Printed & Manuscript Americana
Vice President & Director, Books & Manuscripts
(212) 254-4710 ext. 27
George S. Lowry
Nicholas D. Lowry
President, Principal Auctioneer
Andrew M. Ansorge
Vice President & Controller
Chief Marketing Officer
Vice President & Director, Prints & Drawings
Vice President & Director, African American Art
Vice President & Director, Books & Manuscripts
Andrew M. Ansorge
Vice President & Controller
(alaska.) charles sumner.
Speech . . . on the Cession of Russian America to the United States.
Folding map printed in red, blue and black (24 x 38 inches). 8vo, original printed wrappers, minimal wear; moderate foxing to title page only, light vertical fold throughout, map detached with minimal wear including short separations at intersections of folds. In modern custom folding ¼ morocco case.
A detailed exposition of the merits of the recent Alaska Purchase. In closing, Sumner advocates for renaming the late Russian territory “Alaska,” and moving the international date line to bring it in line with American calendars. The map is not found in all copies; it is the original stated “Second edition, May 1867” as described in Lada-Mocarski. Howes S1134; Lada-Mocarski 159.
$600 – $900
(alaska.) william coxe.
Account of the Russian Discoveries between Asia and America.
4 folding maps. xxii, 344,  pages including leaf of publisher’s ads. 4to, later buckram, worn, rebacked in calf; hinges split, 3-inch early repair to frontispiece map, lacking the view of a Chinese town facing page 211; early signature of a Major Jeffries on title page, perforated library stamps on title and page 51.
First edition of a history compiled by an English scholar in St. Petersburg. “Recounts the principal Russian discoveries and explorations made in northwestern America in their attempts to open communications with Alaska and the Aleutian Islands”–Hill 391. “A result of contemporary and authoritative sources translated into English, not to be overlooked by scholars and collectors alike”–Lada-Mocarski 29. Without the 1787 supplement, often found bound in. Howes C834; Sabin 17309; Streeter sale VI:3492.
$600 – $900
Three early issues of the weekly newspaper The Alaskan, including the first issue.
Sitka, AK: Alaskan Publishing Company, 1885-1886
Volume I, Numbers 1, 2, and 21. Each 4 pages, about 19½ x 12¼ inches, on one folding sheet; stitch holes along inner margin, tightly trimmed with slight loss along fore-edge of #2 and #21, a few contemporary inked notations, moderate wear and toning.
The Alaskan was one of the first newspapers published in Alaska, preceded only by the short-lived Sitka Times (1868-1871) and Sitka Post (1876-1877). The Alaskan survived much longer than its predecessors, through at least 1908.
The first issue dated 7 November 1885 includes some colorful details on the obstacles faced by the new publication. The man contracted to serve as printer never arrived, but the Deputy Collector of Customs proved to have the needed skills. In other news, a tomcat stole a haunch of venison off the territorial governor’s plate during dinner, so the governor grabbed a gun and shot the cat as it fled. Although the Yukon Gold Rush was still many years away, the mining industry is discussed frequently in all three issues. Issue Number 2, dated 14 November 1885, reports that “the native boys, most of them barefooted, are engaged in a game of base-ball on the parade ground.” Number 21, dated 27 March 1886, featured a long report on the black-tailed deer.
$600 – $900
(american indians.) johann jacob kleinschmidt, engraver.
Tomo Chachi Mico oder König von Yamacran.
[Halle, Germany, circa 1735?]
Engraving, 8½ x 5¾ inches, on laid paper; cropped just within margins, minor wear and foxing, laid down on early paper with mount remnants on verso; early owner’s inked stamp on verso.
Tomochichi was raised among the Creek people and left to found his own Yamacraw tribe on what soon became the Georgia coast. Eager for trade with the English, in 1733 he granted James Oglethorpe permission to create the settlement of Savannah. The next year he and a small group of his people accompanied Oglethorpe on a trip to England, where they had an audience with George II, and were present for the signing of the treaty establishing the settlement. During this visit, Tomochichi, his nephew Toonahowi, and a captive bald eagle sat for a formal portrait.
