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VERY GOOD ANTIQUE POWDER HORN WITH WOODEN ENDS, dated 1820 (bought from the Pressel Sale from Hanover 4/18/87).

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $330.00


VERY GOOD ANTIQUE IRON DOUGH SCRAPER, signed & dated “1888 D.C. Miller”.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $440.00


VERY GOOD ANTIQUE 4 GALLON COBALT BLUE BIRD DECORATED STONEWARE CROCK, signed “N.A. White & Son Utica N.Y.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $412.50


VERY GOOD ANTIQUE 4 GALLON COBALT BLUE BIRD DECORATED STONEWARE BUTTER CHURN, signed “New York Stoneware Co. Fort Edward N.Y.” (has normal wear around top rim).

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $522.50


EXTRA GOOD 17 DRAWER COUNTERTOP CHEST, (apothecary or spice).

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $715.00


VERY GOOD ANTIQUE 5 GALLON STONEWARE COBALT TULIP FLOWER DECORATED BUTTER CHURN.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $495.00


ANTIQUE 4 GALLON STONEWARE CROCK WITH COBALT BLUE BIRD DECORATION, signed “Fort Edward Stoneware Fort Edward N.Y.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $357.50


FINE CONDITION CIRCA 1820 ELI TERRY PILLAR AND SCROLL CLOCK.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $1,045.00


CIRCA 1840 HOWARD BANJO WALL CLOCK, signed, “J.E. Caldwell Phila.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $825.00


VERY GOOD ANTIQUE 1.5 GALLON STONEWARE CROCK WITH COBALT BLUE DECORATION, signed “Sipe Nichols & Co. Williamsport Pa.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $385.00


VERY GOOD DOVETAILED PENNSYLVANIA PINE BLANKET CHEST, with ball feet and original red & black smoke paint.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $495.00


VERY GOOD GOBRECHT HANOVER, PENNSYLVANIA TALL CASE GRANDFATHER'S CLOCK.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $7,700.00


CIRCA 1810 DAVID LITTLE TALL CASE GRANDFATHER'S CLOCK.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $770.00


NINETEENTH CENTURY PRIMITIVE TWO DOOR PIE SAFE, with old blue paint, solid ends, each door has 3 decorated punched tin panels.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $605.00


ANTIQUE WOODEN TWO DOOR STORAGE CUPBOARD WITH RED PAINT.

Sold at Pa Onsite Auction for the Bob Leese Estate and others June 27, 2015.

Price Realized: $522.50


WHEATLEY, PHYLLIS (CA 1753-1784). POEMS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, RELIGIOUS AND MORAL. LONDON: PRINTED FOR A. BELL, 1773.

WHEATLEY, Phyllis (ca 1753-1784). Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. London: Printed for A. Bell, 1773.

8º (176 x 112 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait. (Lacking the preliminaries as often with dedication, preface and Attestation, a few repairs to gutter margin of frontispiece and title, one letter of title with associated adhesion on frontispiece, a very pale occasional marginal dampstain.) Modern black morocco, edges gilt (some light wear to joints).

FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK OF POETRY WRITTEN BY A BLACK AMERICAN. Wheatley was tutored in the household of John Wheatley, where she was a slave after coming to Boston from Senegal in 1761. On a trip to England in 1773 she was taken into the circle of the Countess of Huntington and arrangements were made for the publication of her Poems. Brawley 31; Sabin 10316; Wegelin 432.

Provenance: Property from the Estate of Professor Leland R. Phelps

Sold at Christie's Auction June 12,2015

Estimate: $7,000-10,000

Price Realized: $10,625


CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. A COLLECTION OF 72 LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS, COMPRISING DOCUMENTS SIGNED BY 54 OF THE 55 DELEGATES TO THE HISTORIC 1787 CONVENTION (LACKING ONLY GEORGE MASON), AS WELL AS 18 ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS BY PARTICIPANTS IN THE RATIFICATION DEBATES. TOGETHER 72 ITEMS, 102 PP., VARIOUS SIZES. HOUSED IN THREE LEATHER ALBUMS. COMPLETE INVENTORY OF THE COLLECTION AVAILABLE ON OUR ONLINE CATAOGUE OR BY REQUEST.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. A collection of 72 letters and documents, comprising documents signed by 54 of the 55 delegates to the historic 1787 Convention (lacking only George Mason), as well as 18 additional documents by participants in the Ratification debates. Together 72 items, 102 pp., various sizes. Housed in three leather albums. Complete inventory of the collection available on our online catalogue or by request.

A remarkable of group of men met in secret sessions in Philadelphia, through a long, hot summer, from May-September 1787, to craft the Constitution that still serves as the law of the land in the United States of America, 228 years later. This remarkable collection contains autograph examples of all but one of the delegates, as well as examples from prominent opponents to the Constitution such as Patrick Henry. Highlights include: WASHINGTON, George. DS, 18 October 1787. 1p., oblong. A signed receipt for payment of £20 to James Smith, for work for the Potomac Company. Signed by Washington on verso. -- MADISON, James. LS to Samuel Goddard, 11 October 1835. 1p., 4to, inlaid, portion of address panel preserved. Support of Goddard’s temperance work looks forward to the abolition of “ardent spirits” in this eventful and reforming age.” -- FRANKLIN, Benjamin. ADS (“B. Franklin”) 20 July 1786. 1p., 4to. Appointing a commission of bankruptcy. -- HAMILTON, Alexander. LS to Thomas Mifflin, War Department, 20 September 1794. 1p., 4to, paper loss repaired, inlaid. Orders to stop a French privateer. -- MORRIS, Robert. ALS to John Nicholson, 5 May 1790. 1p., 4to. Jaundiced comments on a letter he received from a proselytizing Christian and passes along to Nicholson: “I do not know the canting hypocritical Son of a -----.” -- KING, Rufus. ALS to John Jay, London, 12 January 1802. 1p., 4to, blank integral address leaf (with paper loss, not affecting text). Docketed by Jay on address leaf. Concerning “the Convention which I have signed with Lord Hawkesbury concerning the 6. & 7. articles of the Treaty of 1794…”

Twenty-nine of the 55 delegates served in the Revolutionary War, so it is not surprising that several examples in the collection reach back to that period: CARROLL, Daniel. ALS to Matthew Tilghman, Philadelphia, 24 April 1781. 1p., folio, laid down, tape remnants, folds repaired. Extract of Washington’s latest report to Congress on British troop movements; passing along intelligence from Havana and Pensacola; the capture of Ninety-Six, South Carolina. -- PIERCE, William (1740-1789). DS, a Continental Army Muster Roll, 12 March 1779. A roll for the Pierce’s Co. of Artillery under the command of Col. John Crane. Counter-signed by Brig. General John Glover. 2 pages, oblong folio. Inlaid. Pierce served as Gen. Greene’s aide-de-camp. -- MARTIN, Alexander (1740-1807). LS to Nathanael Greene, Salem, 20 November 1781. 3pp., folio, inlaid. Sending supplies to Greene’s army and reporting the evacuation of Wilmington by the British. Together 72 items.

The following is an inventory of the archive:

WASHINGTON, George. DS, 18 October 1787. 1p., oblong. A signed receipt for payment of £20 to James Smith, for work for the Potomac Company. Signed by Washington on verso.

MADISON, James. LS to Samuel Goddard, 11 October 1835. 1p., 4to, inlaid, portion of address panel preserved. Support of Goddard’s temperance work looks forward to the abolition of “ardent spirits” in this eventful and reforming age.”

TAYLOR, George. DS, 24 January 1775. 1p., oblong, losses and repairs. Promissory note to pay Farling Ball £5, 15 shillings, seven pence half-penny.

CLYMER, George. ALS (“GC”) to Henry Clymer, n.d. 1p., 4to. Use of mustard plaster for breast ailment.

FITZSIMONS, Thomas. ALS to unknown, 25 September 1789. 2pp., 4to. Congressional action over districting, Pennsylvania nominations.

