax. One is signed "Leona Watson." • Nine clippings of Ward Morehouse’s "Broadway After Dark" newspaper column about Leona. • Over 160 short newspaper clippings mentioning performances by Leona, and four typewritten pages containing excerpts from other reviews. Almost all are toned and brittle. • One type-written page titled, "A List of Operas I’ve Done" identifying nine operas, operettas, and musical in which Leona performed. Toned and brittle. • A headshot "photo" postcard of Leona in The Golden Girl, a "gorgeous musical review." • An 18" x 24" original charcoal portrait of Leona; complete but worn and separated into eight panels along storage folds. • A newspaper advertisement for Signor R. E. De Stefani’s Grand Italian Conservatory of Music with an endorsement from Leona. When Leona was starring in "The Climax," she credited De Stefani for teaching her to sing in an interview for The Theater Magazine. The clipping is missing the text of Leona’s endorsement. When Leona Watson from Lexington, Kentucky made a splash on Broadway in 1909 starring in Edward Lock’s and Joseph M. Weber’s hit, "The Climax," she was only twenty years old but had already performed for several years in touring companies. Although Watson never again achieved such success, she continued to perform for many years, and it was during this time she invented the menstrual cup. "’The record of this young girl’s remarkable success reads like a fairy story,’ one reporter wrote. Some recounted an anecdote that showed an audacious streak foreshadowing her future re-invention as an unconventional entrepreneur: Before she hit gold with The Climax, a repo crew surprised the Watsons in Kentucky and lugged away the family piano, which Leona had secretly pawned to bankroll her pricy East Coast voice lessons. "One less glamorous aspect of Watson’s touring career was that, while she was ‘barnstorming’ from stage to stage, she faced the challenge of how to avoid menstruating all over Adelina’s angelic white dress. Not only was Kotex still a decade off, but the bulky straps, suspenders, and girdles that kept pads in place at the time would be glaringly obvious beneath a delicate gown — not to mention the stage lights. Watson and her menstruating castmates avoided such unsightly external heft by rolling up scraps of fabric and manually inserting them, creating something akin to homemade tampons."That this solution was already revolutionary for the time didn’t stop Watson from continuing to contemplate the problem. Decades later, the widowed Leona Watson Chalmers would cite those grueling six-day weeks of theater life as the inspiration for the Tassette, the first commercial menstrual cup.It was a woman’s invention, made to simplify busy women’s lives. ‘Frankly it is well worth a trial, because this little device appears to be the best solution to the problem of sanitary protection,’ reads one passage of Chalmers’ 1937 book, The Intimate Side of a Woman’s Life.’ It eliminates belts, pins, napkins, and inconvenience . . . furthermore the device does not have to be removed in answering a call of nature. It is truly a Godsend to professional and business women.’"These practical virtues were reflected in the Tassette’s initial ad campaign. One of the first ads for the funny new product appeared in Photoplay magazine in 1937. "Mrs. Leona W. Chalmers invents invisible protection so comfortable you’ll never feel it so secure you’ll always be at ease!" the copy read. "IT TOOK A WOMAN to ease women’s most trying ordeal." (See Natalie Shure’s "Why has it taken the menstrual cup so long to go mainstream?" in Pacific Standard, 6 July 2016.)
Scrapbook kept by the leader of a successful regional swing orchestra

Scrapbook kept by the leader of a successful regional swing orchestra

Compiled by Virgil Linkenfellter The album measures 12" x 14.5" and contains 35 pages filled with advertisements, broadsides, posters, photographs, and correspondence related to a 1930s swing orchestra. The material is mounted in chronological order. The contents are in nice shape. The album leaves are brittle with edge-wear; nine have become detached. The first page in the album features a newspaper clipping showing a half-tone portrait of Linkenfelter titled, "Presenting Virgil Linkenfelter and his Society Swing Orchestra’ which is followed by a 5" x 7" photograph of the band members posing in a nightclub. The band first performed as "Bobby Link and His Orchestra" or "Bobby Link and his Southern Gentlemen" in Dayton, Ohio. One page contains three advertisements at another Dayton venue, where "Miss Fay Norman and her Gay Boy Review" headlined a nightclub show. The review consisted of "14 Clever Female Impersonators . . . World’s Largest . . . Chorus of Female Impersonators." Featured performers included "Tangara, the Bombshell of Rhythm," "Bobby Allen, Premiere Danscanse" and "Funny Fanny, M.C. and Comedienne."The band later changed its name to "Lynn Belasco and His Orchestra" and performed at an upscale Dayton venue, Club Bleasco, followed by an engagement at a similar nightclub in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where it was billed as "Lynn Belasco and His 6-Piece Wing Band from Sunny Tennessee." During this period, Linkenfelter received an offer for a six-month engagement at The Imperial Hotel in London.About the same time, Linkenfelter apparently requested the Consolidated Radio Artists—at the time the second largest booking agents in the country—to represent his band. Their reply advising him that he must first partially fund an audition is mounted in the album. In their letter, they also state, "we would be rather reluctant to book your orchestra under the name ‘Lynn Belasco’ – on account of the confusion with the nationally known ‘Leon Belasco’, who is a very good friend of our organization." From that time on, the band appeared as several variations of "Link and His Society Swing" and became regular house bands for several Louisville, Kentucky "nite clubs": Richmount, Club Joy, Bluemeadow, and Halcyon Hall, a popular spot for University of Kentucky students. A terrific 5" x 4" photograph pictures the a bright and shiny Halcyon Hall four-door sedan emblazoned with advertising, "Music by Virgil Lingenfelter and his Society Swing Orchestra Featuring Bruce "Preacher" Munson . . . And Lexington’s Own Jennie Wells." It’s unclear when the orchestra disbanded, however an advertisement in a Danville, Kentucky newpaper shows it was still performing in 1939.A unique visual record of a regional swing orchestra popular in the 1930s.
Photograph album-scrapbook documenting the destruction caused to the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Hurricane Camille

Photograph album-scrapbook documenting the destruction caused to the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Hurricane Camille, the second most powerful hurricane ever to strike the continental United States

Unidentified compiler This 9.5" x 11.5" three-ring binder contains 48 pages of vernacular photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, maps, and a hand-written essay. There are 43 color and black-white photographs in the album. Most measure 4.25" x 3.5 or 5" x 3". Everything, but the essay, is mounted on black paper sheets which have been inserted into plastic document protectors. The essay is stapled inside the rear cover. Lettering on the reverse of the reused binder indicates it previously held an insurance policy. Perhaps this was compiled as a school project. Everything is in nice shape, The photographs show a Holiday Inn before the storm, the damage caused by the storm to the Holiday Inn, the destruction of stores and a gas station along a beach highway, damage to and destruction of inland buildings and automobiles, airmen from Keesler Air Force Base at damage sites, images of Allee Hall at Keesler Air Force Base including its dining facility, etc.The clippings, from an unnamed newspaper, run from 16 to 20 August. The first clippings report that the storm was tracking toward the Florida Panhandle. Later clippings report on the destruction along the Mississippi Gulf Coast including Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pass Christian. One clipping addresses the hurricanes later impact upon Virginia. The track of the storm from Biloxi to Hattiesburg is shown on a Shell Oil road map. The magazine articles are summaries of the storm from September. Hurricane Camille was the second most powerful hurricane ever to make landfall in the continental United States. After striking Cuba on August 15, it entered the Gulf of Mexico where it grew into a Category 5 storm. It made landfall at peak intensity at Pass Christian early on August 18, and rapidly moved inland. The hurricane flattened almost everything along the Mississippi coast and caused intense rains and flooding in Virginia after it crossed the Appalachian Mountains. In total, Camille killed 259 people and caused $1.43 billion in damages (equivalent to about $10 billion today).A unique photographic record of the damage caused by the storm. As of 2019, there is nothing similar for sale in the trade; no auction records for similar items are shown at the Rare Book Hub, and OCLC show no similar holdings at institutions.
An archive related to the legendary dean of American heraldry and the founder of the U.S. Institute of Heraldry

An archive related to the legendary dean of American heraldry and the founder of the U.S. Institute of Heraldry, Arthur E. DuBois, including his unfinished monumental work on military ribbons of the world

Compiled by Arthur E. DuBois and others The archive is contained in an 11"x11.75"x3" Kempco file box. • Its principal component is a two-volume, unpublished manuscript in two binders, each measuring 9"x11". Together they contain approximately 100 pages of manuscript text, eight pages of hand-colored charts, one card of ribbon samples, and approximately 41 U.S. ribbons accompanied by meticulously drawn design schematics. The samples include a Medal of Honor ribbon. Other items include • A separate document protector containing an additional 25 pages of working papers along with a "U.K Ribbon Colours Identity Chart" containing 36 samples, one page of 13 primarily U.S. ribbon samples and color drawings, a hand-colored planning chart for the proposed multi-volume work, a letter from the U.K. with an advertisement for "The Gale & Polden Chart of Decorations and Medals" enclosed, and an advertising flyer for a German medal collector service. • A 1956 press photo of DuBois showing a newly designed U.S. Army flag to a general, • Two National Geographic Magazines from 1943 and 1945 with articles about U.S. military insignia including "The Traditions and Glamour of Insignia" by DuBois, • A xerographic copy of an article about DuBois from a 1945 article in Yank magazine, and • Recently downloaded copies of two articles DuBois wrote for The Quartermaster Review (1928 and 1954).The file box is worn but the hinge is holding and the clasp works as it should. The ribbon samples are all in nice shape. Some of the text pages have toned and a few have dampstains. One binder is missing its front cover. In a draft preface to his unfinished work, DuBoise wrote that "This index of ribbons is the result of approximately 35 years" of work. He first began to work as a civilian for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in the very early 1920s just as it was being organized. A legendary stickler with regard for heraldic rules, he soon became its dominant force and eventually director of what was to become the The Institute of Heraldry which was expanded in 1954 to include the responsibility for developing and managing the symbolism associated with all federal services and departments. Not only did DuBois ensure heraldic rules were scrupulously followed, he personally designed many insignia, medals, flags, and other items including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, and the U.S. Army’s marksmanship badges. DuBoise apparently retired around 1960. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, DuBois did not complete this work. Although the draft does not consistently follow his plan as laid out in the table of contents, the work is extraordinary, especially his alphabetical listing of every medal or ribbon in the world—as of 1949—with annotations regarding its colors and issuing country. Unique. With some additional research and elbow grease, DuBois’s plan and his remarkable compilation of organized data could be used to publish a relatively easy-to-use guide that to facilitate the identification of world-wide military medals and awards by the colors of their ribbons.
Photograph album documenting service on the World War II Hospital Ship

Photograph album documenting service on the World War II Hospital Ship, USAHS Louis A. Milne

Compiled by Tec 5 Daniel J. Corcoran This comb-bound album measures 12" x 9" and contains approximately 225 images and several additional pieces of ephemera. About 170 of the images are vernacular photographs; the remainder are a mix of postcards, professional photographs, and half-tone prints. Most of the snap-shots measure approximately 4.5" x 3.75". All are mounted with photo-corners; the ephemera is laid-in. The cover of the faux-leather album features the seal of the Hawaiian Territory. Everything is in nice shape. The inside of the front cover features a postcard of the ship and names of all of its ports of call: Corregidor, Bataan, Manila, South Hampton, Cherbourg, Cuba, Azores, Panama, and Hawaii.About 135 of the photographs show the ship and members of the crew, both ashore and afloat while traversing the Panama Canal and in port at Honolulu. Most are captioned and many of the crewmembers are identified. There are no photos of patients, wards, or treatment facilities.The ephemera includes orders promoting Corcoran from Private First Class to Technician 5th Grade (the equivalent of a corporal), a liberty pass, a ration card, and a newspaper photo of the ship immediately before its commissioning.In 1944, the Army purchased an inter-coastal merchant steamer, the S/S Lewis A. Luckenbach, and began converting the vessel into a 1,000 bed hospital ship, the largest hospital ship of its time. It was commissioned in March of 1945, and immediately began shuttling patients from hospitals in the European Theater to hospitals (primarily Stark General Hospital) in Charleston, South Carolina. In August of 1945 it was transferred to the Pacific and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 22 September where the ship underwent some minor repairs for nine days. As there were no patients on board, the crew was allowed to enjoy some down time and tour Honolulu and the surrounding area. This album documents those nine days.Once the ship was repaired, it continued on to the Philippines and began to shuttle wounded from the Pacific Theater to hospitals in Honolulu, Oakland, San Pedro, and eventually Yokuska, Japan. The ship was decommissioned in August, 1946.Very scarce. As of 2018, there are no similar photograph collections of the USAHS Milne or other World War II hospital ships for sale in the trade or (per OCLC) held by institutions. Rare Book Hub shows no auction records for similar items.
Exceptional photograph album documenting college-life in the first quarter of the 20th Century