This engraving was originally published as an illustration to a scarce Georgia emigration tract by Samuel Urlsperger, “Der ausführlichen Nachrichten von der Königlich-Gross-Britannischen Colonie Saltzburgischer Emigranten in America.” The source image was a 1734 British mezzotint by John Faber after the original painting by William Verelst (here credited as “pinxt.”) Howes U27; Sabin 98133. A large-margined example recently hammered for $13,000.
$5,000 – $7,500
(american indians.) samson occom.
A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian, who was Executed at New-Haven.
Boston: John Boyles, 1773
22 pages. 8vo, stitched, worn fragment of plain front wrapper present; edge wear, a few short closed tears, leaves C2-3 quite worn with slight loss of text and edges reinforced, final unnumbered leaf C4 (biography of Moses Paul) in facsimile only; uncut; early owner’s signature at base of page 22.
Early edition of the 1772 first published work by an American Indian. Occom was a Mohegan who studied under Eleazer Wheelock and was ordained by the Presbyterian Church. He later preached among the Montauks of Long Island. Bristol B3610; Littlefield, Biobibliography of Native American Writers, 1772-1924; Sabin 56635.
$400 – $600
(american indians.) james otto lewis.
[The Aboriginal Port-Folio . . . of the Most Celebrated Chiefs of the North American Indians.]
56 [of 80] hand-colored lithographic plates. 3 text advertisement leaves (all issued). Folio, lacking boards and backstrip but remaining bound with original worn flyleaves; intermittent dampstaining, moderate foxing, minor wear, lacking the final 3 numbers as well as the collective title page, plates numbered in pencil in upper corners; early pencil signature on flyleaf.
The first of the large illustrated folio publications devoted to the American Indians, preceding the work of McKinney & Hall and Catlin. It was issued in 10 parts of 8 plates each, but complete volumes are almost never seen, as the last two parts were issued in much smaller print runs. The plates were lithographed by George Lehman and Peter S. Duval after original paintings done on the midwestern frontier by Lewis, mostly in the mid-1820s while on treaty expeditions with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Field 936; Howes L315 (“b”); Reese, Stamped with a National Character 23; Sabin 40812.
$12,000 – $18,000
Surrender of sovereignty by the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes of Michigan.
Allegan County, MI?, 18 April 1853
Letterpress handbill, 9¾ x 3¾ inches, signed in type by 44 tribal members and a notary public, and additionally in manuscript with an “X” by Peter Adawich; horizontal folds, uncut, minimal wear.
Efforts to displace the Chippewa and Ottawa inhabitants of Michigan began with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, but were widely resisted. Prospective destinations on the Great Plains would have been too great a shift from the northern woodlands, while more familiar terrain in Wisconsin or Minnesota would have put them in conflict with the Sioux. See Elizabeth Neumeyer, “Michigan Indians Battle Against Removal,” in Michigan History 55 (1971), pages 275-288. Rather than submit to removal, some exchanged land rights for American citizenship, as seen in this document from southwestern Michigan:
“We the undersigned descendants of the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes of Indians, having been born in the State of Michigan, and always resided therein–being attached to the soil, where the bones of our Fathers are laid” promised to adopt “the laws, habits of life, and Government of the white people of the United States . . . that we may enjoy the benefits of civilization and Christianity, and the privileges and civil rights of citizens and voters.”
No other examples of this handbill have been traced in OCLC or at auction.
$1,000 – $1,500
(american indians.) thomas mckenney and james hall.
History of the Indian Tribes of North America.
120 hand-colored lithographed plates. iv, 333; xvii, -290; iv, 17-392 pages. 3 volumes. Large 8vo, publisher’s full morocco with ornamental frame stamped on covers, binding detached on volume II, otherwise minor wear; minimal foxing; all edges gilt, a handsome unsophisticated copy; early bookplates on front pastedowns, owner’s inked stamps on free endpapers.