FRANKLIN, Benjamin. ADS (“B. Franklin”) 20 July 1786. 1p., 4to. Appointing a commission of bankruptcy.

INGERSOLL, Jared. ADS, 8 June 1793. 1p., oblong. Order granting relief for Jacob Brown.

MIFFLIN, Thomas. ANS to Trumble, 9 June 1797. 1p., oblong. Appointing a justice of the peace.

MORRIS, Gouveneur. ALS to Ellbridge Gerry, 10 January 1784. 2pp., 4to. Recommending Carmichael for a diplomatic post. “His desire is more to serve his country than to enjoy elevated rank or lucrative emoluments.”

MORRIS, Robert. ALS to John Nicholson, 5 May 1790. 1p., 4to. Jaundiced comments on a letter he received from a proselytizing Christian and passes along to Nicholson: “I do not know the canting hypocritical Son of a -----.”

WILSON, James. ADS (“Wilson & Caru”), October 1773. 1p., folio. A legal pleading in Andrew v. McGill.

BUTLER, Pierce. ALS to Benjamin Morgan, 17 September 1799. 1p., 4to. Requesting a scrivener to draw titles.

JACKSON, William. ALS [to James Sewall], Bilbao, 21 Novemeber 1781. 4pp., 4to. Pleasure at Sewall’s return to America, mentions John Adams.

PINCKNEY, Charles. ALS to Jeremiah Wadsworth, 8 April 1787. 1p., folio. Paying a note in NY currency for Samuel Franklin & Co.

PINCKNEY, Charles Cotesworth. ALS to Petit de Villers, 31 March 1815. 4 pp., 4to (splits at folds, 3 holes at crease with loss of a few words). Difficulties with his slaves and cotton crop; the British threat to South Carolina.

RUTLEDGE, John. ALS to John Jay, 7 September 1787. 1p., 4to. Docketed by Jay on verso. “Be so obliging as to have the enclosed [not present] put on board the packet which will sail for Havre next Monday. If Paul Jones has not yet sailed, I will thank you to get from him the letter which he has for my son & to forward it…to Mr. Jefferson…”

LAURENS, Henry. DS, 17 January 1784. 1p., 4to. An affidavit regarding the estate of Elias Ball.

BLAIR, John. ALS to Samuel Meredith, 9 February 1791. 1p., oblong 8vo.An order to pay Dr. James Taylor.

HENRY, Patrick. DS, 13 December 1794. 1p., oblong. A receipt for payment of 24 shillings “for making shirts.”

LEE, Richard Henry. Clipped signature (taken from text of a 4-line legal pleading).

NELSON, Thomas. DS, 26 October 1761. 1p., oblong folio. Splits and repairs. Appointing Samuel Dew deputy clerk.

McCLURG, James. ALS to George Simpson, 10 December 1795. 1p., oblong 4to. A request to pay McClurg’s dividends from the bank of the United States to James Breckenridge.

RANDOLPH, Edmund. ADS, 9 Novemebr 1794. 1p., 4to. A diplomatic passport for Samuel Bayard “proceeding to London on the business of the United States…”

WYTHE, George. ADS, (“Wythe”), February 1748. 2pp., 8vo. Legal pleading in Lewis v. Chew.

JOHNSON, William Samuel (1727-1819). ALS to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., Stratford, 24 October 1788. 1p., 8vo. Instructions to pay Capt. Isaac Tomlinson.

SHERMAN, Roger. DS, n.d., The Debentures for the Council and General Assembly, at New Haven, October Session 1774. 1p., folio. Docketed on verso, “Audited 13 May 1776.” Also signed by Wm. S. Johnson, and eight others.

ELLSWORTH, Oliver (1745-1807). ALS to Mr. King, Bath, 20 March 1801. 3pp., 4to, seal hole and creases repaired, tipped to another sheet. A list religious books for purchase from Lackington’s bookshop in London. “You will see by my books that I am preparing for another world, which men seldom set about so long as they have anything else to do. My work I hope will be rather easier as I am not conscious of any political sins to repent of.” [With:] WOLCOTT, Erastus. DS, 20 Jan. 1770. 1p., 8vo, inlaid. A legal judgment.

BASSETT, Richard (1745-1815). DS (signed twice), n.d. [ca. Aug. 1772], a legal pleading in the case of Robinson v. Shawn. 1p., 4to, inlaid.

BEDFORD, Gunning, Jr. (1747-1812). DS, 13 December 1797. 2 pp., folio, stained, repaired at folds. Signed as witness to an undertaking by James Starling.

BROOM, Jacob (1752-1810). ALS to Nehemiah Felton, 11 Jan. 1803. 1p., folio. Apologizing for casting aspersions on his character.

DICKINSON, John (1732-1808). Partly printed DS, Philadelphia, 15 November 1783. Counter-signed by John Nicholson and Joseph Williams. 1p., oblong. A pay order for Joseph Williams. Sgt. Maj. Of the 11th regiment, Pennsylvania Line.

READ, George (1733-1798). ALS to William Parsons, Philadelpha, 14 July 1752. 1p., 4to. Requesting a payment.

BALDWIN, Abraham (1754-1807). ALS to Gen. Irvine, New York, 15 November 1788. 2pp., 4to. On events in NYC. “I observe they are making the old city hall, a most pompous seat of federal government, they will not be so cautious in using the word permanent, the next time the subject is discussed.”

FEW, William (1748-1828). ALS to Benjamin Austin, New York, 20 February 1809. 1p., 4to, tear and seal hole expertly repaired. Payments to commissioners of loans.

HOUSTOUN, William (1755-1813). ALS to Gov. Edward Telfair, Augusta, 20 December 1792. 1p., 4to, tipped to another sheet, seal hole. Resigning his seat on the Superior Court.

PENDLETON, Nathan. DS, 14 Nov. 1796. 1p., 4to. Affidavit of Hannah Miller.

PIERCE, William (1740-1789). DS, a Continental Army Muster Roll, 12 March 1779. A roll for the Pierce’s Co. of Artillery under the command of Col. John Crane. Counter-signed by Brig. General John Glover. 2 pages, oblong folio. Inlaid. Pierce served as Gen. Greene’s aide-de-camp.

CARROLL, Daniel. ALS to Matthew Tilghman, Philadelphia, 24 April 1781. 1p., folio, laid down, tape remnants, folds repaired. Goodwar content. Extract of Washington’s latest report to Congress on British troop movements; passing along intelligence from Havana and Pensacola; the capture of Ninety-Six, SC.

ST. THOMAS JENIFER, Daniel. ALS to Walter Stone, 16 May 1785. 1p., 8vo, address leaf torn. Requesting a clerk to assist him.

McHENRY, James. LS, circular, War Office, August 1797. 1p., 4to, small paper loss catching one word, tipped, later owner’s stamp lower left. Directing a “recruitment rendezvous” to fill=up new regiments.

CARROLL of CARROLLTON, Charles (1737-1832). Autograph check signed, Annapolis, 18 October 1813. 1p., oblong. A check for $300 to John B. Robinson.

DUVAL, Gabriel (1752-1844). ALS to Mr. Jones, Washington, 14 August 1813. 2pp., 4to. Recommending Mr. Parrott for post of Navy Agent for the District of Columbia.

HARRISON, Robert H. (1745-1790). ALS to Col. Biddle, 22 July 1779. 1p., folio, seal hole. Requesting transfer of a trunk.

LEE, Thomas (1745-1819). ALS to John Thompson, 27 January 1781. 1p., folio. Enclosing a warrant to apprehend George Jackson. (Refused to serve at Const. Convention but served in Md. ratifying convention.)

MARTIN, Luther (1740-1826). ADS, 22 February 1817. 2pp., folio. Martin’s opinion on the act for enlarging the bounds of Baltimore. (Refused to sign Constitution; leading opponent of ratification.)