Exceptional photograph album documenting college-life in the first quarter of the 20th Century

Compiled by K. G. Feick The album measures 10" x 7" and contains over 280 photographs ranging in size from 1" x 1.5" to 7" x 5". The photos are glued to the pages; all are captioned. There are several newspaper clippings attached to the pages and laid-in. A program for the 1923 football game against Otterbein (Capital’s biggest rival) is attached inside the rear cover. Everything is in nice shape. Capital College (today Capital University) was founded in 1830 as the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Ohio over forty years before The Ohio State University began to take shape. It is the oldest university in Central Ohio and the largest Lutheran college in the United States. Freick is the likely compiler of this album as tick-marks have been placed by his name in many of the newspaper clippings. It began accepting women in 1918, the year Feick began assembling this album. Three of the 32 members of Feick’s graduating class were female, and they are included in the cameos of the graduates apparently removed from a school yearbook.The album contains photos of the campus, faculty members, students, and all aspects of college life. There are many team and individual portraits of football, tennis, baseball, basketball players. There are numerous photos of other extracurricular as well including the band, a fraternal organization, the glee club, and cheerleaders. Several images show the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.), a World War One forerunner of ROTC. One image shows the college May Pole and another shows three coeds studying under a tree. Several photos show students preparing to build tennis courts for the school and another group documents a visit to the campus by Warren Harding.Of special interest are a series of about 20 photographs of class rushes. While today, the term ‘rush’ refers to an aspect of Greek life that was not the case in the past. Class rushes were all-out organized, school sponsored fights or battles between students. At Capital, apparently two different rushes were held, a "cane rush" and a "sack rush." In cane rushes, usually a member of one class would brandish a cane at a large school event, perhaps right after chapel on Sunday, and shout something like "The freshman have the cane and the sophomores don’t." This challenge would then be taken to the quad or other open area one campus where the students would beat each other’s’ brains out until one class retained the cane and the other acknowledged defeat. A "sack rush" was slightly less violent. Generally, a number of large canvas sacks would be arranged on the ground and two classes would face off against each other. When the contest began, the students would rush to the sacks and attempt to drag them to their class’s goal line and multiple tugs-of-war would be fought.
25-year memory-commonplace book probably kept by the matriarch of Lowell

25-year memory-commonplace book probably kept by the matriarch of Lowell, Massachusetts family

Loraine] Coburn The journal measures 6.75" x 8.25". Approximately 300 pages filled with manuscript entries. About ten newspaper clippings laid-in or affixed inside the covers. The pages are in nice shape and the binding is holding although a few signatures are beginning to separate. The spine covering has perished and boards are present but not attached. The insides of the cover are filled with later doodling by others. Based upon a comparison of the names, dates, and locations written in the entries with various public records, it is likely that this journal was kept by Loraine Coburn of Lowell, Massachusetts whose husband, Fordyce, is listed in the 1880 census as "Superintendent Bleachery," probably of the famous Lowell Bleachery. The notebook mostly contains journal entries in chronological order, however there is a twenty-four page section devoted to recipes (primarily desserts), several small sections for "calls made" and "calls received," a small section for addresses, etc. The journal entries contain info about all phases of the extended family’s home life including: New shirts, dresses, garters, hats, petticoats, etc., both "store bought" and hand-made, Dinners including Prairie Chicken, Card games including cribbage, Sancho Pedro, and euchre, Trips and shopping in Boston and Amherst, "Entertainments" including amphions (concerts?) , "sings," lectures, etc., Attending a "Base Ball match" in 1875 ("Greek to me although Charlie tried to explain."), Teas, lawn parties, picnics, sleigh rides, etc., Laughing gas and teeth extractions, Mending socks and making soap, Baking pies, doughnuts, cookies, etc., Visits to fairs, Lowell’s (now Children’s) Island, and Jersey City, Holidays especially Independence Day, Decoration Day and Lexington and Concord day, and Detailed Christmas gift lists identifying presents received from and given to everyone in the family, some with prices paid.Recipes include Baked Omelets, Chow Chow, French Pickle, Newport Cake, Pork Cake, Cocoanut Cake, Harrison Cake, Gold and Silver Cake, Dolly Varden Cake, Fruit & Suet Pudding, Wine Jelly, Dressing for Chicken or Lobster Salad, Parker House Rolls, Spanish Cream, Snow Pudding, Mince Pies, and many more.An excellent first-hand account of an upper middle class family’s daily life during the last quarter of the 19th Century.
Archive of photographs and ephemera related to a jazz band leader who performed in Mexico

Archive of photographs and ephemera related to a jazz band leader who performed in Mexico, Germany, the S.S. Republic and later New York City Clubs and on the radio

Probably collected by Harry Braun This archive consists of a 14-page 12" x 7.5" album containing about 40 photographs and ten pieces of ephemera, three 13.5" x 11" full-band photos, and about 135 loose photos. The photographs vary in size, most are about 1.75" x 2.5" and 2.5" x 4". Most images are captioned. Items in the album have been mounted with photo-corners. The ephemera and vernacular photos are almost all in niice shape. The large photos have edge-wear. The album’s string binding is sound, although its covers are missing. It is arranged in chronological order. Contents include: Announcements of New York City club openings (Club Shadowland and Ulpia Club) in 1926 and 1928. 1929 photos of Braun and other presumed performers in Brownsville, Texas, some with an automobile advertising "New Orleans Club / Betty Russell / Matamoros, Mex." A note from the "’Louis’ Booking Office" on Broadway. A letter to his father while he was serving as the orchestra on a round-trip cruise from New York to Cherbourg, France along with ship photos-postcards, souvenir ship’s logs, and band member photos. Two photographs of Braun’s band while it was performing at the Café Alcazar in Hamburg along with a 1930 letter from a former band member who did not make the trip. An advertisement printed on a German inflationary note for "The Confidence Man" at Lowes State Theater along with a 1934 envelope addressed to Braun care of "Station W.H.N" at the theater. A 1937 advertisement from the "Man About Town" club on West 51st Street announcing "Jack Cole and his Boy’s" (sic) featuring Harry Braun on violin. The three large full-band photographs (two are identical) are uncaptioned. The show the 11 band members posing with their instruments including saxophones, trumpets, trombones, violins, a guitar, drums, and a pianist sans piano . The band members are wearing jackets (apparently of different colors) with what appear to be velvet cuffs and lapels. All are also wearing crisp, white ruffled ascots and shirts with ruffled cuffs.The loose photographs are of family, friends, and band members. The earliest is dated 1919; the latest are dated 1940 from the New York World’s Fair. A 1970 Newark, New Jersey newspaper clipping showing Braun receiving a life-time membership award from Jaycees International is included.An interesting collection featuring a jazz band violinist and orchestra leader who never hit the big-time but apparently was able to make a decent living for his wife and family. As of 2019, while autographed photos and letters from big-time musicians abound in the trade, auction houses, and at institutions, there are no similar collections depicting the life of successful, but not prominent, journeyman jazz men or band leaders for sale in the trade or that the Rare Book Hub shows have been sold by auction. OCLC identifies three similar archives held by institutions.
Photograph album documenting the training of a male nurse at the William Mason Memorial Hospital during the 1920s

Photograph album documenting the training of a male nurse at the William Mason Memorial Hospital during the 1920s

Compiled by John L. Upton The album measures 11" x 7.5" and contains over 120 photographs documenting the time Upton was training to become a nurse at the William Mason Memorial Hospital in Murray, Kentucky. Most of the photos measure about 3" x 4", some are larger. In addition to the photos, there is a color postcard of the hospital and a laminated newspaper clipping about Upton entering the nursing program at 34 years of age. Everything has been glued to the album pages. Upton was born in Arkansas in 1900 and had no education at all when he enlisted in Army at the beginning of World War One. While serving in France, he decided "that ignorance could get him no place and he determined to to ‘get an education’ [and eventually did so,] Most of it through self-instruction." After finally earning enough high school credits he enrolled in the nursing program at the hospital and upon graduation worked at the Toledo State Hospital (also known as the Toledo Insane Asylum) in Ohio.The photos in this album show: Upton and his female colleagues in uniform and mufti in group poses and candid shots, caring for new born babies, working in the kitchen and eating in the dining room, in surgery, at a nurses station, using a microscope at the laboratory-pharmacy, operating an ex-ray machine, writing on a blackboard, etc. Wards, some with patients in beds, Hospital corridors and wall lockers, Exterior hospital views and three 5"x7" images of part of the hospital (or a previous hospital building) being destroyed by fire, Funeral services, and few of Friends or family.Prior to the Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton era, men were commonly involved in care for the sick and injured, and in the United State a number of men served as nurses in the Spanish-American War. However, by the early years of the 20th century, nursing had become an almost entirely female profession, and very few nursing schools admitted male students. The William Mason Memorial Hospital was one of the few that did, even advertising in religious newspapers that males were welcome. Of the very few men who became nurses, most worked on male wards or caring for mentally ill patients at asylums for the insane, as Upton did upon graduation. See Judd and Stitzman’s A History of Nursing in the United States and "Wanted. – Nurses for training school" in the Southern Union Worker, Volume XIII, #25, June 19, 1924, (a Seventh Day Adventist newspaper).Very scarce. As of 2019, no similar items are for sale in the trade or held by institutions per OCLC. The Rare Book Hub shows none have been sold at auction.
Wilfrid and Mary; or

Wilfrid and Mary; or, Father and Daughter, A Domestic Comedy illustrative of American Slave Life

St. Bo, Theodore First American Edition. Complete with 72 pages. 4.5" x 7.5". Sound binding; rear hinge starting. Light soiling to some pages. Sunned cover with gilded, stamped title. Spine covering has all but perished. An excellent example of an abolitionist play of "exquisite reality of representation" published for the British market. St. Bo (a pseudonym for an unidentified author) probably never intended for his play to be performed and there is no record of any public production. This romantic melodrama touches upon many conventions and stereotypes of abolitionist novels and theater: a dastardly overseer, a sympathetic plantation owner with a faithful Uncle Tomish slave who illegally has been taught to read, a coon song, a harrowing escape, minstrel-like dialect and jokes, laws against miscegenation, the Fugitive Slave Act, etc. It centers on Wilfrid, a Georgia widower whose plantation was located near Milledgeville, and his daughter, Mary. Wilfrid has just recently learned that, perhaps through mismanagement or fraud by his evil overseer, Swanston all of his property, including his slaves have fallen under the control of a conniving and lecherous lawyer, Vellum. As the date of sale for the estate approaches, Vellum informs Wilfrid that he knows his hidden secret; Mary is Wilfrid’s daughter by his now deceased beloved "quadroon concubine." Vellum informs Wilfrid, that Mary will be sold at public auction along with the other slaves unless Wilfrid agrees that he may purchase her in a direct, discrete sale. After Wilfrid informs the very light-skinned Mary, who had no idea her mother had been a slave, of their plight, she runs to her appropriately named true love, Wilberforce, who crafts a successful plan to foil Vellum and allow all three to escape to Canada via Cincinnati. See "Wilfrid and Mary" in MacPail’s Edinburgh Ecclesiastical Journal and Literary Review, CLXXV, June 1861 and Collins’s American Drama in Antislavery Agitation 1792-1861.Rather scarce outside of institutional holdings, although reprints, microform, and digital editions are available. As of 2019, although about thirty institutions hold copies.
Collection of American Tract Society

Collection of American Tract Society, Philadelphia Tract House Civil War patriotic envelopes (covers) used by a soldier in the 31st Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry

