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267 Items.  Showing Items 46 thru 54.
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An Envelope Addressed To The Mark Twain Society And Signed By George Santayana In The Return Address

GEORGE SANTAYANA (1863 — 1952). Philosopher. Envelope is autographed with the return address. 6” x 5”. Address to Mr. Cyril Clemens at the Mark Twain Society in Webster Groves, Missouri. Cyril Clemens, a relative of the famous writer, founded the society to keep the memory of Twain and his work alive.
Catalog: # AM-3446
Price: $75.00

An Historic Letter Written To President Zachary Taylor Warning Him Of An Impending Assassination Attempt


"I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me."

For over 150 years, there has been controversy regarding the untimely death of the twelfth president of the United States, Zachary Taylor. Well-known nationally for his heroic victories during the Mexican-American War, Taylor returned from the conflict to public adulation. As such, he was well positioned for a run at the presidency, which he easily secured in the first election held simultaneously in all states. The national political scene was treacherous indeed and Taylor immediately found himself embroiled in the divisive controversy over the expansion of slavery to which he was opposed.

This slavery issue, as well as a dangerous state of relations with Great Britain which had existed in the previous few years leading up to his election created a highly volatile and emotionally charged political environment both at home and abroad.

The landscape was littered with potential enemies, political and otherwise. It was long held that Taylor was a victim of a well placed assassin. Many had postulated that he was poisoned with arsenic. In 1991, after years of debate, his body was exhumed. Scientific examination concluded that there was no evidence suggesting he was murdered, however some scholars insist the debate is still open.

While the medical examinations may have concluded otherwise, one of the letters offered herein penned by an anonymous, well-placed official in the Polk administration certainly fuels the possibility that the debate over Taylor’s death remains open. This fascinating and historic letter provides further insight into one of the most mysterious American Presidential controversies in history at a time of great danger for the fledgling nation.

[Zachary Taylor] 1850. New York. 8pp. Written anonymously to President Zachary Taylor one year into his presidency. The letter writer, obviously in a high and powerful position in the government, sends a warning to Taylor of evil conspiracies, plots to destroy the country and assassination. This lengthy and highly important letter offers such fantastic detail and insight into the dangerous political environment of the period that we have recited it in its entirety.

“It seems necessary to inform you I trust I shall be sufficiently (intelligible).

While Bulwer is at Washington persons in private circles are there whose influences could be readily used to divert the attention of government from an investigation or impede its action. Emissaries have been out lately to assassinate a citizen of this country.

Since about the 3rd of this month he has been in great peril. It is believed that a kind of management through the press and paid writers is designed to cover and obscure the question, which is both vitally and practicably allied to the mode of opposition to the coconspiratory and evil purposes entertained by the existing interest — the existing order of things in England. It will be well to mark the influences upon the press closely.

As a citizen I have a right, and it is my duty to write my sentiments plainly to you. With true lights before you it is my belief that your own strong mind will direct things aright.

Persons who would attempt to defraud the people of their rights, by hired voters in this country, are quite as bad, in my opinion, as those who are base enough to be employed to commit perjury when giving their votes.

Mr. Clayton can answer you whether or not any persons are now in his confidence who were accused of what was termed pipe laying in 1840, in New York. If their should be, allow me to suggest, that your Excellency satisfy yourself as to the as to the justness of those allegations, before yielding weight to their opinions, in any thing - If true, it is probable, that some of the persons were got into the Scrape unreflectingly, at dinners or suppers and did not appreciate the extent of the designs or know the source from which they originated.

The origin of the affair was in England. If the project had succeeded, the happiness and interests of the people of this country would have fallen beneath a system of financial complexities and false elections. The plan to mar this country, tributory to the maintenance of the English system by auxiliary complexities and disorganization, failed.

In that period, as now, attempts were made to destroy the male representative of the exiled family, the other branch in this country was in against him, by some secret arrangement.

A person who had been employed and knew some part of the intrigues, said he never saw the play of Richelieu without being reminded of the affair. I had not then seen the play, or at least had no recollection that I had seen or read it - I obtained a copy, and upon reading was forcibly reminded of its analogy, in many respects. That there are conspiratory papers, I do not doubt. An important part of them, might, I think, upon one occasion have been obtained, provided that there had been a healthy and efficient action, in the police and magisterial departments to set out with. It is quite certain to me, that there is nothing encompassing in those departments in this City unsupported by the application of means and strong influences.

I think it was in 1845, passing by a book shop, a man stept from the door with an extra newspaper in hand, just after an arrival – and desired me to go with him, or send some person with him, to the Virginia Springs. He said that there was a person there, who had papers in his trunk, of utmost consequence – that the possession of them was of utmost consequence, and that they would implicate persons of highest respectability in this City.

His own signature was upon a paper in this mans possession: he had been employed by this man to assassinate me, had been much with him, and became in some manner possessed of secrets, beyond the point of assassination – the newspaper, which he held in his hand, contained a remark made by the Duke of Wellington, that the throne was in danger. I had held no conversation with this man, of a political character, what ——?.