MERCER, John Francis (1759-1821). ALS to Mr. Maxey, 10 November 1817. 1p., 8vo. Enclosing a “late European newspaper.”

STONE, Thomas (1743-1787). DS, 21 July 1774. 1p., 8vo, tipped. A subpoena in the case of Waters v. Walthen. (Signer of Declaration of Independence.)

GORHAM, Nathaniel (1738-1796). ALS to Joseph Lowell, Boston, 16 May 1782. 2pp., folio. Massachusetts legislative news, disputes with Gov. Hancock.

KING, Rufus. ALS to John Jay, London, 12 January 1802. 1p., 4to, blank integral address leaf (with paper loss, not affecting text). Docketed by Jay on address leaf. Concerning “the Convention which I have signed with Lord Hawkesbury concerning the 6. & 7. articles of the Treaty of 1794…”

DANA, Francis. ALS to Elbridge Gerry, Paris, 15 March 1781. 5pp., 4to, heavy show-through, ink-burn catching a few words, repairs, traces of mounting along edge. “I shall always be ready & happy to make and communications to you, because I am sure I may safely confide in your discretion and integrity.”

GERRY, Elbridge (1744-1814). DS, Boston, 22 October 1810. 1p, folio, paper seal, archival tape repairs on verso. An appointment for Jonathan Moody.

STRONG, Caleb. ALS to Judge [Benjamin] Bourne(?), Northhampton, 11 August 1811. 1p., 4to. On Mr. Churchman’s investigations of “the magnetic variation.”

GILMAN, Nicholas. ALS to john Sullivan, New York, 8 July 1790. 1p., 4to. Transmitting payments to Sullivan.

LANGDON, John (1741-1819). ALS to John Milledge, Portsmouth, 12 February 1806. 1p., 4to. Acknowledging receipt of resolutions.

PICKERING, John (1737-1805). ALS to cashier of Bank of U.S., Portsmouth, 25 September 1799. 1p., 4to. A payment request.

WEST, Benjamin. ALS to Mr. Hubbard, Charlestown, 7 May 1810. 1p., 4to. Requesting a loan of $100.

BREARLEY, David. DS, a legal brief, 16 January 1775. 1p., folio, repaired at folds. . BREARLEY. DS, 9 June 1780. An engraved four dollar bank note. 1p., 16mo oblong.

DAYTON, Jonathan. ALS to Samuel Smith, Philadelphia, n.d. 1p., 4to, tipped. A summons to return to legislature to discuss “the state of the Union…Our situation becomes every day more critical.”

LIVINGSTON, William. DS, Perth Amboy, 20 November 1789. 1p., oblong folio. An appointment for Nehemiah Wade. [With:] MD, “Governor Livingston’s Bill,” October 1785. 2pp., oblong folio, paper losses, worn at creases.

PATERSON, William. ALS to James Mott, 14 January 1792. 1p., 4to. Accomplished on blank integral of 11 Jan. 1792 ALS of James Mott. An order for payment.

CLARK, Abraham. DS, 13 December 1784. 1p., oblong. A receipt for James Mott.

HOUSTON, W.C. ALS to Samuel Dick, Trenton, 28 May 1785. 1 ½pp., 4to, seal hole, remnants of mounting. Thanks for receipt of a newspaper and political news.

NEILSON, John. LS to Peter Vroom, New Brunswick, 25 July 1828. 1p., 4to. Solicitng patronage of NJ Bible Society.

HAMILTON, Alexander. LS to Thomas Mifflin, War Department, 20 September 1794. 1p., 4to, paper loss repaired, inlaid. Orders to stop a French privateer.

LANSING, John. ALS to unidentified, Albany, 25 July 1787. 1p., folio, inlaid. Concerning a lawsuit.

YATES, Robert. DS, 12 March 1791. A legal pleading. 4pp., folio.

BLOUNT, William. DS, 23 July 1795. 1p., folio. A pay order.

SPRAIGHT, Richard Dobbs. LS, to Speaker of House, 13 December 1785. 1p., 4to. Agreeing to an amendment.

WILLIAMSON, Hugh. ALS to James McEvers, Philadelphia, 14 December 1790. 1p., 4to, inlaid. His son’s health and a portrait.

CASWELL, Robert. DS, December 1774. 1p., 16mo oblong. A six pence bank note. Signature faded.

DAVIE, William Richardson. DS, n.d. [1787]. 1p., folio, inlaid. His expense account for service at the Constitutional Convention.

JONES, Willie (1740-1801). ALS to unidentified, Waddenton, 4 February 1787. 1p., 8vo, inlaid. His resignation from the Convention.

MARTIN, Alexander (1740-1807). LS to Nathanael Greene, Salem, 20 November 1781. 3pp., folio, inlaid. Sending supplies to Greene’s army and reporting the evacuation of Wilmington by the British.

Provenance: Property from the Estate of Carol S. Curry

Sold at Christie's Auction June 12,2015

Estimate: $16,000-22,000

Price Realized: $62,500


[THE FEDERALIST PAPERS]. -- [HAMILTON, ALEXANDER (1739-1802), JAMES MADISON (1751-1836) AND JOHN JAY (1745-1829)]. THE FEDERALIST: A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS, WRITTEN IN FAVOUR OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION, AS AGREED UPON BY THE FEDERAL CONVENTION, SEPTEMBER 17, 1787. NEW YORK: JOHN AND ANDREW M'LEAN, 1788.

[THE FEDERALIST PAPERS]. -- [HAMILTON, Alexander (1739-1802), James MADISON (1751-1836) and John JAY (1745-1829)]. The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed Upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787. New York: John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788.

12° (162 x 94 mm). A FINE-PAPER COPY. Modern polished calf, gilt spines in six compartments, red and green morocco lettering pieces. (Upper corner of title-page renewed, right half of Vol.2 title-page torn away and supplied in facsimile, scattered spotting, vol.2 bound without half-title, spines rubbed, both vols. with early ink inscription regarding authorship of the various papers.)

FIRST EDITION, collecting the 85 seminal essays written in defense of the newly drafted Constitution and published under the pseudonym "Publius" in various New York newpapers; the complete text of the Constitution, headed "Articles of the New Constitution," and the resolutions of the Constitutional Convention (signed in type by Washington) appear on pp.368-384 of vol.2.

"Justly recognized as a classic exposition of the principles of republican government" (R.B. Bernstein, Are We to be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution, 1987, p.242). The Federalist essays grew out of the heated pamphlet wars engendered by the question of the ratification of the Constitution. Hamilton enlisted John Jay and James Madison (a Virginia delegate) to collaborate on a series of essays supporting the new plan of government and refuting the objections of its detractors. "Hamilton wrote the first piece in October 1787 on a sloop returning from Albany...He finished many pieces while the printer waited in a hall for the completed copy" (R. Brookhiser, Alexander Hamilton: American, 1999, pp.68-69). Due to Jay's illness and Madison's return to Virginia, most of the 85 essays, in the end, were written by Hamilton. "Despite the hurried pace at which they worked--they ground out four articles nearly every week--what began as a propaganda tract, aimed only at winning the election for delegates to New York ratifying convention, evolved into the classic commentary upon the American Federal system" (F. McDonald, Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, p.107). Washington who had served as President of the Constitutional Convention, wrote that The Federalist "will merit the Notice of Posterity; because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government, which will always be interesting to mankind." Church 1230; Evans 21127; Grolier American 19. PMM 234; Sabin 23979.

Provenance: Property of a Gentleman

Sold at Christie's Auction June 12,2015

Estimate: $70,000-100,000

Price Realized: $75,000


MORTON, NATHANIEL (1613-1685). NEW ENGLANDS MEMORIALL: OR, A BRIEF RELATION OF THE MOST MEMORABLE AND REMARKABLE PASSAGES OF THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD, MANIFESTED TO THE PLANTERS OF NEW-ENGLAND IN AMERICA; WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE FIRST COLONY THEREOF, CALLED NEW-PLIMOUTH. CAMBRIDGE [MASS.]: PRINTED BY S. G[REEN]. AND M. J[OHNSON]. FOR JOHN USHER OF BOSTON, 1669.