Mailed by 22 postally used envelopes, each with the same imprint on the reverse, "Tract House, 929 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia." Large vignettes with either a Bible verse or encouraging aphorism are printed in the front of each, and related smaller vignettes and short pithy phrases are on the reverse. All are franked with 3-cent Washington stamps (Scott #65) postmarked at various locations, and all are in much better shape than usually found. Unfortunately, there are no letters. During the Civil War, a number of printing houses sold patriotic envelopes and lettersheets, often as ‘kits,’ for use by civilians and soldiers alike. They were most popular during 1861 and 1862, when Union confidence was high and the horrors of war yet unrealized. The American Tract Society was already a long-time publisher of religious tracts that were distributed by colporters and at Tract House in several cities. The Tract House of Philadelphia produced less jingoist, religious and temperance designs, however as noted philatelist, Richard Frajola,deter,omed it "evidently came late to the game and few of their envelopes were used and have survived." It appears that their printing life-span was quite short as they are not listed in the Society’s House catalog, Publications of the American Tract Society, September, 1864. See Ten Years of Colportage by the American Tract Society, "Dating American Tract Society Publications through 1876" by S. J. Wolfe, and "Tract House Patriotics" by Richard Frajola. Not listed in Weiss.This collection of Tract House covers were all sent by Musician Oliver Shibley of the 31st Iowa Volunteers to his wife at home in Clarence, Iowa. Although the regiment served from October of 1862 to June of 1865, Oliver use of these covers ends in March of 1864, probably when he used the last from his kit. The letters are dated in pencil on the reverse and postmarked from Illinois (Cairo), Tennessee (Memphis, Nashville), or Mississippi (Vicksburg), and follow the path of the 31st’s campaigns which included the Battles of Chicasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Snyder’s Bluff, Vicksburg, and Lookout Mountain. Docketing on one of the Memphis envelopes reads "Received July 11th / Vicksburg". It no doubt contained news of the fall of the city on July 4th.This is the most complete group of these exceptionally scarce envelopes known. In 2010, Fajola created a philatelic exhibit using 21 of these exact envelopes. In it, he noted, "Quite probably the covers represent a nearly complete set of the different designs. . . ." The covers are from the Floyd E. Risvold Collection was sold during Spinks-Shreves Galleries Sale 121 in January of 2010. While none of these envelopes are currently for sale in the book-ephemera trade, individual examples occasionally show up in philatelic catalogs with sales prices exceeding $300. OCLC shows that nine examples are held by the Free Library of Philadelphia, and an unreported number by the Library Company of Philadelphia. The American Antiquarian Society has 14 examples in its holdings.
A seven-year account book

A seven-year account book, titled Blacksmith, identifying the materials purchased from and services provided by nine New Hampshire blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and carriage dealers

Unidentified compiler This notebook measures 3.75" x 6" and contains approximately 210 pages of records identifying purchases of material and services from nine different Nashua blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and carriage dealers. The notebook is titled "Blacksmith" on the front cover and front endpaper. The spine covering is missing as is its rear cover; the front cover has been neatly reattached. While the company or agency that maintained the ledger is not identified, a number of men who made purchases are identified by last name. A cursory check of the 1880 census shows that at least three of them (Chamberlain, Davidson, and Hale) were "teamsters." There is a list of nine individuals and companies inside the front cover: Q.A. Woodward, T. P. Glover, Geo T. Tryon, Tryon & Urguhort, Lovejoy & Houtchins, C. E. Batchelder, H. H. Coward & Lamarsh, Gerward, and Joseph Lamarsh. Contemporary Nashua records and advertisements identify six of these as Blacksmiths, Horseshoers, Wheelwrights, Jobbers, and Dealers in Carriages and Sleighs. Each vendor has a number of separate pages where quarterly or semi-annual purchases from them are recorded. Some of the entries include: Axle oiling; Cart, collar, and pail repair; Horseshoeing; Replacement of side and tail boards; Setting wheels, tires, and spokes; Snow plow and scraper repair; Spring, hook, and chain fabrication; Tool sharpening, and more.A unique record of work provided by what are probably all of the blacksmith and related shops operating in Nashua during the 1880s. As of 2019, there are four ledgers for individual blacksmith shops for sale in the trade, and the Rare Book Hub shows about a dozen have been sold at auction over the last 75 years. Many blacksmith account books are held by institutions.
Terrific early Galveston letter by one of its founders

Terrific early Galveston letter by one of its founders , a former officer in the Texas Navy, defending the Republic against spurious comments made by a childhood friend in Connecticut

Lent Munson Hitchcock to N. J. Wordin This 4-page folded letter measures 14.75" x 9" unfolded. It was written in Galveston on May 24th, 1838. The front panel bears a manuscript "25" rate marking indicating the U.S. cost to send a letter over 400 miles. It bears a circular red New Orleans postmark dated June 8 and has a manuscript annotation in the lower left corner that reads, "Texas / L.M.H Jr" which probably indicates that Hitchcock or a friend physically carried the letter to Galveston where it was placed in the U.S. mail. It is in nice shape with a few small separations beginning at some mailing folds and old glue stains, probably from being previously mounted for display. Transcript will be included. In his letter, Hitchcock clearly bristles in his reply to an old friend that has disparaged the Republic:. In his letter, Hitchcock clearly bristles in his reply to an old friend that has disparaged the Republic: "There is not such a vast difference between our various manners & customs as you may suppose. . . . The only difference I can see is that there is more sterling honesty, and more manly feeling is exhibited here than in the North. But no insinuations Friend W. . . . I can discern by the tenor of your letter that your opinions are in common with all our northern brethren, that we are as it were outcasts from society, that crime stalks abroad midday without fear of detection or punishment, but you are much mistaken. . . . I can assure you that honesty is much the best policy, even in Texas. When I take a view of the first, a handful of men declaring their Independence from, and maintaining it, against millions, when I look on the present condition of this Country, a flourishing town building here, a church there, a Sunday School established in almost every village, and when I look forward & see in the mist of futurity, this Country . . . bidding fair to rival the U S . . . I cannot but feel the proudest satisfaction in knowing that I participated in the glorious struggle which rescued the finest portion of the Earth from the Goths & Vandals of the New World, and contemplate with feelings too great for utterance that I too am a Texas Citizen. . . . Were the same opportunity offered me in the North that I enjoy, I do not think . . . that I would accept it. My Country has been assaulted with every abusive epithet that malice or envy could pen, but each word spoken against her only binds me closer to her. You made no apology for expressing your sentiments for me . . . it is a pleasing task to put you right when you are in error." He further informs his friend that "You will be surprised to hear how rapidly Texas is improving & especially this place. On the morning of 6th Oct last there was but one house left standing [from the devastating hurricane of October 1, 1837], now there are more than forty houses. Our large hotel is open and another, much larger than any Bridgeport can boast . . . will be finished in a month. Several large warehouses are built [and] two are now in progress. . . . Everything is prosperous. . . . My situation is an important one and sometimes very arduous. I frequently sign my name . . . 400 times a day to public documents. Our revenue is rapidly increasing. This office now employs 8 clerks and 9 Customs House Officers." A native of Connecticut, and a sea captain’s son, Hitchcock became a sailor, first as a cabin boy, the age of 14 in 1830. In 1836 joined the Texas Navy as a Lieutenant and served aboard the warship Brutus, escorting supply ships between New Orleans and Galveston, blockading the Rio Grande and Matamoros, and hunting Mexican vessels along the coast. He resigned from the Navy in 1837 and moved to what was to become the city of Galveston in 1838 where he became its first Harbormaster, a post he would hold for 30 years. He was instrumental in forming the first city government in August of 1838, and served eight terms as an alderman, four terms as treasurer, and several times as the acting mayor and council clerk. An astute business man, by 1840 he owned four lots in town and by 1850 had added a grocery store, ship’s chandlery, and the Tremont Hotel to his holdings. By 1860 his wealth was estimated at $60,000 in personal property and $60,000 in real estate. It is often reported that in 1838 Captain Hitchcock sold the merchant ship, Potomac, to the Republic for conversion into a warship, but it was more likely his father as Hitchcock Jr. had probably not accumulated enough wealth at that point in his life to have owned a ship by himself. See the "Galveston Daily News," Feb. 23, 1986 and Dienst’s ‘The Navy of the Republic of Texas,’ in "The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association." Vol. 12, No. 4 (Apr., 1909). The date of the letter, May 24, 1838, is significant. The first official post office was opened by the postmaster Captain Peter J. Menard on the 22nd of October. This letter was mailed on its third day of operation and before the office had received a postmarking device. It is possible that this is the earliest extant mail sent after its opening. See Braake’s "Texas, the Drama of its Postal Past."
Stampless "War Rate" letter from a land owner in Prince William County

Stampless "War Rate" letter from a land owner in Prince William County, Virginia offering to sell property to a colleague in Genesee County, New York

John Fitzhugh to Joseph Fellows This three-page stampless letter measures 12.5" x 7.5". It is dated "Elm Wood 19th Sept 1815" and bears a manuscript "Dumfr 19 Sept" postmark applied at Dumfries, Virginia along with a "37½" postal rate mark, the cost to send a letter over 500 miles during the War of 1812 (150% of the normal 25-cent charge). The letter is in nice shape. A transcript will be provided. In this letter, Fitzhugh–a Virginia landowner–provides a counteroffer to Fellows regarding the sale of land in New York "cheaper than to almose any other person from the consideration that my payments would be always sure which is a very great consideration to a person living at the distance that I do." The property likely belonged to his wife, Jane Champe Helm, who records reveal was born in Virginia but came from a New York family. Fitzhugh’s Virginia property, Elm Wood (later known as Fairview or Herndon Farm), was located about 18 miles northwest of Dumfries, part of what today is the Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area near the northwest corner of Marine Corps Base Quantico. At the time, Dumfries (the oldest continuously chartered town in Virginia and once the second most important port in Colonial America and a rival of New York, Philadelphia and Boston) was the county seat of Prince William County. A very nice stampless letter from the early days of Prince William County, Virginia. 37½ cent "war rate" covers are scarce and although the American Stampless Cover Catalog notes that manuscript-postmarked Dumfries mail from 1802-1821 exists, it is held by institutions. As of 2019, searches of past sales at the major philatelic auction houses identify only three 37½ cent "war rate" covers and no manuscript Dumfries postmarks. None of either are listed at Frajola’s PhilaMercury database.
Huntley & Palmers Biscuit Book Tins

Huntley & Palmers Biscuit Book Tins

Created by Huntley, Boorne & Stevens Two wonderful examples of Huntley & Palmers famous figural biscuit tins (i.e., cookie tins in Americanese). Multi-book tins are titled Literature in Huntley & Palmer references. This multi-book tin measures approximately 6.5" x 6.25" x 4.75" and is in the shape of eight bound books strapped together by a belt. All the books are by different authors. Company information "Huntley & Plamers Biscuits / Reading & London" is stamped on the base. Almost no wear. This is an example of the first Literature tin produced by the company. Its included ‘books’ reflect some of the most popular authors and titles of the time: Thomas Macauley’s History of England (the full set is represented by one volume), John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, a collection of works by Robert Burns, Charles Dicken’s The Pickwick Papers, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Samuel Smiles’s Self Help, and a volume of Shakespeare’s works. Interestingly, only Smiles’s Self Help, with its emphasis upon hard work as the foundation of creativity and success, is almost unheard of in today’s world. Literature tins proved to be one of the company’s most popular tins and were produced, in ten different variations until 1924. The single-book tin measures approximately 10" x 7" x 1.5". The tin is the shape of a book with a hand-tooled cover. Almost no wear. This tin is often misattributed as being based a book in the British Library, Het Boek Der Gebeden. Actually, it is a facsimile of a Grolier design of a book held in the Princeton library: Fragmenta aurea by Sir John Suckling, London: Printed for Humphrey Moseley, 1646. The Princeton catalog notes it was "bound at the Club Bindery, New York City, in the late 19th century. Red crushed morocco, gold-tooled with onlaid black hollow-lozenge. The creation of British biscuit tins is credited to Owen Jones, a consultant to the printing firm of Thomas de la Rue. Jones, who designed the first transfer-printed tin in 1868 for Huntley & Palmers. After offset lithography was invented in 1877, the firm began to print multicolored designs on complexly shaped containers. Huntley & Palmer figural tins have become popular collectibles, even in worn or shabby condition. They are especially scarce in condition as nice as these examples.See Corley’s Quaker Enterprise in Biscuits: Huntley & Palmers of Reading, 1822–1972 and The Huntley & Palmers Collection online.
A lively letter from Houston to New York that with considerable information about an average Texan's concern that President Sam Houston was preparing to turn traitor and sell out the Republic to British and Mexican interests

A lively letter from Houston to New York that with considerable information about an average Texan’s concern that President Sam Houston was preparing to turn traitor and sell out the Republic to British and Mexican interests