Third octavo edition of the classic work of American Indian portrait iconography, with color plates after paintings later destroyed in the 1865 Smithsonian fire. The original edition in folio format was published in 1836-44. “The most colorful portraits of Indians ever executed”–Howes M129 (“aa”).
$4,000 – $6,000
(american indians.) william henry blackmore.
A Brief Account of the North American Indians.
45 pages. 8vo, original printed wrappers, moderate foxing; printed on heavy paper stock with minimal wear to contents.
Blackmore was an English land promoter and speculator who was active in the American west. He took a deep interest in the Plains Indians and founded a museum of Indian artifacts in England. This essay was published as the introduction to Richard I. Dodge’s book “Hunting Grounds of the Great West” in 1877, but is here published separately “for private circulation only.” It draws heavily on his personal experiences, and also devotes several pages to the recent Battle of the Little Bighorn. He emphasizes the savage cruelty of the American Indian and predicts that “in a few years the only reminiscence of the Red Men will be the preservation of the names of some of the extinct tribes and dead chiefs in the nomenclature of the leading cities, counties, and States of the Great West.”
Ironically, Blackmore became heavily indebted and killed himself in a fit of drunken despair the following year, while the American Indians are still here. We find 10 in OCLC and trace one at auction since 1923.
$600 – $900
(american indians.) thomas augustus bland.
A Brief History of the Late Military Invasion of the Home of the Sioux.
Washington: National Indian Defence Committee, 1891
32 pages. 8vo, original printed wrappers, splitting at fold, “Assassination of Sitting Bull” penciled on front wrapper, minor wear; several pages splitting at fold, interior sheet detached, bit of rusting at staples.
An important investigation made shortly after the Wounded Knee Massacre by the sympathetic founder of the National Indian Defence Association, featuring extensive interviews with Sioux witnesses regarding the context leading to the Ghost Dances, resistance, and massacre. None traced at auction since 1924.
$400 – $600
(american indians–photographs.) camillus s. fly, photographer.
Geronimo and Natches Mounted.
Tombstone, AZ, March 1886 image
Albumen photograph, 4¾ x 8 inches, on original mount, with photographer’s copyright statement in the negative, and his printed sticker on verso, image #171 from Fly’s “Scene in Geronimo’s Camp” series; light crease with an inch of image loss around Geronimo’s shoulder, moderate foxing.
In March 1886, the Arizona photographer Camillus Fly accompanied General Crook’s forces for their negotiations with Geronimo’s band of Chiricahua Apache, who were holding out in the Sierra Madre mountains about 20 miles south of the New Mexico border. Mounted on the left is the famed Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo. The man at his left (holding a baby) is Geronimo’s son. On the other horse is Naices (here spelled Natches), the hereditary chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. Geronimo and his band escaped shortly after surrendering.
$2,000 – $3,000
Photograph believed to depict Geronimo and other Apache prisoners.
[Fort Sill, OK?], circa 1900-09
Photograph, 5 x 7 inches, signed in negative “L.H.”; unmounted, moderate wear including ¼-inch tear on top edge.
Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apaches surrendered to the United States Army in 1886, and became prisoners of war. 341 surviving members were sent to Fort Sill, OK in 1894, where Geronimo spent the remainder of his years until his death in 1909. This photograph, which probably dates to the first decade of the 20th century, apparently shows Geronimo (front row, third from left) and 16 other men. The photographer is identified in the negative only by the initials “L.H.”
$200 – $300
Group of 11 photographs.
Various places, circa 1900-35
Various sizes and formats, condition generally strong.
“Indian Village, Crow, Montana,” gelatin silver print, 4 x 6½ inches, matted.
“Squaw Dancers,” real photo postcard, 3¼ x 5¼ inches.
Untitled and uncredited image of 3 men and a wagon backstage at a wild west show, gelatin silver print, 4 x 5 inches.
George Lyman Rose, “Yava Supai Indian Girl, Cataract Canyon,” albumen print, 8 x 6 inches.