MORTON, Nathaniel (1613-1685). New Englands Memoriall: or, A Brief Relation of the most Memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God, manifested to the Planters of New-England in America; With special Reference to the first Colony thereof, Called New-Plimouth. Cambridge [Mass.]: Printed by S. G[reen]. and M. J[ohnson]. for John Usher of Boston, 1669.

Small 4° (170 x 134 mm). Title within printed double-rule border, printer's ornaments. (A few leaves trimmed close just touching headline border and occasionally shaving shoulder notes affecting a few letters, O1 with paper flaw affecting letters on verso, P1 with tiny marginal rust-hole, U3 with small rust-hole touching letters, Cc2 with short tear crossing border, Dd3 with printer’s flaw, some occasional light browning, slightly heavier in gathering F.) 19th-century calf gilt (rebacked, endpapers renewed).

“ONE OF THE GREAT BOOKS OF NEW ENGLAND HISTORY” (Vail)

FIRST EDITION. Morton's extensive compilation, which the title proclaims was "published for the use and benefit of present and future generations," remains an outstanding primary source for the earliest decades of the fragile Massachusetts Bay colony, and is the authority for the list of signers of the Mayflower Compact. Moreover, "Morton's work is the first strictly historical work printed in America; and is one of the earliest printed books recording the origin of Plymouth colony. The voyage of the Mayflower and the landing and first settlement of the Pilgrims are given in detail. Morton found his main sources in the extensive historical manuscripts left by his uncle William Bradford" (Streeter). The work is based on the manuscript of his uncle; on the journal of Edward Winslow, and on his own personal experience as secretary of the colony.

Morton had arrived on the Anne in 1623 and was reared by Governor Bradford after his own father died. "He was educated at Plymouth by Bradford, Brewster, Standish, and Fuller, and well educated, for about 1634 he became his uncle's clerk... In the Pilgrim church, he also served for many years as secretary and compiler of records... Certainly, he was one of the most important men at Plymouth from about 1640 until his death in 1685" (DAB). Church 606; Evans 144; Howes M-851 ("dd", "first original work not religious in character issued from the press at Cambridge"); JCB III, p.188; Sabin 51012; Streeter sale II:631; Wing M-2827.

Provenance: Property from the Rosebrook Collection

Sold at Christie's Auction June 12,2015

Estimate: $40,000-60,000

Price Realized: $50,000


REVERE, PAUL (1734-1818) ENGRAVER. THE BLOODY MASSACRE PERPETRATED IN KING STREET, BOSTON, ON MARCH 5TH 1770, BY A PARTY OF THE 29TH REGT. BOSTON: ENGRAV'D PRINTED & SOLD BY PAUL REVERE, MARCH 1770.

REVERE, Paul (1734-1818) engraver. The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street, Boston, on March 5th 1770, by a Party of the 29th Regt. Boston: Engrav'd Printed & Sold by Paul Revere, March 1770.

Engraving with hand-coloring. 11 x 10 in. Browning, marginal losses, especially along left-hand margin, affecting a few words in the verse, several clean tears mended from the verso, top right-hand hand area abraded Brigham 14; Stokes & Haskell, 1770-C-10. Printed on laid paper with watermark Strasburg Lily with pendant initials LVG (cf Heawood 1808, ascribed by some, according to Brigham, to Lobertus van Gerrevink of Holland). Engraved caption at top, at bottom 18 lines of verse (“Unhappy Boston! See thy Sons deplore...”) and a detailed list of the American casualties: “Saml Gray, Saml Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr," plus "Six wounded; two of them (Christr Monk & John Clark) Mortally." This variant with a small clock tower reading 10:20 (Brigham notes a later variant, altered to 8:00).

REVERE'S INFLAMMATORY "BLOODY MASSACRE" PRINT

"Few prints have influenced history as much as Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre of 1770...Revere’s version of British soldiers firing on and killing unarmed citizenry had immediate emotional impact on the public and was an initial incendiary spark that ignited the events leading to the American Revolution” (D. Roylance, American Graphic Arts, Princeton, 1990, p.48).

Revere immediately recognized the propaganda value of the incident, and "saw the opportunity of furthering the patriot cause by circulating so significant a print" (Clarence S. Brigham, Paul Revere's Engravings, New York, 1969, p.52-53). Revere's powerful depiction was based on a sketch by Henry Pelham; he and another engraver, Jonathan Mullikan, produced competing prints. Revere's engraving was advertised for sale in the March 26th editions of the Boston Evening Post and the Boston Gazette: "a Print, containing a Representation of the late horrid Massacre in King-street." Two days later Revere noted in his Day Book that he paid the printers Edes & Gill to produce 200 impressions. Pelham's depiction was advertised for sale in the same publications a week later.

The sanguinary events of March 5--in which five Bostonians died by British musket-fire--took on great symbolic significance due to the highly charged tenor of public affairs between England and its colonies, Massachusetts in particularly. Paul Revere's incendiary "Bloody Butchery" powerfully fanned the embers of opposition to British rule. The event, commemorated annually in following years, was a significant factor in radically altering Americans' attitude toward the King's armies quartered among them. There can be little doubt that Revere's dramatic depiction remained vivid in the minds of the patriots who composed the Declaration of Independence; enumerating America's grievances against the Crown, it indicted the King "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...."

Provenance: Property from the Forbes Collection

Sold at Christie's Auction June 12,2015

Estimate: $40,000-60,000

Price Realized: $40,000






THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE - THE FIRST BOOK-FORM PRINTING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

"In Congress, July 4, 1776. A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled," pp. 41–46 in The Genuine Principles of the Ancient Saxon, or English Constitution. Carefully collected from the best Authorities; with some Observations, on their peculiar fitness, for the United Colonies in general, and Pennsylvania in particular. By Demophilus. Philadelphia: Printed, and Sold, by Robert Bell, (July 8,) 1776

8vo in half-sheets (7 3/4 x 4 5/8 in.; 197 x 116 mm). With the scarce and important terminal ad leaf.

Bound fourth in a contemporary Sammelband of six American Revolutionary pamphlets, comprising:

[Thomas Paine and others.] Common Sense; with the Whole Appendix: The Address to the Quakers: Also, the Large Additions, and a Dialogue between the Ghost of General Montgomery, just arrived from the Elysian fields; and an American Delegate in a Wood, near Philadelphia: On the Grand Subject of American Independancy. (second title, a3:) Common Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants of America … Third edition. (third title, m1:) Large Additions to Common Sense. … II. The Propriety of Independancy, by Demophilus. … An Appendix to Common Sense. (fourth title, U1:) A Dialogue between the Ghost of General Montgomery, Just arrived from the Elysian Fields; and an American Delegate in a Wood near Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Printed, and Sold, by R. Bell, 1776. 8vo in half-sheets, general half-title, U3 with ads and Bell’s statement “Self-defence against unjust attacks”; natural paper flaw in lower blank margin of final leaf. Robert Bell’s “complete” edition of Common Sense, made up from pamphlets formerly sold independently. (Gimbel CS-9; Evans 14966; Adams, American Independence 222e)

[Rokeby, Matthew Robinson-Morris, 2nd baron.] Considerations on the Measures Carrying on with respect to the British Colonies in North America. Philadelphia: Reprinted and Sold by Benjamin Towne, 1774. 8vo in half-sheets, with blank H3, issue with catchword “principles” on G1 (no priority); title a little spotted, some light browning, tiny wormtrail at inner margin B1-E2 just touching one letter. (Evans 13587; Adams, American Independence 134i; Sabin 72151 note)