E. L. Perkins to Col. Joseph Juliand This four-page folded letter measures 15.5" x 9.5" unfolded. It is datelined "Houston 4th Dec. 1843" with a second date, "Dec. 6th" in a postscript. The letter bears a circular red postmark reading "New-York / Jan 12." A blue manuscript annotation, which appears to read "18½" (the U.S. postal rate for delivery of mail between 150 and 400 miles) is in the upper right corner. In nice shape with a few small separations along mailing folds. Perkins provides a fascinating discourse on the average Texan’s concern about President Sam Houston: "With regard to our future prospects . . . we are looking forward to a restoration or annexation both national & domestic. Nationally to the next U.S. Congress for relief and hoping and believing that their eyes have been opened to the true policy of England. Our Rulers are undoubtedly opposed to annexation (I mean our President [Sam Houston]) but were a vote to be taken seven eighths would say "Aye" – Our President is openly charged with being secretly at work with the British Minister to Texas (Capt. Elliott) in bringing about an arrangement which we shall come under the protection of that Government – which will eventually result in the sale of Texas to E., a very desirable ‘neck of the woods’ this, to England – it would enable her to say to the U.S. your bounds are marked – can it be possible that the U.S. will allow this. – Genl Murphy the U.S. Minister to this country has lately made known some facts which are the subject of general conversation among others that he has obtained copies of a correspondence between Houston, Capt. Elliott and Santa Anna, whereby Houston is to acknowledge the sovereignty of Mexico, as soon as that is done we are to be handed over to England by Mexico in payment of the Mexican debt to E. Houston is to be appointed Gov Genl for life. We cannot but fear that there is traitorous conduct a foot. Genl. M. says that Sam Houston will prove a Benedict Arnold, this is certainly very severe and it is not to be supposed he would make an assertion of the kind, if there were not grounds for it. . . . all I can say is ‘save Lord or we perish.’" Many historians contend that Houston’s machinations with England and Mexico were intended to drive the U.S. into annexing Texas. Nonetheless, they caused considerable consternation among the citizens of Texas. See "Hard Road to Texas: Texas Annexation, 1836-1845" online at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Diplomatic Relations of the Republic of Texas" and "Elliott Charles" in The Handbook of Texas Online at the Texas State Historical Association, A fascinating record of the political turmoil in Texas just before its annexation. Quite scarce. As of 2019, OCLC shows only one institutional holding of a letter from a Texian discussing the possibility of annexation, and the description does not indicate if Houston’s questionable actions are discussed. Nothing similar is for sale in the trade, and there are no similar auction records at the Rare Book Hub.
Civil War letter from Union soldier besieging Petersburg

Civil War letter from Union soldier besieging Petersburg, Virginia describing shelling by Confederate artillery

By "George" Civil War letter from Union soldier besieging Petersburg, Virginia describing shelling by Confederate artillery. By "George." Near Petersburg, VA: [1865]In this three-page letter, datelined "in Camp near pettersburgs Va," to a younger brother, George makes light of the discomfort of camp life and describes how he jokes with himself to make it more palatable: "i found a further (feather) the other night i turned over the bord and put it on remine me of a further bead (feather bed). i sleep as soft as thoe i was on the soft side of a pine board."More importantly, he describes an artillery barrage, enemy desertions, and his weariness of the war: "the rebels is a harde set of men to fight but tha cant com up with our boys. . . . we are in plane sight of pettersburgs, we had orders this morning to advance and charge on pettersburgs but it so hapened we did not if we had we wold ben cut down like grass before a sith but we are waiting for further orders the rebels fire shells at ous and tha burst over our heads as thick as hale tha killed three or men of another regiment. the rebes are coming in our lines daly 27 came in tha say that tha wer evakuating pettersburgs and i hope tha will for i am tired of this cruel war the sooner it is over the better i shall be suted and i hope the lord will spare my life to come home once more to see you all and if not i pray we may [meet] whare peace is proclamed forever."
Civil War soldier's letter from an atrocious speller describing the layout of the massive complex of forts and camps in Norther Virginia where tens of thousands of Union soldiers lived in tent cities

Civil War soldier’s letter from an atrocious speller describing the layout of the massive complex of forts and camps in Norther Virginia where tens of thousands of Union soldiers lived in tent cities, some on top of Union graves from the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)

Private Moses B Aldrich This two-page letter is datelined "Near Alexander va Nov 13th 1862." It is complete with an inch of toning along the top edge. Short .5" splits starting at the ends of one mailing fold. A transcript will be included. Aldrich was a member of the 12th Rhode Island Infantry. The regiment mustered into service on 18 October 1862. It was immediately deployed to Washington, DC and assigned to Casey’s Division. It encamped near Arlington Heights and Fairfax Seminary in Northern Virginia as part of the Union’s defense of the Capitol following its defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas). In his letter, Aldrich reports: "as to the country it is all ruend hear if the North was in the same shap as the south is I think they might began to grumble for all you can see har is tents for a fur as you can see and the ground is all trampld up wee are a mile beyond fair fax cemnary and 2 miles this side Alxander on the East fort Elsworth on the south fort lions on the west fort Worth on the north fort Blanker we are about in the midle of them sence I left Washington I have not seen a fence nor a stoon wal nor cant see one for as far as I can see and I can see for 20 miles. . . . you think that five hundred are a good meney but if you bee on revue whare thare is 25000 as thare was last Sunaday you might think tham was a fine. they say that foks don’t sleep with dead focks but I don’t bleeve it for I have sleep with ded fooks thay were fixen our tent and the ground was uneven and in digen it level wee dug one foot deap we dug out a man that was bared in a fue days after the battle of bull run under whare I sleep but all of the ground is full of Dead hear" He also mentions that he visited Alexandria where he saw the place of Colonel Ellsworth murder, purchased some song sheets, and was horrified by the number and condition of the sick and wounded: "I was yesterday to Alxandr and see where Col Alwerth was kiled in the Marchall Hotell and when I come by the north of Alxander and see the wounded and sick and disabled solgers thare is 16000 of them the most disgraded beans that I ever see in my life. . . . You can tell the girls that I bot some songs for them when I was to Alxander but lost them out of my pocket but I will get some more for them" The occupation of Northern Virginia was peaceful, with the sole exception of Alexandria, where Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth was killed at the Marshall House hotel while removing the Confederate flag flying above it. For seven weeks Union forts were built along the Potomac River and planning was begun to construct a ring of camps to protect Washington. Following the Union defeat at Bull Run, makeshift camps and forts were built throughout the Arlington region to defend direct approaches to the Capitol. Forts Ellsworth, Lyon, Worth, and Blenker (later renamed Reynolds) were some of the most significant.
Commercial letter from London to the United States discussing the prospect of continuing the War of 1812 delivered by the American privateer

Commercial letter from London to the United States discussing the prospect of continuing the War of 1812 delivered by the American privateer, Brutus, just as the British were imposing a blockade on American harbors

From James Pritt & Co. to J. R. Parker This two-page stampless folded letter measures 15.75" by 10" unfolded. It is datelined "duplicate London 30th January 1813." The letter was forwarded to New York after originally having been addressed to Boston. It bears a straight-line "SHIP" handstamp and two receiving postmarks, one from Newport, Rhode Island dated May 15 and one from Boston dated May 19. There are two postage due rate marks. One for "12" cents postage due for delivery from London to Boston has been partially obliterated, and a second for "17" cents includes the additional cost to forward the letter to New York. The letter was carried from London to the United States by the American Brig Brutus as attested to by a manuscript annotation in the lower left corner. The letter is in nice shape with a hole-not affecting any text-where the wax seal was broken upon opening. A transcript will be included. In this letter, the London merchant asks for Parker’s opinion regarding a recent decree by the Prince Regent (the future George IV who ruled Great Britain during the final years of his father’s, George III, mental illness) that signaled a willingness to allow American merchant ships access to French ports if France would reciprocate with regard to British ports: "Long before this you will have received the Prime Regents declaration, how it may be looked on in America we know not, but it is considered by all parties here, as an admirable state paper, chiefly on account of its truth and moderation. Glad shall we be to learn that its operation in America has been such as to produce something like a reciprocity in the case, then, there would be ground to hope that the unnatural War in which we are now involved would not be of long duration. . . ." He also cautions that "if the American Government is determined to continue their present course, till they have conquered Canada, or compelled the British Nation to alter or relax its code of Naval Law, the War must then be a long one, to say nothing of the Government. There is scarcely an individual in the Nation, that would not willingly risk its all in support of its ancient rights." When President James Madison declared war upon Great Britain in June of 1812 for its seizure of American ships and impressment of men serving upon them, his act was seen as little more than an annoyance as England was preoccupied with its war against Napoleon. The Prince Regent, who had no appetite for wasting resources fighting a North American war and was also in need of American flour, was more than willing to broker a peace agreement providing the United States did not attempt to seize Canada and recognized Britain’s right to reclaim former English seaman who were sailing on American ships. Pritt’s letter expresses these same sentiments quite clearly and succinctly. The circumstances surrounding the delivery of this letter beg for further research. First, it is possible that the delivery of this letter to Newport rather than New York is the related to the British blockade of American ports. Rather than deploying British army forces to fight on land, on November 27 of 1812, the British Navy was ordered to begin blockading American ports and prevent any merchant or military ships from entering or departing those harbors. It did this in four successive phases, and the blockade of New York began in late May of 1813, however the blockade of Rhode Island and points north was not begun until the following April. That this letter is a "duplicate" is also puzzling, as is the ship that carried it. Presumably the original of Pritt’s letter was first sent in January of 1812 and this copy five months later. This is possibly related to British interceptions of American vessels on the high seas, as only licensed ships carrying supplies needed by Lord Wellington’s army and prisoner-exchange cartels went unmolested. British naval records reflect that the American Brig Brutus was seized in early January of 1813, but likely retaken, and American records suggest that the Brutus also operated as a privateer under a letters-of-marque throughout the war. (See "The Naval Chronicle for 1813," Vol 29, p 338; Coggeshall’s "History of the American Privateers and Letters-of-Marque," and Frajola’s "The British Naval Blockade during the War of 1812." Quite an unusual letter documenting both British interest in quickly resolving the war as well as resolve with regard to ownership of Canada and "Naval Law" made all the more interesting by its timing, route, and mode of delivery immediately before the onset of the British Navy’s blockade of American ports.
A Japanese patriotic

A Japanese patriotic, pop-up lettersheet sent by a sailor from the U.S. Naval Hospital at Yokohama, Japan to his sister in Arizona

Errett] Burke to Edna Burke This lettersheet measures 14" x 6.75" unfolded. Inside, half of the sheet is filled with a colorful illustration of a Japanese woman daydreaming of her valiant soldier boyfriend/husband as she writes a letter to him. A honey-comb pop-up representing vibrant green bushes is in the upper left quarter of the letter sheet. It includes crossed flags. One is the National flag, the Nisshoki (Sun Mark) also known as the Hinomaru (Circle of the Sun); the other is the Japanese Imperial Army’s flag, the Jy rokuj -Kyokujitsu-ki (Rising Sun). The message is dated "U.S. Naval Hospital Yokahama Japan Dec7/05." The Japanese stamps used to post the letter have been peeled away leaving and relatively unobtrusive scuff. Backstamps show that it was received in Ash Fork, Arizona on Dec 27, 1905 after transiting through Seattle. Minor wear. The lettersheet, was, of course, issued during the patriotic fervor that gripped Japan following their annihilation of the Russia’s eastern fleet and army during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. That war began with Japanese sneak attack upon Russian forces at Port Arthur without first declaring war. Eerily portentous, the letter was written on the 7th of December, the same calendar date that Japan would later begin an undeclared war upon the United States with its infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.The U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokohama was established in 1872 on a bluff overlooking the city specifically to treat sick or injured sailors assigned to the Asiatic Fleet. The Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy notes that "in absence of our naval vessels in Japanese waters consequence to the Russo-Japanese War reduced somewhat the number of cases treated in this hospital. . . ." It also reports in a different section that the USS Concord transferred two injured soldier to the hospital while docked at Nagasaki in May. Perhaps, Burke was one of those patients.
Small collection of programs and advertising flyers from regional African-American theater productions in Illinois

Small collection of programs and advertising flyers from regional African-American theater productions in Illinois