Pair of portraits of “Ka-Ti-Sa-Tchi (Don’t Go Out), commonly known on the reserve as Whisky John,” cyanotype prints, each 8½ x 6½ inches.
Shemild of Minneapolis, photographer, “Chief Max Big Man, Crow,” gelatin silver print on heavy stock, light folds, 8 x 10 inches.
Harold Evans Kellogg, group of 4 gelatin silver prints of buffalo dancers and others at San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico, framed together in brass mat, each 2¾ x 3¾ oval to sight, in 8¾ x 10¾-inch frame, Santa Fe, NM, circa 1930s.
$300 – $400
Receipt for drinks and damages incurred by the New York Triumvirate at a famed Sons of Liberty tavern.
[New York], 7 February 1769
Manuscript document, 5¾ x 4 inches, almost blank on verso; folds, minor wear.
In the years before the American Revolution, a group of three New York lawyers became known as “The Triumvirate”: William Smith (1728-1793), William Livingston (1723-1790), and John Morin Scott (1730-1814). In 1752, they founded a short-lived but influential weekly political journal called the Independent Reflector, the only of its kind in the colonies. As the colonies veered toward rebellion, the three friends took different paths: Scott became an outspoken member of the Sons of Liberty, Livingston was a moderate patriot who opposed independence, while Smith became a prominent Loyalist.
This document places the Triumvirate together in a very interesting time and place: Bolton & Sigell’s tavern, where the New York Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1768, and where in March 1769, New York merchants active in the Sons of Liberty met there to enforce their non-importation boycott. It was leased from Samuel Fraunces, and still stands today as the legendary Fraunces Tavern. In this hotbed of liberty, the three friends were joined by William Bayard (1729-1804), a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765 and member of the Sons of Liberty, although he later cast his lot with the Loyalists.
Knowing the background of these men makes this humble tavern receipt more interesting. The bill is for supper, spruce beer, punch, porter, a large quantity of madeira wine costing twice as much as supper, and 15 shillings for “china plates broke.” The total cost is billed to “Mr. Wm. Bayard, Mr. Smith, Mr. Wm. Livingston, Mr. Scott,” and is signed “Received the contents, Bolton & Sigell.”
At a time when New Yorkers were anxiously picking sides between loyalty and rebellion, these four strong-willed leaders with very different paths met in the hotbed of rebellion and shared more than a few drinks. Plates were broken–innocently dropped, or hurled across the room in anger, in a fight about a drunken insult, or over the fate of America–we will probably never know.
Provenance: recently acquired from a dealer who also offered other William Bayard documents.
$2,000 – $3,000
A Continuation of the Proceedings of the House of Representatives of . . . Massachusetts-Bay,
Boston: Edes and Gill, 1770
Relative to . . . Keeping the General Assembly at Harvard-College. 8vo, disbound; minor foxing, minor wear to final leaf.
Concerning the relocation of the Massachusetts colonial government to Cambridge in the wake of the Boston Massacre. On the first page, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams and others are appointed to protest this decision to the Lieutenant Governor. Evans 11733; Sabin 45695.
$500 – $750
Manuscript notes on St. Andrews Masonic Lodge of Boston, and its famous Green Dragon Tavern.
12 manuscript pages, 12 x 7½ inches, on 4 unbound folding sheets; folds, minor wear and dampstaining.
These notes were apparently taken during an investigation of the finances of a Masonic lodge in Boston at some point not long after 1807, ensuring that it had clear title to its lodge building. However, this was not just any lodge, and not just any building. The notes were taken from the original records of St. Andrews Lodge, which had been established in 1756 and quickly became a locus of revolutionary activity. The lodge acquired its building in 1766 and used the first floor for meetings, while the basement was operated as the Green Dragon Tavern, otherwise known as the “Headquarters of the Revolution,” where the Sons of Liberty held surreptitious meetings.