[John Cartwright.] American Independence the Interest and Glory of Great Britain; containing Arguments which prove, that not only in Taxation, but in Trade, Manufactures, and Government, the Colonies are entitled to an entire Independency on the British Legislature … Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by Robert Bell, 1776. 8vo in half-sheets, half-title, with terminal leaf Q4, “Character of the Work from the English Monthly Reviewer.” (Evans 14673; Adams, American Independence 105c; Sabin 11153)

Richard Price. Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government, and the Justice and Policy of the War with America. To which is added, An Appendix, containing, A State of the National Debt … London: Printed: New-York, Re-printed by S. Loudon, 1776. 12mo, many deckle edges preserved at lower margin; some light browning. (Evans 15033; Adams, American Independence 224v; Sabin 65452)

Joseph Tucker. The True Interest of Britain, set forth in Regard to the Colonies; and the only Means of Living in Peace and Harmony with them. … To which is Added by the Printer, A few more Words, on the Freedom of the Press in America. Philadelphia: Printer, and Sold, by Robert Bell, 1776. 8vo in half-sheets, terminal ad leaf, issue with biographical detail following Tucker’s name. (Evans 15119; Adams, American Independence 144b; Sabin 97366)

Together 6 works in one volume. Contemporary American calf, spine in six compartments, plain endpapers, red-sprinkled edges, spine black-lettered with press-mark p J in second and third compartments, further press-mark written in rear pastedown “—B— | Etage … —E—”; some minor scuffing at edges, tiny chip to foot of spine, withal in superb, as-issued condition.

Provenance: Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, 1755–1824 (press-mark of the library of the château de La Brède, the seat of Secondat de Montesquieu's family; accompanied by the statement on the provenance of the book by Charles-Henry de Montesquieu, a descendant)

Literature: Evans 14734; Matyas, Checklist of Books, Pamphlets, and Periodicals, Printing the U.S. Declaration of Independence 76-01; Howes B900; Sabin 26964; Streeter 778. Not in Adams, American Independence

Probably the finest copy extant of the first book-form printing of the Declaration of Independence, preserved with other significant pamphlets of the American Revolution, including the third edition of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the anonymous pamphlet that in large measure inspired the Declaration. With distinguished provenance, being from the library of a French officer serving in the American Revolution.

The Declaration was first printed by John Dunlap, the official printer to the Continental Congress, as a broadside on the evening of July 4 into the morning of July 5, 1776. The text next appeared in the July 6 issue of the Philadelphia newspaper The Pennsylvania Evening Post, and two days later it was printed in Dunlap’s own newspaper, The Pennsylvania Packet, or General Advertiser. An undated German-language broadside of the Declaration printed by Melchoir Steiner and Charles Cist was likely issued about this time as well.

July 8 is evidently the day that the patriot printer Robert Bell published his edition of the Declaration, appended to the pseudonymous Genuine Principles of the Ancient Saxon, or English Constitution, as evidenced by the terminal advertising leaf in the publication, which is datelined “Philadelphia, July 8, 1776.” On this final leaf, Bell announces his publication, “In a few days,” of John Cartwright’s anonymous American Independence the Interest and Glory of Great Britain, which had first appeared early in the year in a London edition. (A copy of Bell's edition of Cartwright’s work is bound in the present volume, and the title-page is a slight variant setting of the type for Bell's advertisement.) So Bell's printing is not simply the first book printing of the Declaration, it is one of the earliest printings overall—and one of the rarest.

Demophilus was probably the pen name of George Bryan, a radical Whig who helped to draft the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution, although Howes tentatively attributes the work to Samuel Bryant. The Genuine Principles was intended to influence the delegates to Pennsylvania's constitutional convention; Demophilus noted, "A Convention being soon to sit in Philadelphia; I have thought it my duty to collect some sentiments from a certain very scarce book, entitled An Historical Essay on the English Constitution, and publish them … for the perusal of the gentlemen concerned in the arduous task of framing a constitution."

Bell must have had Genuine Principles on the press when Dunlap's broadside appeared. He added a gathering at the end to accommodate the Declaration and provided a brief but stirring introduction at the conclusion of Demophilus's text: "The events which have given birth to this mighty revolution; and will vindicate the provisions that shall be wisely made against our ever again relapsing into a state of bondage and misery, cannot be better set forth than in the following Declaration of American Independence." The Declaration did inspire Pennsylvania's constitutional convention, which convened on July 15 with Benjamin Franklin presiding.

It is appropriate that Robert Bell first printed the Declaration in book form; he was the first printer of Common Sense and an ardent patriot. Bell's "Additions" to Paine's works included "The Propriety of Independancy," which was signed by Demophilus.

This volume of American Revolutionary pamphlets is from the library of Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, grandson of the philosopher and an aide-de-camp to the Comte de Rochambeau and the Marquis de Chastellux during the American Revolution. The younger Montesquieu served at Yorktown, was among the delegation sent to France to inform the King of the Franco-American victory, and was subsequently a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

Very rare: the last copy at auction was sold by us more than thirty years ago, May 23, 1984, lot 36.

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $300,000-500,000

Price Realized: $370,000


HOOPER, WILLIAM, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED ("WM HOOPER"), HEAD OF ELK [ELKTON, MARYLAND], "FRIDAY EVENING" [MARCH 1776], TO JOSEPH HEWES IN PHILADELPHIA

1 page (12.375 x 7.25 in.; 315 x 184 mm) plus integral address leaf, addressed in his hand, docketed in Hewes' hand; seal tear mended affecting 6 letters which are supplied in manuscript.

An extraordinary addition to a Signers collection, mentioning John Penn and their "long journey" to Halifax North Carolina where Hooper, Penn, and Hewes (all three Signers) would be authorized to vote for independence, the first delegates so authorized by any colony.

William Hooper and John Penn left Philadelphia for North Carolina in March 1776 to attend its Fourth Provincial Congress meeting in Halifax on the 4 April. In this letter, Hooper writes from Elkton, Maryland, about 30 miles south of Chester, Pennsylvania, on his way to Halifax, likely on the 15th or 22nd March. On 12 April, the Provincial Congress, including Hooper and Penn, unanimously adopted the resolution empowering its delegates to the Continental Congress to declare independence, thereby becoming the first colony to authorize its delegates to do so.

It is probable that Hooper stayed at Mary Withy's Inn, a boardinghouse some 15 miles south of Independence Hall in Chester Pennsylvania, for his letter begins: "My dear friend, with my usual care (you'll say) I left my Watch at Mrs. Withy's in Chester where it still remains. Whether I hung it on a Chair at my Bedside, or omitted to bring it from the Privy, I am not very certain.  Be so kind as to write her & desire her to send it to you."

Both Hooper and Hewes were apparently recuperating from an illness: "I wish I may be equal to the long journey I have undertaken, I find no dis[agree]able change yeat, I have some appetite & Mr. [Pe]nn with his usual flow of conversation will assist to keep up my spirits. Remember me kindly to my Congress friends and assure them that purely from Indisposition I failed to bid them a formal adieu. My best wishes attend them. Let me earnestly recommend to you to pay greater attention to your Health than you at present do & to use more exercise. My warmest wishes are for your perfect recovery."

Hooper letters written in the year of the Declaration are exceedingly rare, only a handful have ever been sold at auction.

Provenance: John Gilliam Wood (Christie's NY, 22 April 1983, lot 56)

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Price Realized: $22,500


JOSSELYN , JOHN - AN ACCOUNT OF TWO VOYAGES TO NEW-ENGLAND. WHEREIN YOU HAVE THE SETTING OUT OF A SHIP WITH THE CHARGES; THE PRICES OF ALL NECESSARIES FOR FURNISHING A PLANTER AND HIS FAMILY AT HIS FIRST COMING; A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTREY, NATIVES AND CREATURES, WITH THEIR MERCHANTIL AND PHYSICAL USE... A LARGE CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE PASSAGES, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERING OF THE CONTINENT OF AMERICA, TO THE YEAR 1673. LONDON: GILES WIDDOWS, 1674

8vo (5.875 x 3.75 in.; 150 x 95 mm). Woodcut of a winged dragon printer's device and license on leaf preceding title, dedication and errata leaves, 3-page advertisement at end, a duplicate of pages 275-279 and the advertisement is bound after the errata leaf; some light sheep; rebacked with much of original spine laid down, endpapers renewed. In a brown cloth clamshell case.