Perhaps collected by William Warfield There are six programs and flyers of varying sizes. All in nice shape, one with pencil notes. "Porgy and Bess." Starring legendary bass-baritone William Warfield and Bernice Fraction. Presented at the Festival Theatre by the University of Illinois School of Music and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Champaign-Urbanna: 21-25 July 1976. 6-panel fold-out program. This was likely one of Warfield’s last stage performances as Porgy (the role that made him famous in the 1950s at the New York City Opera) as he was no longer able to hit the climactic high note in Ole Man River. "How to Beat Old Age." By Alice C. Browning. Presented by the International Black Writers’s Conference. Directed, produced and promoted by Glorisa Johnson at the McCormick Inn, Chicago: 20-21 August 1976. 16-page amateurish playbill with list of "Friends of Off-Loop Plays" including Pearl Baily and a schedule for an "IBWC Benefit Dinner." "A Black Woman Speaks." Starring Beah Richards (most famous for her portrayal of Sidney Portier’s mother in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) in a production based on her book of poetry. Three leaves including a flyer, program, and calendar of Black History Month events. Pencil notes on calendar detail the coordination for her day-long visit to the University of Illinois on 2 February 1978 where she met with students, held a press conference, and performed. At the time of the performance William Warfield was a Professor of Music at the university and likely coordinated her visit. "In the House of the Blues: A Musical Review." Produced by Val Ward, directed by Buddy Butler, and written by David Charles. Performed at the Kuumba Theatre by the Kuumba Repertory Company, Chicago: [1985]. The review "was devoted to female blues singer who got their start in ‘tent’ shows-also referred to as ‘medicine’ shows-[where] artists would compete to attract the audience’s attention [while] influencing one another." (See Lacava’s ‘The Theatricality of the Blues’ in "Black Music Review Journal," Spring, 1992.) "The Trials of Brother Jero." By Wole Soyinka. Directed by Leslie Rainey. Performed by the Northside Players at the Parkside College Theatre, Champaign-Urbanna: 5-14 September 1986. Program with three inserts. "Po’." Directed by Chuck Smith with choreography by Wilbert Bradley. Book and lyrics by Dr. Philip Brown, Rufus "Maestro Bones" Hill, and Keithen Carter. A benefit for the National Alliance Against Racist Political Oppression by the Chicago Theatre Company at the Parkway Theatre: 22 September [198?]. Apparently scarce. As of 2019, none of these programs or flyers are listed at OCLC, the Rare Book Hub, or for sale in the trade. Apparently scarce. As of 2019, none of these programs or flyers are listed at OCLC, the Rare Book Hub, or for sale in the trade.
The pinnacle of postal advertising: three end-of-the-19th Century Seabury & Johnson 'all-over" multicolor illustrated advertising envelopes

The pinnacle of postal advertising: three end-of-the-19th Century Seabury & Johnson ‘all-over" multicolor illustrated advertising envelopes

George Seabury Three all-over chromolithographic Seabury & Johnson advertising covers, all are franked with 2-cent Washington stamps (Scott #279B) tied by New York machine cancellations dated between 1898 and 1901. Faint illustrations of the S&J factory are in the address field of each envelope. All three are in excellent shape and worthy of a featured place in a competitive philatelic exhibit. – One cover, printed in nine colors, has a yellow background and features the S&J lady trademark in a red cross logo and labels for Benson’s Plaster. An illustration of a Benson Plaster is on the reverse. – One cover, printed in ten colors, has a dark green background and features the S&J lady trademark in a red cross in a yellow circle surrounded by gold medals. The reverse features two men and one woman using Benson’s Plaster for relief from colds and pain. – One cover, printed in twelve colors, has a grey background and features a youth lifting a radiant crown labeled Seabury & Johnson next to an illustration of the Seabury Building in New York. The reverse features two Benson Plaster labels and the S&J lady trademark. George "Seabury was the president of Seabury & Johnson with offices in the Seabury Building on Maiden Lane in New York City. He founded the firm which manufactured ‘antiseptics, medical and surgical supplies’ in 1873 with Robert Wood Johnson. Their partnership was a rocky one with the two men having contrasting opinions for the direction of the firm. So tense was their coexistence that in 1885 Seabury was deliberately absent from the annual stockholder’s meeting. It all came to a head on July 18 that year when Johnson resigned, selling his half-interest to Seabury, who continued using the long-established name of Seabury & Johnson." (See "The George J. Seabury House" online at Daytonian in Manhattan.) Although Johnson agreed to refrain from marketing competing products for ten years, his two brothers founded Johnson & Johnson the following year in 1886 and were eventually joined by Robert who then led the company to leadership in the medical supply field. "The American Illustrated Cover Catalog" notes that Seabury & Johnson envelopes are "the PREMIER illustrated covers of the medical area" and that George Seabury may have created the designs himself. Of the seven different illustrated envelopes used by the company, these three ornate covers (AICC M188, M189, and M191) are the most sought after by collectors.
Detailed letter from a miner at the most infamous of all California Gold Rush camps

Detailed letter from a miner at the most infamous of all California Gold Rush camps, Mokelumne Hill

From Henry B. Holmes to Southworth Barnes This three-page stampless folded letter measures 15.5" x 9.75" unfolded. The letter is datelined "Moquolumne Hill Oct the 22nd 1851." It bears no postmark so undoubtedly ‘favor carried,’ probably by a returning miner. It is complete with a few small holes that do not hinder legibility. Some light dampstains. A transcript will be included. In this letter to his uncle, Holmes describes in detail life at Mokelumne Hill and the dangerous mining method used by prospectors there: "I reside at Moquolumne Hill and . . . if the rains sets in this winter the prospects will be very good for the miners they have got there dirt out of there holes and are laying it deep in piles to wash when the rain comes on. Some I suppose will get amply paid for their labor the holes here run from seventy to a hundred and twenty five feet deep. It would aston you if you would decend one of them and see the wonderful work of man. They have tore the gulches up and ravines and have gone into the hills there they find richer than ever there is trouble though and more time and expense in sinking these deep holes and a grate many of them get disappointed sinking them for some do not make enough to pay their way through whilst some get their piles and return home to the states. The hills around this vicenity have proved very rich but then they have not been half worked . . . and it is very dangerous to work in them when the ground is damp and wet on account of the bank caveing in but then there is some though big fools enough to work in them if they thought they was to be killed the next minute so eager are they for the precious metal but I consider my life worth more than all the gold ther is in Calafornia. . . . "There is now in this town about four or five thousand inhabitants where a year ago their was scarcely five hundred this place is improveing fast houses are building here now every day Not cloth ones but good substantial frame buildings such as we have at home. . . . There is now under way at the time of my writing two large frame buildings and one meeting house the latter will be much used here I hope by the people for there is plenty who ought to have the word of God preached to them. . . . "Lett me tell you how a Sunday is spent here, there is agenal thing more people in town on a Sunday than any other day the come in from all quarters from three and four miles off and by two o’clock the streets are crowded with men some are buying their weeks Provisions others are drink and curousing and other Playing into people that is loseing their money at Gambling and by night through the influence of Liquor they have a pretty noisey time of it here at sundown, these houses have a band to play for them to entice men into their houses to spend their money at the lower end of the town it is mostly inhabited by Mexicans and Spainiards and carry on their shouting and singing till Midnight I hope I shall reach home soon so I shall get out off this den off sin and inequity." Gold was first discovered at Mokelumne Hill in 1848 during the Mexican-American War by a member of the New York Regiment of Volunteers, and soon a party of miners from Oregon descended upon the region. The original placers were so rich in gold that the first miners were said to have risked starvation rather than travel to Stockton to replenish supplies. Soon, it was discovered that the hills surrounding the original claims were filled with gold, and ‘Moke Hill’ became one of the largest towns in California. Its population mushroomed to almost 15,000 miners from the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, China, and Chile, whose 16 square foot claims were packed tightly together. The town was a haven for criminals and filled with gambling dens and bordellos. Violence was ever-present and during 1851, at least one murder a week occurred over a four-month period. This is possibly the earliest extant letter from Mokelumne Hill. Although the American Stampless Cover Catalog suggests a letter from 1850 may exist, no earlier mail than this example is identified in searches of OCLC, Rare Book Hub, Frajola’s PhilaMercury database, or major philatelic auction house records. Additionally, Durham’s "California Geographic Names" gazetteer reports the town’s post office opened in 1851, and Homes reports a change in his mailing address: "I told Lydia to direct them to stockton. direct no more their as there is a Post Office here in this town and if you direct them here, where I am I should be most likely to get them safer and at less expense. Now let me tell you how to direct them. Moquolumne Hill. California. Calaveras, County word these the same as I have worded them." A scarce, detailed, first-person gold mining account with both historic and philatelic value.
Illustrated envelope

Illustrated envelope, with enclosure, promoting the New York State Map and Atlas Survey

Robert Pearsall Smith This envelope features a map of New York along with surveying and drafting tools and instruments. It is franked with a 3-cent stamp (Scott #65) and bears a double-circle Rome, NY postmark dated December 16, 1861. The enclosure is a $5 dunning notice for payment towards the "Map and Gazetteer of the State of New York." Both are in nice shape; the envelope was trimmed along the right edge when opened. Despite its official sounding name, the Office of the New York State Map and Atlas Survey was not an agency of the State of New York. Rather it was part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Its goal was to create accurately surveyed maps of each county within New York, and then when finished to compile them into an accurate map of the entire state. Work began on the project in 1851 and over the years more than 60 people worked on the project. The result was the publication of the Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State (R. P. Smith, Publisher, 1860) and a map titled, The State of New York from New and Original Surveys under the direction of J. H. French, C.E. (Robert Pearsall Smith, Publisher. Syracuse, 1860). For more information see Ristow’s American Maps and Mapmakers, which, the enclosure would suggest, was apparently sold on a subscription basis.Scarce. As of 2019, no other examples of either the envelope or enclosure or for sale in the trade or held by institutions per OCLC. Neither does the Rare Book Hub show any auction results.

All-over," multicolor illustrated advertising envelope for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company

This "all-over" multi-color Ligget & Myers Tobacco Company cover is franked with a 2-cent Washington stamp (Scott #220) tied by a St. Louis machine cancel dated 1893. The cover features a colorful fantasy illustration of a boy fishing in a river alongside a block of five gigantic plugs of Star chewing tobacco. The company’s return address is printed in the form of a sign posted along the riverbank. It is in excellent shape and worthy of a feature place in a philatelic exhibit. In 1849 J. E. Liggett and Brother was established in St. Louis by John Edmund Liggett. In 1873, George S. Myers became his partner and in 1878, the business was renamed Liggett and Myers Company. By 1885, it had grown to become the world’s largest manufacture of plug chewing tobacco at a time when chewing was by far the most popular way to use tobacco. Plugs were made by pressing tobacco leaves mixed with a sweet bonding agent, like molasses, between large metal plates and the cutting resulting sheets in blocks about 2.75" x 4.5" x 1" that sold for a nickel or dime depending on their quality. Star plug tobacco was Ligget & Myers bestselling brand, and by the mid-1890s, the company had outgrown its original location at 13th and St. Charles Street in downtown St. Louis. In 1896, it began constructing a massive thirteen-building factory on the outskirts of the city in what is now South St. Louis, just north of the vast tract of land owned by Henry Shaw, an English immigrant who had made millions selling hardware goods to regional settlers and pioneers heading west. Liggett & Myers was one of the very few companies that bested the Duke Brothers as they formed their American Tobacco Trust. The Dukes were unable to undercut Liggett & Myers during a long price war and eventually agreed to purchase the firm at an incredibly inflated price in 1898 at the time this envelope was mailed. A reorganized Liggett & Myers continued operations on the same site after the Supreme Court broke-up the tobacco trust in 1911 until the plant was closed in the 1970s. An exceptional example of a very scarce and sought after cover design identified as "MAGNIFICENT" in the "American Illustrated Cover Catalog" (#1504).
Postally used envelope promoting Civil War Artificial Leg Depots established by Dr. Douglas Bly in conjunction with the U.S. Government

Postally used envelope promoting Civil War Artificial Leg Depots established by Dr. Douglas Bly in conjunction with the U.S. Government