Whoever went through the records to untangle the lodge’s finances clearly also had an interest in the lodge’s place in history. Special note is made of Joseph Warren’s admission as a member on 14 May 1765. Paul Revere is mentioned thrice as a member of the lodge’s standing committee during the 1768 purchase discussions and in 1777. James Otis, the Patriot lawyer who wrote “Taxation without Representation is tyranny,” is here consulted in 1767: “A com’e was appointed to get advice from Mr. James Otis respecting the house.” The last document discussed in the notes is an 1807 report on the lodge’s finances, which found that the lodge had paid $1555.56 for the “Green Dragon Tavern,” followed by $39.24 in repairs from 1760 to 1774.
$500 – $750
The Battle of Lexington, April 19th 1775.
Boston, circa 1828-1834
Lithograph, 15 x 17½ inches; 3-inch closed tear on left edge, edges and caption area worn, but beautifully restored.
Moses Swett (1804-1838) here adapts the well-known 1775 view of the battle by Amos Doolittle, with his drawing then put on stone by Boston’s first lithographers, Pendleton’s Lithography. Swett made some adjustments to Doolittle’s contemporary rendering, cleaning up some of the primitive perspective and scale from the original, and altering the buildings in the background for composition purposes. The biggest change, though, is with the patriot troops in the foreground. Doolittle had depicted the event as a massacre of unorganized civilians by a formidable British military, with the dead or scattering Americans portrayed as victims. This made sense in the context of 1775, when the British were viewed as aggressors. By the 1830s, with the United States well established and annual Independence Day celebrations in honor of its origin stories, Swett reshaped the scene to show the patriots standing firm and firing back at the British regulars. See “Imagining the Battle of Lexington” at the American Revolution Institute website for more on this interesting comparison. One copy in OCLC, at the Boston Athenaeum; another is held by the Worcester Art Museum. None traced at auction since 1916.
$1,500 – $2,500
Loyalty petition from what is now Portland, Maine.
Falmouth, ME, 1 June 1775
Manuscript document, 11¾ x 7¾ inches, 2 pages on one sheet; separations and moderate wear at folds, 4 tape repairs.
In 1775, Falmouth was a sprawling township in the northern section of Massachusetts which would soon become known as the District of Maine. The most populous section of Falmouth was “the Neck,” which would be broken off as the city of Portland ten years later. Falmouth Neck was the site of considerable revolutionary action, including “Thompson’s War,” a standoff between the Royal Navy and a patriot militia in early May 1775. The present document was written in Falmouth shortly afterward to ensure loyalty among the “several hundreds on ye Neck.”
“Agreeable to a resolve of our provincial Congress on the 8th of May ult’o, the Committee of Correspondence in this town, in order to know who are enemical to the rights of mankind and the interest of America, having proposed the following declaration of agreement to be sign’d by the inhabitants thereof, we the said inhabitants do heartily & cheerfully subscribe the same, viz:
We solemnly and sincerely declare that it is our opinion that the ministry of Great Britain and the Parliament have of late invaded the constitutional rights and liberties of this country by prosecuting their avowed design of raising a revenue here without our consent, as well as arbitrarily infringing our charter, and altering the civil government of this province, and therefore, to prevent a state of slavery, do sincerely and heartily agree and engage to do our utmost to carry into execution whatever measures have been or may be consistently recommended by the Continental and our provincial congresses for the purpose of opposing and frustrating those evil designs and for the preservation of our happy constitution, until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America upon constitutional principles can be obtained, which God grant may be speedily brought about, and that we will readily and heartily join our countrymen on all occasions in defence of our said rights and liberties as we trust our cause is righteous, and that we may succeed. We shall endeavor to oblige all persons to pay due obedience to the general resolves of Congress in particular, one for the regulation of the militia, to obey the orders of the several military officers who have been or shall be elected by the several companies and regiments, agreeable to the resolves of Congress, and to preserve peace and good order among ourselves and safety to the lives and properties of every individual among us.”