First edition. One of the earliest books dealing with the natural history of the New England region, especially Maine where the author settled with his family. Josselyn's eyewitness accounts are based on two residences in America, in 1638-1639 and 1663-1671. The work is noted for it's many comments on the medicinal uses and abuses of various flora and fauna, including tobacco. The cranberry, wild turkey, blueberry and other northeastern species are fully described for the first time.

Provenance: Society of the Inner Temple (inscription on first original flyleaf: "DG Int Temp Soc")

Literature: Church 627; European Americana 674/105; Howes J254; Sabin 36672; Streeter sale II 635

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Price Realized: $13,750


LYNCH, THOMAS, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA - [FROM THOMAS LYNCH'S LIBRARY WITH HIS SIGNATURE]. VIRGIL. THE BUCOLICKS. LONDON: OSBORNE, 1749.

Signature ("T Lynch Jun") on upper right corner of the title-page of The Bucolicks of Virgil. London, Osborne, 1749.

8vo (8 x 5 in.; 202 x 130 mm). Title-page browned. Contemporary calf; used and rubbed, rebacked with by linen. Brown morocco case.

A fine example of Lynch's rare autograph.

Lynch was the only son of a prosperous rice planter, who sent him to England to receive a classical education; Lynch was the only Signer to attend Eton and Cambridge. He assembled a small gentleman's library, and his ownership signatures in his books have provided the bulk of the known examples of his autograph. In Joseph Fields's census, forty-eight of the eighty-one examples are signatures clipped from title-pages or fly-leaves of his books. Others are entire title-pages that have been excised from their volumes. This is one of the few complete signed books that survive from Lynch's library.

Thomas Lynch Jr. was only twenty-seven when he was elected to the Continental Congress, partly so that he could care for his father who suffered a stroke while serving in Philadelphia as a South Carolina delegate. The son served in Congress from late April until mid-August 1776. On their homeward journey, Lynch Sr. died and Lynch Jr.'s health deteriorated. He retired from public life and was lost at sea in 1779.

Provenance: Thomas Lynch, Jr, ownership inscription (with certificate of Maxwell Pringle of Charleston, stating that he had obtained it from a relative of Lynch, Pinckney Johnson); John Gribbel of Philadelphia, bookplate; Justin G. Turner, bookplate; Philip D. Sang (sale, Sotheby's New York, 26 April 1978, part lot 262); Forbes collection (sale, Christie's New York, 15 November 2005, part III, lot 9).

Literature: Not in Joseph Fields,"A Signer and his Signatures, or the Library of Thomas Lynch Jr.," in Harvard Library Bulletin (1960)

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $35,000-45,000

Price Realized: $43,750


MASSACHUSETTS BAY (COLONY). LAWS - THE GENERAL LAWS AND LIBERTIES OF THE MASSACHUSETS COLONY: REVISED & RE-PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE GENERAL COURT HOLDEN AT BOSTON MAY 15. 1672. CAMBRIDGE: PRINTED BY SAMUEL GREEN  FOR JOHN USHER OF BOSTON, 1672 WITH: MASSACHUSETTS COLONY. SESSION LAWS. [CAPTION TITLES:] SEVERAL LAWS AND ORDERS MADE AT THE ... GENERAL COURT ... 15TH MAY 1672 [EVANS 169]; ...27TH OF MAY 1674 [EVANS 190]; ... 12TH OF MAY 1675 [EVANS 201]; ... 21ST OF FEBRUARY 1675 [EVANS 204]; ... MAY 23D 1677 [EVANS 235]; ... OCTOBER 10TH 1677 [EVANS 236]; ... OCTOBER 2D 1678 [EVANS 253]. [CAMBRIDGE: GREEN, 1672-1678]. BOUND WITH: CONNECTICUT COLONY. LAWS & STATUTES. THE BOOK OF THE GENERAL LAWS FOR THE PEOPLE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF CONNECTICUT: COLLECTED OUT OF THE RECORDS OF THE GENERAL COURT. CAMBRIDGE: SAMUEL GREEN, 1673

Large 8vo (10.375 x 6.125 in.; 264 x 155 mm). Woodcut and printer's ornament head-pieces, stamped seal of the colony on first title verso; largely browned, first title and a few leaves with clean tears, fore-margin of leaves B & C in Connecticut cut away with loss of a few side-notes, leaf A2 following first title is lacking. Contemporary blind-ruled leather with stamped fleurons at four corners; worn, tear in upper compartment of spine.

The third publication of the laws of Massachusetts-Bay and an interesting association copy. Samuel Partrigg (Partridge, 1645-1740) of Hadley was Judge of Probate, a representative in the General Court [the colonial house of representatives] and a member of his Majesty's council, one of the most important figures in western Massachusetts during this period.

This is a rare book in commerce; only one copy has appeared since 1977, with similar condition and provenance, and sold for $185,000 in 2014.

Provenance: Samuel Partrigg (contemporary signature on first flyleaf and facing title: "Sam[ue]ll Partrigg his Booke Anno 1679 Bought in Boston June 20th") — subsequent family members signatures: John Partrigg, Edward Partrigg, and Oliver Partridge, 1790 — Joseph Gaylord (inscription on verso of Connecticut title dated 11 January 1674)

Literature: Evans 168 & 173

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015

Estimate: $60,000-80,000

Price Realized: $100,000


SCULL, WILLIAM - MAP OF THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA. PHILADELPHIA: PRINTED BY JAMES NEVIL FOR THE AUTHOR, APRIL 4, 1770

Engraved map on laid paper (35 1/2 x 24 1/2 in.; 902 x 622 mm), partially handcolored in outline, full dedicatory title reads "To the Honorable Thomas Penn and Richard Penn Esquires True and Absolute Proprietaries and Governors of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Territories thereunto belonging and to the Honorable John Penn Esquire Lieutenant-Governor of the same, This Map of the Province of Pennsylvania. Is humbly dedicated …"; browned, lightly dampstained, much of right margin chipped or trimmed to plate-mark (good margins at other three sides), three tears at right margin into plate area with infinitesimal loss, some light wrinkling.

A rare map of Pennsylvania, more commonly seen in the 1775 Sayer and Bennett version which appeared in Faden's 1777 North American Atlas. Scull's map notes that it shows "the whole line run by Messrs. Mason & Dixon"; Scull also marks the site of General Edward Braddock's defeat at the battle of the Monongahela River during the French and Indian War.

Literature: Fite & Freeman 57; Schwartz & Ehrenberg p. 170, pl. 110

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015

Estimate: $15,000-20,000

Price Realized: $20,000


WASHINGTON, GEORGE - AUTOGRAPH LEAF FROM HIS DISCARDED FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS

2 pages on laid paper (8.875 x 6.375 in.; 225 x 162 mm), partial watermark (posthorn?), paginated 27 & 28 in Washington's hand, containing approximately 350 words in his holograph, [Mount Vernon, January 1789]; three small marginal repairs. Half red morocco portfolio.

The former President of the Constitutional Convention strongly endorses the new nation’s constitutional, representative government: “this Constitution, is really in its formulation a government of the people; that is to say, a government in which all power is derived from, and at stated periods reverts to them.”