Robert Bly This postally used cover promotes Artificial Leg Depots operated by Dr. Robert Bly in conjunction with the U.S. Government. It includes an illustration of the Bly artificial leg. The envelope bears an undated circular Chicago postmark and is franked with a 3-cent Washington stamp cancelled by a segmented cork handstamp. The cover has some light soiling and is a little rough along the right edge where it was opened. In 1858, Dr. Bly created and patented a revolutionary new prosthetic device that was able to better imitate the movement of the human leg by incorporating a ball and socket ankle. The ball was made from ivory and the socket from rubber. This artificial leg provided more stable and gentle support as well as allowing its foot more natural inward and outward movement.During the Civil War, tens of thousands of men had their legs amputated, and demand for prosthetics was high. Expectedly, manufacturers fought hard for government contracts to provide artificial legs for the disabled. Although, Bly’s artificial leg was recognized as clearly a superior product, its cost was too great for the government to provide for all then men who needed one. Bly, however, was persistent, and after extensive negotiations, the government consented to him opening ‘government’ clinics throughout the country. While the government could not afford to cover the full cost of his devices, it allowed disabled soldiers to order a Bly leg if they agreed to pay the additional cost themselves. Bly opened his first clinic in Rochester, New York, but demand for his legs was so great that he soon began to expand business to the west and south. By the summer of 1865, he had established leg depots at New York City, Richmond, Augusta, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Chicago.A scarce philatelic record related to the astounding loss of loss of limbs during the Civil War and the follow-on demand for prosthetic devices. As of 2019, no other advertising envelopes are for sale in the trade, held by institutions, or have been sold at auction, however an ex-library copy of a Bly advertising pamphlet is currently for sale by a bookseller and four of those pamphlets are held by institutions per OCLC.
Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)

Bound volume of manuscript Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) lecture notes and drawings probably kept by a freshman student at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University)

Henry Lewis This half-leather volume with marbled boards measures 8" x 10.5" and is titled "Lectures on Natural Philosophy." It contains approximately 140 manuscript text pages and an additional 80 pages with about 150 meticulous hand-drawn illustrations of apparatus and experiments, some in color. The pages are in nice shape. Hinges have cracked and the free endpapers are missing. The cover shows wear; the gilt spine title is legible. The last page of the notebook is signed, "Henry Lewis / Manhattan / Riley Co. / Kansas", and a pencil drawing on its first page is titled "Cottage by the Sea" by "H. Lewis." About midway through the notebook, there is a later pencil inscription that reads "Henry Lewis / A.T.&S.F.R.R.(Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad) / Emporia". A newspaper clipping announcing Lewis’s 1877 marriage to Jane M. Davis of Big Rock, Illinois is laid in. Online records reflect that Lewis was born between 1852 and 1854 in Arvonia, Kansas. The text begins with a short introduction to science and the way it was then "separated" into "divisions" and "parts." The lecture notes then focus on Natural Philosophy and include sections on Somatology (not anthropology but rather the study of material bodies and substances), Comparisons, Impenetrability, Figure, Divisibility, Porosity and Compressibility, Dilatability, Mobility, Inertia, Gravitational Attraction, Electro-magnetical Attraction, Molecular Constitution of Matter, Atomic Theory of Boscovich, Capillary Attraction, Chemical Attraction, Elasticity, Laws of Boyle and Mariotte, Mechanics, Friction, and Mechanical Powers. Manhattan, Kansas was the home of Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University). The land-grant college opened in 1863. Catalogs from its early years show that Natural Philosophy was a mandatory freshman class for students enrolled in both its Classical and Agricultural-Science Courses. By the early 1870s, college publications used the term Physics instead of Natural Philosophy. Although Lewis’s name does not appear in a 1914 school-published "Record of Alumni," that book notes the alumni list only included names of students who "have finished the course," and did not contain the "thousands of men and women . . . who did not graduate." Instead of finishing college, Lewis apparently took a position with the Santa Fe Railroad. Although the first 75 miles of the railroad were not completed until 1871, its tracks reached Emporia in September of 1870. (See Snell and Wilson’s "The Birth of The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad" in Kansas Historical Quarterly, Autumn 1868, and A geographically correct county map of the states traversed by the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad and its connections, 1880.) A fascinating record of the birth of Physics education for the common man and woman at one of the first U.S. land-grant agricultural colleges. As of 2019, an unillustrated book of Chemistry lecture notes from Brown University is for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows that only three sets of Natural Philosophy notes (all from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland) have been sold at auction in the last forty years. OCLC shows only seven institutions hold similar Natural Philosophy lecture notebooks; none of those notebooks are from land-grant schools and only two are noted as being illustrated.
Two letters from a Minnesota militiaman who fought against the Sioux follow their barbarous attacks upon settlers and witnessed the hangings of the warriorswho had committed the worst atrocities

Two letters from a Minnesota militiaman who fought against the Sioux follow their barbarous attacks upon settlers and witnessed the hangings of the warriorswho had committed the worst atrocities

William Stephens Stephen’s first letter-on campaign stationer featuring John Fremont-was written from Camp Sible, Lower Sioux Agency. Its patriotic envelope-featuring the popular song, The Girl I Left Behind Me-was postmarked at Henderson, Minnesota on November 5, [1862]. The letter is in nice shape with repairs at some folds; a postage stamp has been removed from the envelope. The second letter, without envelope, was written on patriotic stationery featuring Columbia holding a flag, was sent from Henderson, Minnesota on January 4th, 1863. It is in nice shape. Stephens, apparently a recent Minnesota settler, first reports to his niece in Pennsylvania: "The Indian troubles are over for this time. I enlisted the 13th of August and should have been south long before this if it had not been for this outbreak. I could not begin to tell you of the depredations they have committed here; the most horrible sights I ever saw.when I get into winter quarters I will write you again it may be south; a soldier is not presumed to know what he is going to do. . . ." And later remarks: "Olive did you have a good Christmas and New Year? I never shall forget mine: Christmas. I went to Mankato to see the Indians hung. I sent Eliza a paper that gave all the particulars. . . . I don’t believe the Seventh Regiment will go south. They say we have got to follow the Indians to the Rocky Mountains next summer. . . .". Although the Sioux had agreed to reservation life in exchange for a vast sum of money to be paid over a period of years, in 1862 payments were not delivered in a timely manner in part due to the ongoing Civil War in the east compounded by a corrupt local Indian Agent who was stealing some of the funds. Although the agreed upon annual treaty payment finally arrived on 16 August, it did not relieve the anger that had built up within many of the Sioux who were already depressed by failed crops and a shrinking wildlife population, as well the condescending superiority and callous indifference to their plight expressed by government officials. The uprising began on 17 August when a small party of Sioux treacherously murdered most of a settler family after first feigning goodwill. The following day, a war council was held, and the leader of the southern Dakota band, Little Crow, ordered attacks upon all white settlers to drive them out of Minnesota. Over the next month, the southern Sioux committed the most heinous campaign to exterminate as many white settlers a possible and terrorize the remainder into leaving the region. The "depredations" to which Stephens referred were truly horrific. White male settlers were usually taken by surprise and shot from a distance after which the attacks on family members were truly horrific. Numerous first-hand accounts by survivors report deaths by clubbing, facial and genital mutilations, rapes, amputation of limbs and breasts, disembowelment, the nailing of a baby to a tree, decapitations, and more. Hundreds of women and children who were not massacred where taken captive. Over 800 whites were killed and over 40,000 settlers fled their homesteads. Lilttle Crow’s initial success was due to the miniscule Army presence in the region. However, just before the attacks, Minnesota had begun to raise volunteer regiments to fight in the "south" during the Civil War. Military records reflect that Stephens enlisted as a private in Company A (Colburn’s Company), Filmore County Militia. The Filmore County Militia, commanded by Colonel Charles Flandrau, proved itself defending the town of New Ulm during an attack by an overwhelming force of Sioux, and Lincoln appointee, General John Pope, was soon able to reorganize the volunteers into several infantry regiments which, which under the leadership of a former fur trader and Minnesota governor decisively defeated the Sioux at the Battle of Wood Lake. Although many, if not most, of those who perpetrated the atrocities escaped westward, Sibley rounded up over 2,000 warriors and established a military tribunal that examined each case and determined that only 400 of them had participated in the settler attacks and would stand trial for murder. Once the trials began, they were rapid concluded, and 303 (or 306 depending upon the source) of the 400 were found guilty and sentenced to death. President Lincoln personally reviewed each conviction and reported to Congress, "Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on the one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other, I caused a careful examination of the records of trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such as had been proved guilty of violating females. Contrary to my expectations, only two of this class were found. I then directed a further examination, and a classification of all who were proven to have participated in massacres, as distinguished from participation in battles. This class numbered forty, and included the two convicted of female violation. One of the number is strongly recommended by the commission which tried them for commutation to ten years’ imprisonment. I have ordered the other thirty-nine to be executed on Friday, the 19th instant." As Stephens reports, he witnessed this hanging of the Sioux in a mass execution at Mankato, Minnesota on December 26, 1862. With the statewide military reorganization, Stephens was assigned to the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and did, indeed, spend the next year fighting remnants of the waring Sioux in the West. Eventually the 7th did travel "south" to participate in the Civil War where it fought with distinction at the Battles of Tupelo, Nashville, and Spanish Fort. For traditional histories of the uprising see, Bryant and Murch’s "A History of the Great Massacre by the Sioux Indians," 1864; McConskey’s "Dakota War Whoop,"1864; Cox’s "Lincoln and the Sioux Uprising of 1862," 2005; or any number of personal survivor narratives including those by Carrothers, Earle, Krieg
Exceptionally scarce

Exceptionally scarce, poignant, and historically significant Civil War letter from a well-educated African-American siblings who served in the U. S. Colored Troops informing family at home that he was ministering to a brother who was about to die from scurvy

William Trail to Barzil Trail Exceptionally scarce, poignant, and historically significant Civil War letter from a well-educated African-American siblings who served in the U. S. Colored Troops informing family at home that he was ministering to a brother who was about to die from scurvy. William Trail to Barzil Trail. Corpus Christi, Texas to Knightstown, Indiana: 1865. This four-page letter is datelined "Corpus Christi Texas, September 20th 1865." Its accompanying envelope is postmarked "New Orleans LA / 16 Oct 65". The letter is in nice shape; the envelope has been roughly opened along its left edge. A transcript will be provided. In this letter, William reports that "I am quite lame in the left leg with the scurvy but I still go about a little. I went to see James yesterday evening he seemed to take more note of things than he has for a while past, but I tell you I can’t see how he can ever possibly recover he mouth is perfectly rotten one cheek is rotted clear through. I . . . see to having his clothes changed and washed, but that is about all I can do. . . . It is quite an undertaking for me to walk [to the hospital] and back. . . . I will tell you . . . long before this letter reaches you he will be gone to his long home." (James, in fact, died several days later and his passing is recorded in the Descriptive Logbook of the 28th U. S. Colored Troops which is held by the Gettysburg College Musselman Library.) William continues his letter with a discussion about receiving both his and James’s final pay (a total of $250), attempting to send some money home, local pies and other foods being sold at vastly inflated prices by locals (and presumably sutlers), and his hope to receive mail and postage stamps from home. This is an important letter from a prominent and educated family of African-Americans from Knightstown, a vibrant and thriving community in Henry County composed of former Southern free blacks and escaped slaves who settled in Indiana before the war. In total, there were eight Trail brothers, who lived on their parents’ 160 acre farm. Four of the brothers enlisted in the 28th Regiment of Colored troops which was composed primarily of men from Indiana. Benjamin, a school teacher, was the first brother to enlist, and he rose to the rank of regimental sergeant-major, the highest ranking black soldier in the unit. He was killed in action at the Battle of the Crater. After his death, two other brothers, William and James joined the 28th and following General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox deployed with the regiment to the Texas border in response to the French establishment of a monarchy in Mexico. (For more information about the Trail Brothers, see "The Trail Brothers and their Civil War Service in the 28 USCT" online at the Indiana Historical Bureau). Like many Civil War soldiers, William and James both suffered from scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C, and results in "emaciation and bloating with excessive diarrhea, unhealed wounds, jaundice, . . . dropsy with swelling and sever pain in the feet, . . . ulcerations with frequent bleeding of the gums . . . hemorrhages of the skin [and] bowels, [and] gangrene." 60% to 75% of the Trail’s unit in Texas were severely afflicted. (See Hertzler’s "Scurvy-American Civil War" in Nutrition Today, Vol 41, No 1. The regimental chaplain noted, "I have spent a great portion of my time at hospitals, and I never witnessed such fearful mortality in all my life. I have not seen a lemon, peach, apple or pair . . . over all that part of the country which we have passed. . . ." (See "The War in the West" in The Indiana Historian, Feb 1994.) The fourth Trail brother, who was drafted late and survived the war, served in another unit. An important historical letter from a well-educated African-American soldier at a time when very few were even able to sign their name with more than an "X." While mail from white officers serving in Colored Troop regiments are scarce; letters from literate black enlisted men are truly rare. As of 2019, nothing similar is for sale in the trade, and OCLC shows only two similar letter, one of which was also written by William Trail. Rare book hub reports that only two similar letters have been sold at auction. In 2017 a post-war letter from a literate former African-American soldier to his old commander sold for $8,612 at a Christie’s Auction, and in 2013 a wartime letter from another literate African-American soldier in the 28th Regiment of Colored Troops sold for $38,400.
Diary kept by a single upstate New York farm woman who was also caring for her mother and another invalided elderly relative

