Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2020 Issue

Primary Source American Material from Primary Sources, Uncharted Americana


Uncharted Americana.

Primary Sources, Uncharted Americana recently published their Catalogue 3. They offer catalogues with just 25 items, but each is extensively documented, described, and photographed. These items all fit within the category of Americana, but there aren't many books here (only one to be precise). What they offer is original source material, the kinds of things others use as sources to write books. These are first person accounts, documents, photographs and similar items and archives. Here are a few.


Most Americans have stories like this one in their family history. Other than Native Americans, we are a land of immigrants. Item 9 is a diary kept by Ann Smith, once of the small town of Snaith in England, who made the crossing in 1843. Her ultimate destination was Circleville, Ohio. Today, you could make the journey in less than a day. It took Ann Smith two months. She had to take various riverboats from her small town to Liverpool, where she, her husband and daughter, set sail for America. She expresses much sadness about leaving her home and friends behind, and her husband even offered their daughter the fare back home, but ultimately they all go. The ocean voyage is the longest part of the trip, five weeks, some of it favorable, other times stormy and frightening. The high waves of stormy weather also leaves them terribly seasick. When they do arrive in New York, Mrs. Smith is most impressed with the city, but they don't stay long. They must make innumerable connections along the way to make it to Circleville. The next day, they are on a steamboat up the Hudson River to Albany. Then it's onto a canal boat and a nine-day trip along the Erie Canal to Buffalo. She is surprised by upstate New York. Expecting wilderness, she sees farms and beautiful homes. From Buffalo, it's a steamer on Lake Erie to Cleveland and many more connections before finally reaching their destination. Priced at $3,500.


Next are nine historic photographs from ethnographer/photographer James Mooney. He was active in the late 19th and early 20th century, and devoted much of his time to studying America's Plains Indians. That brought him to a Cherokee Reservation in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, in 1890. It was a time of great fervent. The Ghost Dance movement, which would lead to the terrible slaughter at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, was underway. A tribal leader in Nevada had a vision that if Indians participated in the Ghost Dance, they would become immune to the white man's bullets and would recover the lands that had been taken from them. As the Ghost Dance spread, the U.S. military became more concerned and took steps to prevent it. This action culminated in the Wounded Knee Massacre. Among Mooney's photographs are three he took in 1890 of the Oklahoma Cherokees participating in the Ghost dance. The other six are of preparations for a Sun Dance by the Southern Arapahoes in 1893. This dance was also controversial because it involved some self-injury and pain. Mooney's photographs of the Sun Dance involve only preparation, not the dance itself. It is not known whether Mooney chose not to photograph the dance itself or was forbidden to do so. Item 22. $12,500.


In the days before movies, particularly the mid-19th century, some artists created large panoramas which they would display. They operated like scrolls, moving along by unrolling one side while rolling up the other. There was a particularly famous one of the Mississippi River which allowed the audience to sort of take a trip down the Mississippi, viewing the scenery as it went by. It required someone to draw the scenery along the entire river's length. Item 16 is a large promotional broadside for a showing of Otis Bullard's panorama of New York City. It covers one and a half miles of waterfront and then turns up Broadway for another four and one-half miles. The panorama itself was well over half a mile long and weighed about 2,000 pounds. It took Bullard four years and $15,000 to create it. Bullard or an associate would narrate what was being displayed as the scenery scrolled along. Sometimes, a stationary boat or some vehicle would be placed in the foreground to enhance the sense of motion. It first went on display in Hartford in 1850 and then proceeded to tour the country for many years. Bullard died in 1853, but his associates continued the displays long after. Previously, the last known showing had come in Detroit in May 1867, but Primary Sources' broadside was for April 1868 in Muscatine, Iowa. Where it went next or whatever happened to Bullard's panorama is unknown. $850.


This is an undated manuscript of a speech by an unnamed writer, likely from 1832 or 1833. It promotes the aims of the American Colonization Society. This was a group whose cause was sending free blacks in America to Africa, Liberia in particular. It was formed by an odd combination of people with differing intentions. Those sympathetic to American blacks, as this author evidently was, had concluded they would never be treated fairly by American whites so it was in their own best interests to move elsewhere. Others were motivated not by the best interests of blacks, but by removing free black people from the country for their own benefit. Particularly in the South, they feared free blacks would encourage the slaves to revolt. This fear was particularly fierce at this time as the manuscript was written not long after Nat Turner's rebellion. This took place in Virginia, where Turner had a vision that he was called to lead a rebellion for the freedom of the slaves. Gathering a group of believing slaves and free blacks, he struck on August 21, 1831. Turner and his followers killed at least 57 whites in and around Southampton, Virginia. The rebellion was quickly put down. Many more blacks were killed in retaliation, some after trials, others not, including many innocent of any crimes. Still, Turner's rebellion created great fear among southern whites. It led some to seek a gradual end to slavery, but ultimately, it led to an even greater crackdown on slaves. Any thought of freeing them, whether sent back to Africa or not, quickly disappeared. In his speech, the writer speaks of the pain of the families of Turner's victims, while acknowledging the rebellion “was one of the legitimate fruits of slavery.” He continues, “But it was only as a drop to the ocean compared with the dangers our southern brethren are hourly exposed to suffer, a danger which nothing short of colonization now effectively begun & hereafter perseveringly prosecuted can avert or lessen.” Item 6. 4,500.