This is not the original petition with signatures. Added in a different hand is a note: “This was signed by several hundreds on ye Neck, indeed all but the Custom House officers, Mr. Pagan, who gave ye committee a very handsome letter in excuse, and Mr. Courning[?], and I don’t recollect any body except those who have left us. This method was agreed upon by ye committee to find out who were enemies, as the presumption was that those who were Tories &c would not sign it.”
Similar resolutions were passed in other New England towns during these early months of the Revolution, but this Falmouth resolution does not seem to be published.
$5,000 – $7,500
(american revolution–1775.) samuel stearns.
The North-American’s Almanack, and Gentleman’s and Lady’s Diary, for . . . 1776.
Worcester, MA: Isaiah Thomas, 
 pages. 12mo, stitched; uncut, moderate toning and edge wear.
Includes an extensive “Account of the Commencement of Hostilities” by “Rev. Mr. William Gordon of Roxbury,” which features an eyewitness account of the Battle of Lexington, quoted at length in Sagendorph’s America and Her Almanacs, 89-93 as “the most striking example of this kind of on-the-spot reporting.” Also includes Sir Richard Rum’s long and rather unpleasant cure for drunkenness involving emetics, laxatives, and vinegar, and the more serious “Directions for Preserving the Health of the Soldier in the Camps.” The almanac makes a prophetic prediction for the 4th of July: “Thunder.” Drake 3260; Evans 14473; Sabin 90943.
$1,200 – $1,800
(american revolution–1776.) [john hathaway?]
Militia officer complaining about unfair promotions in his brigade.
No place, circa February 1776?
Autograph Letter to George Godfrey (1720-1793) of Taunton, MA, Brigadier General of the Bristol Brigade of Massachusetts Militia. One page, 12½ x 7½ inches, with address panel (no postal markings) and docketing on verso, plus integral blank; 2½-inch fore-edge chip with loss of several words including most of signature, other moderate wear.
“I am informed, sir, that you offered the major’s place in the army to two of your captains before Major Mitchell was appointed. . . . How they could be cal’d major and bare the same rank they now do is a thing I cannot solve by rule or grammar. . . . I realy conceive of your conduct to be degraiding of that set of officers, and as one of them I very modestly and calmly resent your conduct.” Quite a cheeky letter to write to your commanding officer.
The damaged signature reads only “Jo—,” but the docketing reads “Maj’r Hathaway’s reflecting letter to G. Godfrey.” Godfrey served as Brigadier General from January 1776 to July 1781. He appointed Abiel Mitchell as Major in February 1776, about the same time as John Hathaway was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
$200 – $300
(american revolution–1776.) nathaniel low.
An Astronomical Diary; or, Almanack, for . . . 1777.
Boston: J. Gill, 
Map.  pages. 12mo, disbound; dampstaining, leaves 9-11 supplied from another copy, moderate wear, uncut.
Featuring a full-page map of the New York City area, “A View of the Present Seat of War, at and near New-York,” which shows General Washington’s position on Manhattan. Also Low’s extended “Address to the Tories,” and a poem beginning “Let tyrants rage.” Drake 3264; Evans 14829; Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators 77; Sabin 42402.
$700 – $1,000
Pay list for Captain Daniel Burgsteiner’s company.
Ebenezer, GA, 3 August 1778
2 pages, 12½ x 7½ inches, signed by Burgsteiner and two officials; toning and foxing, partial separations at folds, 1-inch early paper repair.
Lists pay due to the captain and 39 of his men for service of up to 63 days, “for duty & rations done at the magazine at Ebenezer.”
$400 – $600
(american revolution–1779.) [john jay.]
A Circular Letter from the Congress of the United States of America to their Constituents.
New London, CT: T. Green, 
19 pages. 8vo, stitched; title page quite worn with some soiling but no loss of text, dampstaining to early leaves, final leaf laid down on scrapbook paper; uncut; early inscription on title page.