Diary kept by a single upstate New York farm woman who was also caring for her mother and another invalided elderly relative

Probably Mary Johnson This notebook measures 6" x 7.5" and contains and itemized settling of the estate of Josiah Johnson following his death in 1881 and a weekly journal kept by (most likely) his daughter, Mary for the year of 1887. In nice shape. The journal entries are written in the same hand as the estate ledger. A transcript of the journal entries will be included. Although never morose or complaining, Mary’s journal entries do reflect not just her daily life but also the assistance she received from friends and neighbors to keep her farm up and running. Her father, Josiah Johnson, was a house-builder who owned a farm in the LeRay township (See "Mansions and Houses of the North Country" in The Watertown Daily Times, 17 Jun2 1944.) After he died in 1881, his wife, Jerusha, and daughter, Mary, apparently remained on the homestead along with an elderly in-law, Phebe Johnson. (See late 19th Century census reports for probable family connections.) Entries include: "Yesterday morning they said the thermometer was from 25 to 30 degrees below Zero in different places. . . . Yesterday Mr. William Green brought us in a piece of beef. . . . The roads are badly drifted especially our road. On Thursday was the first that I had to help shovel on the road this winter. . . . On Thursday I went up to Adams Center and took along Eighteen eggs for which I got at the rate of twenty five cts. Per Doz. . . . Phebe has been sick with a cold for several days and today has be the worst day she has had; I am in hopes that she will begin to get better soon. . . . Yesterday Mr. Glass sent me down a small load of coal. . . . Last Monday Miss Alta Green took our clothes home with her to wash them. . . . Phebe continues about the same The Dr. has been here to see her twice this week. . . . During the week I got some manure on the garden and repaired the fence around my pasture where the wind had blown it down during the Winter and Spring. . . . week I commenced laying over the chimney that the wind blew over. . . . Phebe has been having a poor time of it yesterday and today Dr. Fred Bailey and Dr. Pierce were both here to see her today. . . . Yesterday Mrs. Babcock baked some pies for us. . . . I had some plowing done of a piece of ground for buckwheat. . . . I went down to the sawmill and got a load of wood. . . . mowed and raked up hay and on Friday morning I with Mr. Spicer’s help, go in two more loads. . . . Our cow was taken off to the butcher I had previously sold her to Mr. Hose. . . . I did out the washing. . . . Lenche was here and helped about brushing up a little. . . . I commensed cutting up my field corn and I finished it yesterday. . . . Denkin came here Tuesday Afternoon and assisted me in fixing the pump and cleaning out the well. . . . Jane Main worked here on Wednesday in taking up the sitting room carpet and putting down another. I have been digging my field potatoes this week. . . . I finished husking my corn for this year. Yesterday I spent most of my time in cleaning up the pantry. . . . I got Mr. Spicer to assist me and I finished geting in my corn. I have now got my corn nearly half husked. . . . I have been husking corn what spare time I could get aside from doing housework and chores.Clearly it was a hard life, and Mary had little free-time after house chores, farm work, and arranging doctor care, however she writes that during the year she did have time to attend an Uncle Tom Show, Barnum’s circus in Waterville, the Lexington and a celebration at Lexington and Concord.
A stampless

A stampless, folded letter from a slave-trader in Georgia discussing the price of cotton and "negro men" and reporting that business has picked up and he is doing well

From William J. Bryan to James Evers This two-page letter measures 15.25" x 10". It is dated January 30, 1844 and bears a circular red Forsyth, Georgia postmark dated Feb 3. It has some foxing. It was sent from Bryan to his brother-in-law James Evers (known from online genealogical records). There are splits (some near invisibly mended with archival tape/tissue) along some of the mailing folds; one caused by minor insect predation is unrepaired. Transcript included. Although there is no on-line record of a slave-trading brokerage at Forsyth, Georgia, the context of the letter strongly implies that Bryan may have been in that business, "Times are getting much better here than they have been for Some time past Cotton has taken a considerable rise it is now worth from 8 to 9½ cents per lb. Money is quite plenty and property of all kind has risen considerably . . . in particular negro men that a few months ago sold for Six hundred Dollars is worth Seven to Seven hundred and fifty Dollars at present. I am at this time selling good at D. Smiths five miles South of Forsyth and expect to remain at it for some time. . . ." It is possible, although there is no suggestion in the letter, that William J. Bryan was related to the infamous Savannah slave broker, Joseph Bryan, who, in 1859, conducted the largest slave sale ever held in the United States in which all 439 African-Americans from the Butler plantation were auctioned after its profligate owners went bankrupt after years of gambling and wasteful pending. Certainly worthy of future research.
Psychiatric hospital letter from a schizophrenic Alaskan

Psychiatric hospital letter from a schizophrenic Alaskan, who murdered his gold-miner father during a paranoid delusion, to his sister

From Eino Robert Mack to Aune Mack Two-page typed letter, unsigned. The letter is datelined, "Morningside, Hospital. / Montaville, Station. / Portland, Oregon. / Sept, 23, 1948," and is in nice shape. Eino Mack was the son of a Finnish emigrant who worked for the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mining Company. Beginning in 1939, he was repeatedly committed and released from a psychiatric hospital for a variety of issues including "somatic ideas . . . schizoid make up . . . hypochondriasis . . . fear . . . depression" and a "malignant" threatening attitude. As Eino laments in this letter, he was finally committed for life due to the ‘treacherous’ testimony of his brother before a jury that found him to be "a person who is so mentally unbalanced as to have taken the life, of a person without a reason or a just cause." Eino died on 23 November 1963 after he "fell into a convulsion and died when he heard President Kennedy had been assassinated." (Morningside Hospital Patient Records, Find A Grave, and 1940 United States Federal Census.) Eino describes his father’s murder and justification for his action in chilling detail: "The old man [was] takeing it out on mother, on till I just about had a had a nervous breakdown from listening and watching that moron abuesing her. . . . I made up my mind he was not going to abuse me or mother anymore. . . . He came home by cab [and] started down the trail [and] I step out on the porch with the rifle, and warned him not to come home . . . but he came on, and I fired a shot over his head, he stop at the report [and} I warned him the second time, but he came on at a slow walk I fired the second shot through a bag of grocies he held in his left hand, the third and last warning he took no heed, but told me that he is comeing, I fired and killed him instantly. . . . [He] had no right to have any jurisdiction over us, as he was color or race conscience, and had the intelligence of a moron who would champion a negro above a white race, although we from our mother’s side are white. He had no right to marry a white person." Eino’s father was actually a white man who had been born in Finland. Eino closes his letter by proclaiming his sanity, although he acknowledges that "the right side of my brain is infected, from bone decaying the right side of the skull [and] the psychiatrist in charge here . . . told me that I was here for life." Prior to Alaskan statehood, there were no mental health services in the territory. Alaskans who were committed by family or jury were sent by a combination of dogsled, train, and boat to live at Morningside Hospital (a contracted, private, psychiatric facility) in Portland. By the time Morningside closed after Alaska became a state, it had held over 3,500 Alaskans as patients during its sixty years of business. Not only does this letter provide insight into the thinking of a patricidal schizophrenic, it is also a testament to an often forgotten chapter in pre-statehood Alaskan care for the mentally ill. Very scarce. As of 2018, no other letters from Morningside Hospital patients are for sale in the trade or held by institutions per OCLC, and Rare Book Hub shows no auction records for similar items.
An Antikamnia medicinal advertising calendar for 1900 filled with skeletons

An Antikamnia medicinal advertising calendar for 1900 filled with skeletons

Illustrations based on the paintings of Louis Crucius This calendar consists of six 7" x 10" cardstock leaves bound together with the original string for hanging. Each leaf covers two months and is illustrated by comically macabre skeletons involved in daily chores as if they were still alive. The reverse of each page contains advertising text. In very nice shape with some light wear. The January-February leaf shows three skeletal pharmacists in black coats and red tights ignoring a shelfful of opiates and morphine and instead choosing a canister of Antikamnia to use in concocting their prescription. The March-April leaf shows a skeletal editor clipping articles from other newspapers to incorporate into his own journal. The May-June leaf shows a tough-looking skeletal swell parading down the avenue looking for someone to punch in the "button." The July-August leaf depicts a dandyish police officer strutting through a park as a scrawny dog with a tin-can tied to its tail looks on. The September-October leaf shows a skeletal clown in traditional whiteface makeup. The November-December leaf shows a bundled up old skeletal woman returning home after shopping to find a goat on her roof. Antikamnia (from Greek words meaning opposed to pain) was an unpatented, over-the-counter medicine that not only claimed to, but actually did, reduce pain and fever. It was touted as a useful for a wide variety of ailments from headaches to flu and as a preventive treatment before sports or other physical activity. Its principal active ingredient was acetanilide, a coal tar derivative, and the company aggressively promoted it to physicians throughout the country. These calendars, which were distributed to doctors from 1897 through 1901, were its most distinctive advertisements. Unfortunately, acetanilide, in addition to reducing pain and fever, also caused cyanosis, that is, it impeded circulation and the oxidization of blood that could, and did, cause deaths. After it was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1907, the company altered its ingredients, substituting acetaphenetidin, an acetanilid derivative, and advertising Antikamnia as being acetanilide-free. In 1910, the FDA again ordered the seizure of the medicine, and the resulting legal actions rose all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled against the company, effectively shutting it down. Interestingly, about sixty-five years ago, pharmacologists discovered that another far safer acetanilide derivative, paracetamol, was at least an equally effective against pain and fever and incorporated it as the active ingredient in a drug known as acetaminophen, that is, Tylenol. (See Lovejoy’s "The Deadly Pain Medicine Sold by Skeletons.") These calendars are terrific graphic examples of medicinal marketing at the end of the nineteenth century. They occasionally appear at auction or for sale, demand for the eerie skeletal illustrations is high. The Rare Book Hub shows nine lots of Antikamnia calendars have been sold by auction houses in the last 12 years, and many more have been sold on eBay. Prices range widely depending upon condition.
Correspondence from a volunteer serving with an American Field Service in France that supported the 2nd and 10th French Armies

Correspondence from a volunteer serving with an American Field Service in France that supported the 2nd and 10th French Armies

Harold Wiswall Two letters sent on consecutive days by Wiswall to his family in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The first is to Urswall’s brother and was written on a 5.25" x 7" soldier’s mailing sheet. It is franked with a blue 25-centime Sower stamp (Scott #168) and bears a circular Tressors et Postes postmark dated 15 August 1917. A circulare S.S.U. XXX handstamps is also on the font. A return address on the reverse reads "H. C. Wiswall / S.S.U. 30 / convois automobiles / Par B.C.M / Paris, / France." The second letter, a longer letter to his mother, is in a plain envelope free-franked "F. M." (Franchise Militaire) has the same S.S.U handstamp, but it is postmarked on the 16th. Both are in nice shape. Transcripts included. Well before the United States entered the war, approximately 2,000 American volunteers were manning ambulance sections for the French Army. Collectively known as the American Field Service, men and ambulances were organized into 33 sanitary service units. S.S.U. 30, which supported the French 2nd and 10th Armies, assembled in Paris before deploying to Dugny, near Verdun, in mid-July of 1917. During the time that these letters were written, it served the areas of Valdelaincourt, Chaumont, and Montharian. Before transferring to the American Expeditionary Force in the fall, it served at Rambluzin, Soissons, Vauxrot, Malmaison, and Saint-Remy. In them, Wiswall discusses his life in an American volunteer ambulance unit in the French army noting: "At present I am off duty . . . having just returned from a hurry call for 13 ambulances for victims of gas, 64 in all, some have lost eyes, etc. . . . There is a good deal going on here and it seems at times almost as if there were more Boche shells dropped around us than anywhere else. They put us to bed with their whistling and wake us up with their smash regular and lord but you should see some of the holes – I measured one over thirty feet across and half as deep. . . . . I tell you some of the big shells sure would be good for digging holes for cess pools. . . . One man was within 20 ft. and never got touched everything going over his head. . . . We see any number of planes and sonics up, last night there were 34 planes right around. The Boche go in squadrons and follow like flocks of ducks, although there are lots of single ones up also. . . . I just heard from Pre [and] it seems as if most everyone was drafted or is in service now. . . . Do you know mother, these boys haven’t the faintest idea of what it is like and I’m sorry to think of them in conditions such as I’ve seen some here. However, war is war." Mail from U.S. volunteer ambulance drivers serving in the French army is decidedly scarce. For more information about the American Field Service volunteer ambulance units, see Seymore (ed.), "The History of the American Field Service Told by its Members" and Van Dam’s "The Postal History of the AEF" with regard to French ambulance markings on volunteers’ mail.
Omaha's Riot