In the late 18th century, Noah Webster became a very successful writer with his “blue-backed speller,” officially the American Spelling Book. It sold over 1 million copies, but few remember him for his spelling book. In 1806, he published his first dictionary, but that was not much of a success. It was his American Dictionary, first published in 1828, for which Noah Webster is known today. It was such a success in America because it was designed to define the English language as it was spoken in America rather than England. Webster spent many years and much money compiling the 70,000-word dictionary, well beyond what previous lexicographers had accomplished. For all the investment, Webster's publisher concluded he would need some reputable endorsements to generate the number of sales needed for the project to succeed. In 1826, publisher Sherman Converse put together a prospectus and wrote to several important Americans for their endorsement. He managed to gather endorsements from several of them, including James Madison. Only three of these solicitations are known to survive and this is one of them. It was sent to Joseph Story. Story is one of a handful of giants in American legal history. He served on the Supreme Court from 1812-1845 and his Commentaries of the U.S. Constitution is still regularly cited today. Converse's letter succeeded with Story. He wrote a glowing endorsement. Item 5. $2,250.


Primary Sources Uncharted Americana can be reached at 734-355-2986 or primarysources25@gmail.com. Their website is found at www.psamericana.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter Used to Write "A Moveable Feast", Impeccable Provenance From His Biographer A. E. Hotchner. $50,000 to $100,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Samuel Colt, "The Gun that Won the West": 3 Signed Patent Items for "Revolving Cylinder Guns". $40,000 to $50,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Jack Kerouac's Own Typewriter From His Estate Used to Write His Very Last Book. $18,000 to $20,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Rare Force Engraving of the Declaration of Independence Printed in 1848. $15,000 to $18,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Superb Tchaikovsky ALS to Napravnik, 4pp on "Mazeppa". $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Wounded Knee Massacre Same Day Eyewitness Account by Participant, "the 7th needn't be ashamed of today's record". $10,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald Signed Gordon Bryant Portrait -- Finest Known. $8,000 to $9,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Neil Armstrong ALS on NASA Letterhead Regarding His X-15 Flights. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> M. Gandhi Letter: "the life span of human beings is preordained..." -- Fantastic Spiritual Content. $7,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Autographs, Books & Relics Including Kerouac Estate<br>& Hemingway<br>February 26, 2020</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> "Damn the torpedoes!" Riveting 24pp ALS of Admiral Farragut's Steward Describing the "Battle of Mobile Bay”. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Abraham Lincoln Signed Order to Suspend Execution. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 26:</b> Napoleon DS Featuring Imperial Eagle and Enormous Great Seal Appointing Norman Politician Baron of the Empire. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Nebel, Carl. The War Between the United States and Mexico. New York, 1851. $270,000 - $300,000 MXN / USD $15,000 - $16,666
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Bolaños, Joaquín. La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte... (“The Portentous Life of Death”) México, 1792. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Tratado de Paz… entre la República Mexicana y los Estados Unidos. (“Treaty of Peace… Between the Mexican Republic and the United States”) 1848. $80,000 - $90,000 MXN / USD $4,444 - $5,000
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Fabregat, Josep Joaquín. Vista de la Plaza de México… (“View of the Square of Mexico”) México, 1797. $60,000 - $100,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $5,555
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel. Invitación al Coronel Narciso de la Canal… (“Invitation to Coronel Narciso de la Canal…”) 1810. $170,000 - $200,000 MXN / USD $9,444 - $11,111
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Gálvez, Joseph de. Real Cédula de Erección de la Compañía de Filipinas. (“Royal Notice of the Creation of the Company of the Philippines”) 1785. $40,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Colección de Constituciones de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (“Collection of Constitutions of the United Mexican States”) México, 1828. $50,000 - $60,000 MXN / USD $2,777 - $3,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Ruelas, Julio. Poemario Manuscrito Ilustrado, Dedicado a Lorencita Braniff (“Collection of Illustrated Poem Manuscripts, Dedicated to Lorencita Braniff”). 1903. $60,000 - $70,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $3,888
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Espinosa de los Monteros, Juan J. Aviso de la Junta Soberana al Público (“Notice of the Sovereign Meeting to the Public”) 1821. $60,000 - $80,000 MXN / USD $3,333 - $4,444
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos... (“Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States”) México, 1824. $140,000 - $150,000 MXN / USD $7,777 - $8,333
    <b>Morton Subastas, Feb 25:</b> Alcaraz, Ramón. Apuntes para la Historia de la Guerra entre México y los EU (“Notes on the History of the War between Mexico and the United States”). 1848. $40,000 - $50,000 MXN / USD $2,222 - $2,777

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