Although George Washington did not receive official notification of his unanimous election to the presidency until 14 April 1789, his elevation to that office was essentially a foregone conclusion from the time that New Hampshire's ratification of the United States Constitution, 21 June 1788, provided the ninth-state approval necessary to put the new governmental compact into effect. Washington's ambivalence about becoming the chief executive is well known: on 1 April 1789 he famously wrote to Henry Knox, Acting Secretary of War and his old comrade in arms, that "my movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution: so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an Ocean of difficulties, without that competency of political skill—abilities & inclination which is necessary to manage the helm" (sold, Sotheby's, 1 November 1993, lot 232).

Washington's modesty—false or not—was belied by his willingness to serve. Indeed, the very office of presidency, as constituted, owes much to the character of Washington. His fame as the steady hero of the Revolution, his manifest lack of personal ambition, and his determination not to profit from public service won him a reputation unapproached by any other American of his—or any subsequent—day. Despite his strong desire to live in the "peaceful abode" of his Mount Vernon estates, he felt compelled to give active support to the Federal cause, agreeing to serve as president of the Constitutional Convention. Even before the delegates gathered in Philadelphia, there was a widespread belief that however the office of chief executive was ultimately defined, Washington was its only possible candidate. The potentially dictatorial powers invested in the presidency of commandership in chief of the armed forces could only have been approved under the near-universal assumption that Washington would be that trustworthy commander.

Washington accepted the inevitability of his election, and as early as January 1789 he had begun work on an Inaugural Address. With the assistance of David Humphreys, Washington wrote a lengthy and thoughtful charge to Congress, touching on a myriad of issues and recommendations: implementation and amendment of the Constitution, proposed legislation, organization of the judicial branch, taxation, defense, and encouragement of national commerce and culture. In February, Washington sent the text of the address to James Madison for his review and comment. While Madison's response does not survive, it can be assumed that he counseled Washington to deliver a less detailed, less radical, and—if only for practical reasons—shorter speech to Congress and his fellow citizens. Washington complied, and his first Inaugural Address was set aside in favor of a briefer, more personal statement, probably drafted with the help of Madison. It was this shortened and somewhat sterilized version of Washington's vision for the country that he read at his inauguration at Federal Hall, New York, 30 April 1789.

Washington's original Inaugural Address survived in holograph among his papers at Mount Vernon until the later 1820s, when it was transferred—with eight crates of other original documents—to the custody of Bostonian Jared Sparks, the nineteenth-century "editor" of Washington's writings. In consultation with Madison, Sparks decided that the undelivered Address should not be included in his selection of Washington's works. Having determined that the 73-page manuscript was now superfluous to him, Sparks made the much more startling decision to distribute the address to the autograph hunters and other souvenir hounds who had begun to hector him for examples of Washington's signature. Content at first to scatter the address leaf by leaf, Sparks eventually took to cutting individual leaves to into several smaller slips, evidently so he could accommodate more requests. James Thomas Flexner's excoriation of Sparks's "most horrendous historical vandalism" scarcely seems condemnation harsh enough.

Largely through the efforts of a new breed of manuscript collector—notably Forest G. Sweet and Nathaniel E. Stein (from whose collections this and the leaf following derive)—Washington's first Inaugural Address was recognized and, in part, rescued.

In this pivotal and eloquent passage from his first, undelivered Inaugural Address, Washington voices his strong support for the Constitution, “a government of the people,” whose right of franchise “turns the first wheel of government,” and whose exercise of their right to vote will “afford less opportunity for corruption & indifference; & more for stability & system than has usually been incident to popular governments.”

“[page 27:] set up my judgment as the standard of perfection?—And shall I arrogantly pronounce that whosoever differs from me, must discern the subject through a distorting medium, or be influenced by some nefarious design?—The mind is so formed in different persons as to contemplate the same object in different points of view. Hence originates difference on questions of the greatest import, both human & divine.—In all the Institutions of the former kind, great allowances are doubtless to be made for the fallibility & imperfections of their authors.—Although the agency I had in forming this system, and the high opinion I entertained of my colleagues for their ability & integrity may have tended to warp my judgment in its favour; yet I will not pretend to say that it appears absolutely perfect to me, or that there may not be many faults which have escaped my discernment.—I will only say, that, during and since the session of the Convention, I have attentively heard and read [page 28:] every oral & printed information on both sides of the question that could be procured.—This long & laborious investigation, in which I endeavoured as far as the frailty of nature would permit to act with candour has resulted in a fixed belief that this Constitution, is really in its formulation a government of the people; that is to say, a government in which all power is derived from, and at stated periods reverts to them—and that, in its operation, it is purely, a government of Laws made & executed by the fair substitutes of the people alone.—The election of the differt. branches of Congress by the Freemen, either directly or indirectly is the pivot on which turns the first wheel of government—a wheel which communicates motion to all the rest.—At the sametime the exercise of this right of election seems to be so regulated as to afford less opportunity for corruption & indifference; & more for stability & system than has usually been incident to popular governments.—Nor can the Members of Congress exempt themselves from the consequences of” [end of present leaf; the sentence is concluded on page 29 of the Address, “of any unjust & tyranical acts which they may impose upon others” (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York)].

Washington’s interpretation of the Constitution, and his embrace of his office as a representation of the people, has been echoed by virtually all of his successors, but seldom with his persuasiveness, passion, and probity.

Provenance: Bushrod Washington — Jared Sparks — Forest G. Sweet (Parke-Bernet, 8 May 1957, lot 370 [part]) — Nathaniel E. Stein (Sotheby Parke Bernet, 30 November 1979, lot 183)

Literature: The Papers of George Washington, ed. Abbot & Twohig, Presidential Series, 2:164–65

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $175,000-275,000

Price Realized: $150,000


WASHINGTON, GEORGE - AUTOGRAPH LEAF FROM HIS DISCARDED FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS

2 pages on laid paper (9 x 7.25 in.; 229 184 mm) unwatermarked, paginated 47–48 in Washington’s hand and containing approximately 300 words in his holograph, [Mount Vernon, January 1789], right margin recto docketed “Washington’s handwriting, Jared Sparks”; lightly browned, a few tiny chips at fore-edge costing about eight characters, remnant of mounting guard on right margin verso, inner margin with three small sewing holes where formerly bound. Housed in a half brown morocco portfolio.

In a highly significant section of his first Inaugural Address, General Washington explicitly argues that the Constitution is subject to amendment and, by clear implication, he advocates the adoption of the Bill of Rights. In a greatly modified form, this became the only substantive recommendation in Washington’s revised Address, as delivered.

Perhaps the chief objection to the ratification of the Constitution was the absence of a Bill of Rights: an explicit enumeration of the intrinsic and inherent individual rights articulated and protected by English common law. Other Anti-Federalist Constitutional opponents, like Virginia’s Patrick Henry, feared the enormous power vested in the central government at the expense of states’ rights. A consensus began to emerge that a Bill of Rights was necessary, but the momentum for ratification of the Constitution was too strong to stop. Several states (Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts among them) ratified the Constitution with a recommendation that a Bill of Rights be added to it. Other states continued their objections: North Carolina, which had not yet even ratified the Constitution, resolved in August 1788 that a national Convention be called to amend it with a “Declaration of Rights.” At the same time, staunch Federalists like Alexander Hamilton of New York and Fisher Ames of Massachusetts believed that any such amendments were unnecessary and even redundant for a government chartered in the name of “We, the People of the United States.”

As a Virginian, Washington felt a keen allegiance to individual rights: George Mason’s bill of rights, adopted by the Virginia legislature on 12 June 1776, had served as one of Thomas Jefferson’s fundamental sources for the Declaration of Independence. In clear and vigorous language, Washington refutes the notions that the Constitution is immutable and that a three-quarters ratification is illegitimate, while at the same time urging Congress “to secure to the people all their justly-esteemed previledges.”