Omaha’s Riot, 1919. In Story & Picture

Unlisted author This oblong, saddle-stapled, softcover photo-booklet measures 7.5" x 5.25" and is "Copiously illustrated." It contains 26 pages of text and 14 images of the riot, its victim, and some of the perpetrators. The binding is sound; cover and several leaves have some edgewear and short splits at top of spine; otherwise the booklet is in nice shape. On the evening of 28 September 1919, long simmering tensions between unionized Irish meatpackers and their African-American counterparts, who had first been hired as strikebreakers two years before, exploded following the rape of a white teenager three days earlier. A black man, Will Brown, was arrested and held in the Douglas County Courthouse jail after being identified by the girl as her attacker. At the time, Omaha had recently elected a "reform" mayor, Edward Smith, who was vehemently hated by the former political machine, its mouthpiece newspaper (the Omaha Bee), and white gangsters who controlled illegal prostitution, gambling, and other vices within the city. All three of these groups immediately went to work to discredit Smith for ignoring "black criminality" and urged the city’s white working class to take matters into its own hands. By late afternoon, a mob began to form outside the courthouse which was protected by 50 policemen who had been called in to provide guards. Apparently the mood of the mob at that time was somewhat jovial, and police officers, thinking the situation had been diffused released most of their officers. Not long after, the situation turned ugly, and the crowd swelled to over 4,000 and attempted to storm the courthouse. The remaining police fought back with fire hoses and discharged their weapons in an attempt to disperse the mob. Their actions, instead, had the opposite effect, and the infuriated mob began to attack in earnest, overwhelming and beating officers until they sought refuge inside the building where they mounted a defense with members of the county sheriff’s office. All prisoners, including Brown, were taken to the upper floors where officers could provide better protection, however the rioters tapped a line at a nearby gas station and set the building alight after saturating much of its lower floors. Mayor Smith, who had been inside, attempted to calm the crowd, however when he left the building to do so, he was clubbed on the head with a baseball bat, had a noose placed around his neck, and was hanged from a nearby traffic sign. At the same time, after notes from black prisoners were dropped from the upper floors of the courthouse offering to turn Brown over to the mob in exchange their safety, they then attempted to throw him from the building to the mob below. Police offers and sheriffs initially thwarted their attempt, however as smoke and fumes increased and the rioters began to break through the defenses, Brown was handed over by his fellow prisoners into the arms of the frenzied crowd. In no time, Brown was hanged from a nearby light post and rioters, who had stolen over a thousand firearms from city hardware stores and pawnshops, fired hundreds of rounds into his body after which it was soaked in kerosene, set on fire, and dragged through city streets. Order was not restored until before dawn the next morning when soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 20th Infantry Regiment arrived and imposed unofficial martial law. Two white rioters were killed during the assault, several police officers and an untold number of rioters as well as many white and black onlookers were injured. Although subsequently hospitalized for several weeks, an unconscious Mayor Smith was saved from death by the intervention of a state agent and three detectives who drove off remnants of the mob after most had turned their attention back to the courthouse attack. The riot was initially thought to be fomented by communist-inspired members of the Industrial Workers of the World who had actively instigated other disturbances during the "Red Summer" of 1919, but eventually it became clear, it was ignited by the city’s criminal element and the out-of-power political machine. Over 120 rioters were indicted for crimes ranging from arson to murder, however most were never successfully prosecuted. (See Wikipedia for additional information.) Very scarce. As of 2019, OCLC shows no examples of this important work are held by institutions. None are for sale in the trade, and Rare Book Hub shows only two auction results for this title, both from Swann Galleries; in 2013, an example in considerably worse condition sold for $3,840 and the following year another sold for $768. This very nice example is priced in between.
Letter describing Texas from the birthplace of the Texas Revolution as it was finally being resettled following its total destruction in 1836

Letter describing Texas from the birthplace of the Texas Revolution as it was finally being resettled following its total destruction in 1836

Nathan Watkins This four-page folded letter measures 15.5" x 10" unfolded. It was sent by Nathan Watkins from Gonzales, Republic of Texas on 6 December 1840 to Joseph Watkins at Pendleton, Anderson Des, South Carolina. It has a manuscript annotation in the lower left corner that reads, "Favor by Mr. Kingtomson to the United States" and a blue, circular New Orleans postmark dated "Dec 31." There is a manuscript rate marking "29" (25 cents for delivery over 400 miles + 2 cents for ship’s letter + 2 cents possibly for carrier. Docketing on the reverse reads, "One day after I promised to pay to Wm Watkins for or David." The letter is in nice shape with several tape reinforcements to mailing folds and a small chip where its wax seal was torn during opening. Doodling to the reverse, possibly while cutting a new quill. Transcript of letter included. In this letter, Nathan encourages Joseph (presumably his brother) to join him in Texas and to share his description of the country with all of his "connexions:" "I am well please with this county . . . better than any county that I have ever seen . . . and too one of the easiest countries to live in . . . though you may think that this part of the world is nothing but a perfect grave and yet I must say to you that you are under a grand Mistake for I can say to you that it is as healthy a country as ever I have lived in . . . . The eastern part of Texas is a red stiff clay and growth is generally fine hickry blackjack and no oak black oak or white oak and the water is generally very good, and the land produce well and west and south west of the river Trinity the water is scarce but good and the growth on the upland is generally post oak Blackjack white oak and hickry and mesquite and on the water courses black walnut cottonwood sycamore red elf pecan boxelder and hackberry and mulberry and some few cypress and in the mountains there is a great deal of cedar and as for the face of the country it cannot be beat . . . and west of the river Trinity is generally prairie and too of as good a soil perhaps as you even saw and . . . . I guess you would like to come and shear some of our beauty we can cultivate the soil and raise anything that we wish and can raise our Oranges and lemons and figs to and own sugar and wheat and tobacco and cotton and almost anything that we chose. . . ." Further to allay any apprehension that news reports may have caused Joseph, he additionally reports: "As for the commanches Indians there is some little trouble with them at this time but we go in amongst them once and a while and give them a whipping and stop their vile career and as for the troubles with us and mexico it still growing . . . but if we should have the lord on our side there will be no difficulty in gaining the victory and if we should we will be the happiest and wealthiest people on earth we then will not like for anything we could wish. . . ." And he predicts that financially, things will only get better: "We are a trying to Monopolize the Santa Fe trade which if we succeed in so doing will be worth somewhere about 2 million of dollars a year and to about the distance of 6 or 700 miles which trade is now comes about the distance of 1600 miles by land carriage and through the mountains and a very dangerous road too . . . I have before stated that I have but 2 years in this government, I have a . . . pretty start to make a fortune in a few years if good luck should . . . continue on my side. . . . I think that I am worth 10000 dollars more than I would have been had I remained in the united states and I also think that if you wish to move that you would perhap as well come to this county as any. . . ." Gonzales, which in 1835 became the first city to defy General Santa Anna after he had revoked Mexico’s Federalist Constitution of 1824, was burned to the ground the following year by Sam Houston to prevent anything of value from falling into the hands of the Mexican Army following the Texian’s defeat at the Alamo. The Comanche "whipping’ referenced by Watkins no doubt refers to the Battle of Plum Creek in August of 1840 where the Texas Rangers and a volunteer Texian army routed the Comanche horde that had swept through the Guadalupe valley on a murderous rampage and the subsequent decisive Battle at Red Fork after which the Comanches abandoned the Texian frontier. (See the online Texas State Historical Association article, "Gonzales, TX" and the Texas State Library and Archives article, "The Comanche War" A fine example of a Texian’s attempt to encourage emigration into the independent republic.
Stampless letter describing the earliest commercial mining of coal at the site it was first discovered in the United States by Father Hennepin in 1669

Stampless letter describing the earliest commercial mining of coal at the site it was first discovered in the United States by Father Hennepin in 1669

D. Lathrop to J. A. Rockwell This 3-page stampless letter measures 15" x 9.75" unfolded. The letter is dated July 22, 1857 and bears a circular July 23, La Salle, Illinois postmark. A circular New York City "5/N.York BR. PKT." postmark (with a high "R" and "T", see ASSC Vol II, p 105) was applied indicating the cost of inland postage within the United States before forwarding to London. The two "24" handstamps and the manuscript one shilling rate mark indicate the total cost of postage from the United States to London (5 cents inland U.S. postage + 16 cents sea postage + 3 cents British inland postage). A British receiving mark, dated August 11, is on the reverse. The letter is in nice shape. Transcript will be included. In 1669, Father Hennepin, the legendary Belgian priest who accompanied La Salle during the earliest French explorations of North America, discovered the first coal deposits found in what is now the United States along the bank of the Illinois River not far from the present day cities of La Salle and Ottaway (see The World’s Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Universal Knowledge and Mineral Resources of the United States, Part 2, 1913, p 832.) Although the deposits were well known, no attempt to mine them was made until the mid-1850s, when D. Lathrop began to drill shafts looking for beds with coal sufficient to make commercial operations profitable. The La Salle shaft struck a vein in 1856, and two additional successful shafts (Peru, and Kentucky) soon followed. The Vermillion shaft proved successful the following year (see Illinois Coal & Coal Mining History & Genealogy, online, and The Past and Present of La Salle County Illinois, Kett: 1877). In this 1857 letter Lathrop reports the status of those mines to John Arnold Rockwell, a Connecticut politician, lawyer, and land developer who invested heavily in the businesses related to the westward expansion of the United States. One of his ventures was the Rockwell Land Company which was heavily involved with the development of La Salle, Illinois (see the John Arnold Papers at the Huntington Library). "The principle amount of Coal now shipped from this place, is from the Kentucky Shaft, . . . and they have demand for all they can take out, which is about 40 tons per day. . . . I think they find their principle sale on the Miss River. For Steam boats. . . . Field & Rounds have sunk their Shaft through the Coal which is 3 feet 2 inches thick of good clean Coal. The bed is 3 feet 4 inches thick. . . . They are going on with their sinking at Peru, and mining the upper bed. I think they have not reached the middle bed yet. . . . I understand they are getting a new Engine and boiler much heavier than the one they now have, some 4 or 6 times as heavy. "Mr. Loomis is driveing on Entry in each of the two upper beds of Coal, and sinking as fast as he can. I think he is down about 40 ft. below the middle bed. The R.I.R.R. (Rock Island Railroad) take all his Coal to use on the road. . . . "It is said that a large flour mill is to be erected by the west side of Park’s were house. Mr Parks is to be the principle man in the mater. A Co for the manufactory of fine glass is organised here, and the works is to be erected immediately. A French man who is said to be an experienced glass maker is to take the management of it. Coal is the article that brings it here as it takes 25 tons of Coal to one of sand. The French Man thinks there is no more favorable place for glass making than this in the U.S. "The work on the new barn is progressing finely. . . . Mr. Faceman tells me he has another Coal Co formed for working Coal on the Mongrove farm, but thinks they will not commence the Shaft this year. The Central R R Co are takeing out the work from the deep cut in the Vermillion. They have a steam engine to raise the rock with and are doing it finely, but the expence will be enormous. The sides are continuing to fall in. One Man was killed there yesterday. They have also an army of Men at work at the culvert near the Kentucky Shaft. . . . Mr. Campbell has abandoned boreing on the prairie south of the river. He found no Coal of any account. He went down about 220 feet, and stoped in Coal measures and has not proved that there is not Coal below." The letter also provides updates on other La Salle projects spurred by the supply of coal including a "gas works" and a large glass factory. The Illinois Coal Basin is the largest commercial coal bearing region in the United States and during coal’s heyday of the early 20th Century ranked third in production behind only deposits in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. An important document testifying to the origin of coal mining in the United States and the development of the Illinois Coal Basin and the city of La Salle. As of 2019, no similar first-hand accounts are currently for sale in the trade, nor does the Rare Book Hub contain similar auction records. Although OCLC shows no similar institutional holdings, no doubt some are probably in the John Arnold Rockwell papers collection at the Huntington Library.