Originally printed in Philadelphia earlier that year. A discussion of the finances of the war, with a rousing conclusion: “Determine to finish the contest as you began it, honestly and gloriously. Let it never be said that America had no sooner become independent than she became insolvent, or that her infant glories and growing fame were obscured and tarnished by broken contracts and violated faith, in the very hour when all the nations of the earth were admiring and almost adoring the splendor of her rising.” Evans 16560. None of this edition traced at auction.
$300 – $400
(american revolution–1780.) varton, after “bundury” [bunbury].
Nouvelles Troupes de Grenadiers Englois.
“London”: Dickinson, 1780
Hand-colored engraving, 13¼ x 10¼ inches; horizontal fold, minor dampstaining in caption area, early edge reinforcement on verso.
A French copy (probably pirated) of a popular satirical print by Bunbury titled “Recruits,” with a British officer reviewing three bedraggled potential conscripts. No other examples of this French variant traced in OCLC or at auction.
$200 – $300
(american revolution–1782.) james crawford.
Letter describing the dramatic naval Battle of Delaware Bay.
Philadelphia, 16 April 1782
Autograph Letter Signed “J.C.” to John Brown “care of Governor Hancock” in Boston. One page, 9 x 7½ inches, plus integral blank with docketing and address panel marked “4” for postage; seal tear to address leaf, otherwise minimal wear.
While the land battles of the American Revolution came almost completely to an end at Yorktown in 1781, the two powers still clashed at sea. This letter passes on the fresh news of the Battle of Delaware Bay (or Battle of Cape May). Three American privateers were accompanying a merchant convoy into Philadelphia when they were attacked by three ships of the Royal Navy. The privateer Hyder Ally was commanded by Continental Navy captain Joshua Barney, who delivered the British a thrashing.
Here, a Philadelphia merchant writes to Continental naval agent John Brown (1748-1833) of Philadelphia, then visiting with Governor John Hancock in Boston. After addressing a minor insurance matter, he passes on dramatic news. “Nothing new since my last, except Capt. Barney in the ship Hyder Aly taking the King ship Monk of 10 nine pounders, in an action of 30 minutes. The Hyder Aly mounted 6 nines & 10 sixes. There never was more execution done by the same force in the same time. The Monk had every officer except two, killed or wounded. Amongst the latter was the Capt. She had in all 21 kill’d & 32 wounded. The Hyder Aly had 4 kill’d & 11 wounded. From such slaughter no doubt you’d conclude one of them boarded, but it was not the case. A fair action within pistol shot.”
Crawford also adds a postscript about a notable American privateer: “Rec’d a New York paper of the 11th giving an acc’t of Capt. Nicholson in the Dean being cary’d into Jam[aic]a by a 40-gun ship.”
$1,000 – $1,500
(american revolution–1783.) robert r. livingston.
Letter announcing the cessation of hostilities with Great Britain.
Philadelphia, 12 April 1783
Letter Signed “RR Livingston” to Lyman Hall as Governor of Georgia. One page, 13 x 8 inches, plus integral blank with docketing “Cessation of Hostility, Treaty of Peace”; partial separations at folds, uneven toning, moderate dampstaining.
“A national character is now to be acquired. I venture to hope that it will be worthy of the struggle by which we became a nation.”
The Declarations for Suspension of Arms and Cessation of Hostilities which ended the war was signed by British and American officials at Versailles in January 1783, and news crossed the Atlantic by April. This circular letter was sent to the various American governors along with a copy of the treaty (not present). The author, Robert R. Livingston (1746-1813), had helped draft the Declaration of Independence, served as the first United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and was Chancellor of New York for 24 years.
“Permit me to offer you my congratulations on the important event announced by the United States in Congress in the enclosed proclamation for the cessation of hostilities, an event which is not only pleasing at it relieves us from the accumulated distresses of war in the bowels of our country, but as it affords the fairest and most flattering prospects of its future greatness and prosperity. I need not, I am persuaded, Sir, use any arguments to urge your Excellency and the State in which you preside, to the most scrupulous attention to the execution of every stipulation in our treaty, which may depend on you or them. A national character is now to be acquired. I venture to hope that it will be worthy of the struggle by which we became a nation.”