[The sentence concluded on page 47 begins on a fragment of page 46, identified in 1958 as privately owned: “The reasoning which have been used, to”] [page 47:] “prove that amendments could never take place after this Constitution should be adopted, I must avow, have not appeared conclusive to me.—I could not understand, by any mathematical analogy, why the Whole number of States in Union should be more likely to concur in any proposed amendment, than three fourths of that number: before the adoption, the concurrence of the former was necessary for affecting this measure—since the adoption, only the latter.—Here I will not presume to dictate as to the time, when it may be most expedient to attempt to remove all the redundancies or supply the defects, which shall be discovered in this complicated machine.—I will barely suggest, whether it would not be the part of prudent men to observe it fully in movement, before they undertook to make such alterations, as might prevent a fair experiment of its effect?—and whether, in the meantime, it may not be practicable for this congress (if their proceedings shall meet with the approbation of three fourths of the Legislatures) in such manner to secure to the people all their [page 48:] justly-esteemed previledges, as shall produce extensive satisfaction?”

(Compare the above passage to the stiff and cautious language of the delivered address: “Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide, how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the Fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture by the nature of objections which have been urged against the System, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good: For I assure myself that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of a United and effective Government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question how far the former can be more impregnably fortified, or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted” [The Papers of George Washington, ed. Abbot & Twohig, Presidential Series 2:176].)

In this leaf of his first Inaugural Address, Washington also entreats Congress to be prudent in its establishment of the federal judiciary: “The complete organization of the Judicial Department was left by the Constitution to the ulterior arrangement of Congress.—You will be pleased therefore to let a supreme regard for equal justice & the inherent rights of the citizens be visible in all your proceedings on that important subject.” Congress discharged this obligation rapidly, and Richard Bernstein has called the Judiciary Act of 1789 “the most significant and enduring law ever adopted by Congress” (Are We To Be a Nation?, p. 257).

This important leaf concludes with Washington’s thoughts on two topics that have become staples of presidential addresses: the national debt and taxes: “I have a confident reliance, that your wisdom & patriotism will be exerted to raise the supplies for discharging the interest on the National debt & for supporting the government during the current year, in a manner as little burdensome to the people as possible.—The necessary estimates will be laid before you.—A general, moderate Impost upon imports; together with a higher Tax upon certain enumerated articles, will, undoubtedly, occur to you in the course …” In fact, these questions and other matters of fiscal policy were largely handled during the first administration not by Congress, but by the executive Treasury Department and its first secretary, Alexander Hamilton.

Provenance: Bushrod Washington — Jared Sparks — Forest G. Sweet (Parke-Bernet, 8 May 1957, lot 370 [part]) — Nathaniel E. Stein (Sotheby Parke Bernet, 30 November 1979, lot 187)

Literature: The Papers of George Washington, ed. Abbot & Twohig, Presidential Series 2:169–70

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $125,000-175,000

Price Realized: $100,000


WILLIAMS, ROGER - THE BLOUDY TENENT, OF PERSECUTION, FOR CAUSE OF CONSCIENCE, DISCUSSED, IN A CONFERENCE BETWEENE TRUTH AND PEACE. WHO, IN ALL TENDER AFFECTION, PRESENT TO THE HIGH COURT OF PARLIAMENT, (AS THE RESULT OF THEIR DISCOURSE) THESE, (AMONGST OTHER PASSAGES) OF HIGHEST CONSIDERATION. PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1644.

4to (7 x 5.375 in.; 175 x 135 mm). Minor chipping to outer margins of title page, less so to first gathering, faded ink stamps of the Rhode Island Friends School to initial blank, title page and A1, generally internally quite clean with only very intermittent minor stray spotting and with the binder's knife only occasionally intruding into the printed marginal notes, but leaving all catchwords intact. Near contemporary limp vellum with remains of old ties; minor soiling and rubbing with later endpapers and pastedowns.

Rhode Island founder Roger Williams's call for religious tolerance and the foundation text for the modern separation of church and state

Roger Williams was condemned to banishment from Massachusetts in 1636 for spreading "dissent." Among his many controversial opinions was that the Salem church was not sufficiently removed from the Church of England; however, it was his sympathies with the Native Americans that really damaged his standing in the colony. His original missionary zeal to convert the Indians dwindled after he began living among them, learning their language and their customs. Williams began to question the legality of the English settling on a land that was already settled. It was the height of sedition to suggest that a King had no right to grant charters in the New World, but Williams was to go further in his radicalism when he established his own colony in the spring of 1636. A haven for dissenters in what is now present day Rhode Island, the community of "Providence" enjoyed rule by majority vote by head of household and proclaimed no official religion.

The Bloudy Tenent was, in many respects, the culmination of Williams's radicalism in New England. In order to insure that Cotton’s Massachusetts would have no influence over his haven, Williams returned to England to secure a separate charter and to have the Tenent printed. The book wasn’t issued until Williams was at sea, returning to his new colony with his charter granted. So revolutionary were the ideas within, that the printer of the Tenent, Gregory Dexter, left shortly after it was issued to join Williams in New England.

Within the first page and a half, Williams states that he intends to prove "It is the will and command of God, that since the coming of his Sonne the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or Antichristian consciences and worships, bee granted in all nations and all countries." As shocking as the preceding statement might be, he goes further, telling Parliament that, while their Christianity meant the saving of souls, their role in government was to protect "the Bodies and Goods of others." To enforce one "conscience," or form of worship, above another was to "hath committed a greater rape, then if they had forced or ravished the bodies of all the women in the world."

The book reprints both an anonymous 1620 plea for religious toleration by a Newgate prisoner (supposedly written in milk so as to be invisible and smuggled out), as well as John Cotton's rebuttal. Williams then uses the remainder of his work not only to refute Cotton, but also to prove God's acceptance of differing faiths and make the case for the state to do so as well. However, it was his economic arguments that were the most convincing for many.

Using Amsterdam as an example of the thriving success that religious toleration brings, he says, "This confluence of the persecuted drew Boats, drew Trade, drew Shipping so that mightily in so short a time, that Shipping, Trade, Wealth, Greatnesse, Honour.... have appeared to fall as out of Heaven in a Crown or Garland upon that poor Fisher Town."

The financial possibilities for a society where "dissenting consciences" were welcome to trade, and where government concentrated on supporting enterprise rather than monitoring any faith, was to have an enormous impact in the colonies. One need only read the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to find that Williams's ideas continued to resonate throughout the next century and beyond.

Rare: Two editions of this work were printed in 1644, one with the title, "The Bloudy Tenet", issued without the errata printed on p. 247, and another with the title as described above with the errata. Both the Church and John Carter Brown Catalogues regard the present edition as the first; but Sabin (104331) quotes Henry Stevens as suggesting that the "Tenet" edition is the earlier of the two, a case supported by the latter spelling being used eight years later in The Bloody Tenent yet More Bloody.

Both printings are virtually impossible to obtain, not least because Parliament ordered the work burned by the common hangman. Sabin identified only two copies of the "Tenet" printing, and of the present printing, we can find only one complete copy at auction in the last 60 years.

Provenance: "Eliz Whichell" (early eighteenth-century ownership signature to verso of blank) — Moses Brown (1822 gift inscription from his nephew Nicholas Brown, Jr.; donated to) — Rhode Island Friends School (stamps, original exhibition cards for loan to the Colombian World's Fair Colonial Relic Exhibit, Chicago, 1893; the School absorbed by) — New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, which offers the following statement about the book:

First gathered in Rhode Island in 1661, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends is today the faith community of Quakers in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. We have chosen to offer our copy of Roger Williams' Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience at this time mindful of the struggle and sacrifice of so many to lay the essential foundations of American religious freedom and the separation of Church and State. The book is being deaccessioned from our Archives with a recognition that while this copy has long belonged to Quakers, in a very real sense it belongs to the world.

Literature: John Carter Brown, vol. 2, part II, pp. 325-326; Church 467; European Americana 644/167; Sabin 104332; Wing W2758. See John Barry, Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul. New York, 2012.

Sold at Sotheby's Auction June 19, 2015.

Estimate: $100,000-150,000

Price Realized: $175,000


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