$10,000 – $15,000
(architecture.) batty & thomas langley.
The Builder’s Jewel: or, The Youth’s Instructor and Workman’s Remembrancer.
Charlestown, MA, 
99 (of 100) plates including frontispiece. 46 pages. Large 16mo (5½ x 4½ inches), contemporary calf, backstrip chipped, front board detached; lacking plate numbered 98, moderate foxing and offsetting.
First American edition of a work first published in London in 1741. Intended as a pocket manual of basic architectural information for workmen and students. Describes the proper classical proportions and designs of columns, pedestals, moldings, and more. Evans 37778; Rink, Technical Americana, 2491.
$800 – $1,200
Photograph album from the 1899 Peary Relief Expedition.
Various places, 1898-1899
175 silver print photographs, various sizes, mounted on 52 album leaves, a few with manuscript captions. Folio album, original stiff wrappers, backstrip ends chipped, otherwise just light wear; minor wear to contents including a couple of partly torn photographs and a few others coming detached.
Robert Peary’s third Arctic expedition from 1898 to 1902 resulted in the discovery of the northernmost point on mainland Greenland at Cape Morris Jesup. The first relief expedition was planned for the summer of 1899, to bring supplies aboard the steamer Diana. This album was compiled by a participant in the relief expedition.
The Diana made stops at Sydney, Nova Scotia, and the larger settlements at Disko Bay and Upernavik, Greenland, before reaching Peary’s base at Etah in northern Greenland. The photographs show everything one might expect, and more: Arctic scenery including glaciers, fjords, and icebergs; sled dogs; numerous groups of Inuit at work or with their children; shots of the Diana and its crew; and several walrus carcasses. Only a few of the photographs are captioned. One of them shows Matthew Henson, Peary’s longtime colleague and the most notable Black Arctic explorer, who was with Peary in their still-controversial 1909 dash to the North Pole. Henson is seen wearing his furs on the ice as he prepares to enter an open rowboat. Robert Peary is named in one caption, standing outside his Etah headquarters with the expedition’s physician T.F. Diedrich. Another uncaptioned shot of the pair is clearly from the same sitting. Another shows Peary, Henson, and Diedrich posed with more than 30 Inuit. Two photographs near the end show the Diana and its expedition members in Sydney, Nova Scotia on 20 July 1899, with long appended captions and photographer credits. The photographer is not credited for the other photographs, but they were likely taken by the relief expedition member who compiled the album. We have traced no other examples of these images.
3 photographs at the end are captioned from a different expedition, to Alaska. One is dated 18 August [1898?]. One shows four named men in a canoe, another shows the harbor at Skagway, and the last shows a party of Alaskan Natives in a canoe on the Yentna River near the southern Alaska coast. Another group of 10 uncaptioned photos near the end, printed on a different stock from the other Peary Relief photos, may also date from this Alaska expedition.
This album was apparently compiled by Frank Caspar Hinckley (1874-1935) of Bangor, ME, an 1896 graduate of Harvard who was part of an 1898 United States Geological Expedition to the southern coast of Alaska, and then spent the summer of 1899 as part of the Peary Relief Expedition in Greenland. Newspaper reports name him as part of the relief expedition’s “Sportsmen’s Party.” He is named in the captions of photos from both expeditions in the rear of this volume. He spent the remainder of his life as a woodsman, mapping and exploring timberlands from Maine to Labrador; and then establishing parks and campgrounds in northern Maine.
Provenance: found at a tag sale by Connecticut antique shop owner Susan Snow.
$7,000 – $10,000
Photograph of the first flight from an aircraft carrier.
[Hampton Roads, VA, 14 November 1910]
Silver print, possibly a period copy print, 7½ x 9¾ inches, on original plain mount; ½-inch puncture and other moderate wear to image, mount worn and stained, missing 3 inches from upper right corner.
The bold aviator shown here was Eugene Burton Ely (1886-1911), launching his Curtiss