I know he had been employed to assassinate me; that he had stated that this man not only had his signature with others to a banded gang, but that he had the signature of my brother in law and other persons, to other papers, and that there were persons on the other side of the Atlantic connected in the same manner. I cannot now question these statements in my own mind. The most strenuous and persevering yet cautious means have been used to test them. Where the labours of intelligence have prevailed to elicit facts in this case, the rack(?) might have failed. Yet did I move, or attempt to move one step, I should be called insane: headed; thus, at every point, and thus weaken the modes of defense, without obtaining aid or protection. The last news of the person who was then said to have been at the Springs in Virginia (was been ?) that he was in London, shouting with the nobility, at Crockfords.

There are reasons for the most profound and conspiratory proceeding and for my destruction preliminarily for the objects to be attained under those proceedings. No person who knows me will believe, I think, that I could be made an instrument in the hands of any persons to rivet the chains of a people to a system of financial Monarchy and Despotism; or that I could be brought into any secret or traitorous purposes towards the soil which has sheltered my father and afforded me its genial support. Of my existence is a hindrance to evil designs I shall endeavor to preserve it. The fact of its continuance is no evidence that attempts have not been made to deprive me of it; and, if the country is now safe, it is no evidence, it has not been in danger.

In 1845, there was a partial demonstration as if to touch the object of conspiracy; there was then organized gangs in this country sufficient to lay every Atlantic City in ashes; there was an English fleet at sea sufficient to strip the sea of our entire mercantile and naval marine, and blockade every port. Who will say that under such calamities, the public mind would not have staggered and reeled? The country was open to danger. The great fire in this City in 1845, I believe was the work of a gang so organized; there was a doubt on the minds of the conspirators as to what might be dared, or attempted in the then existing relations between the two countries. If an expose had been attempted to be forced by persons of weight and authority to carry it through, the direst consequences might then have ensued.

In July I think of 1845 the fire took place, and afterwards, in the same month the Unicorn Steamer lay for some time within Pistol Shot of the Battery. I do not know, that any thing has yet transpired, publicly as to the object of her visit. I think it was in August of that year Lord Palmerston, proposed to arm the militia of England. For What?

The Unicorn may have been here to carry away, or afford an asylum for evil persons; or to abduct me. I was so closely hunted at that time as to deem it scarcely prudent to sleep two nights at a place. I was alone, friendless, emaciated by care and almost distracted. If Mr. Polk was with you, he could not but say that I had done my duty to him and the country, without claiming protection beyond a voluntary and prudential disposition to grant it.

Had a war ensued, I should have been driven to the forest, and pursued for extermination, in order carry out the designs of conspiratory proceeding. If I had fallen by the assassins hand, the happenings and institutions of this country would as certainly have been assailed by future hands under those conspiratory designs as if the calamities of war had been hitherto, suddenly and treacherously imposed upon us, by an expose of the conspiracy itself and with the causes originating it, and the political secret and historical fact, so carefully concealed by the English Government, and so expensively guarded.

I send herewith the Atlas. An article - the concluding part - induces me to conjecture - that persons here may be employed, by the English Government through agencies here. It is my most earnest wish, Sir, that you may be enabled to see every thing, and misapprehend nothing.


New York Jany 23, 1850”

The content of this detailed missive surely speaks for itself. In all likelihood, this dire warning to the president was penned by a highly placed member of the Polk administration, though we’ve been unable to determine who. This frightening letter surely would have been of grave concern to the president. When placed within the backdrop of the harsh political climate both at home and abroad, Taylor must have felt threatened at nearly every turn. This letter clearly demonstrates the conditions that existed to foster the long-held beliefs that Taylor may have been assassinated. While the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was signed in 1850 easing some of the tensions between the United States and Great Britain, political foes in favor of slavery’s expansion at home clearly abounded with motivation to carry out an attempt on the president’s life. This letter offers what is perhaps some of the most shocking political content to come to market in quite some time.
Catalog: # AM-0917
Topic: Presidents and First Ladies
Price: $25000.00

An Idaho Man Tells How He Was Swindled Out Of His Wages By A "New York Capitalist"

(WEST). ALS. 2pp. 5 1/4" x 5". Murray, Idaho. Sept 12 [n.y.]. An autograph letter signed "Silas T. Branch" regarding Western life. Though this letter is not dated, it appears to be from the late 1800s, a very early Idaho date. Idaho was not admitted to the Union until 1890. Branch wrote to his father about how he was exploited while living there: "...nothing much going on except a little mineing [sic] there is nothing steady,...he has got to look sharp or he will get Beat out of his wages. I got Beat that way for $300.00 within the last year and I am not the only one that has been served that way. There was 10 of us started into work for a New York Capitalist last fall and the first month we got our pay the next month he said the money hadent [sic] come in yet but would be in pretty soon so we kept on until we had over 3 months wages coming [sic] and when winter came he skipped out without paying us and that has been the way ever since I have been in here men will come in here with a few Dollars and make folks think that they own the world and Bond some mine and put men to work and pay all right the first Payday and the next something will be the matter that is if the mines turns out to be no good and then they will say that they will have to go outside to russel the money to pay off and forget to come back...". The letter with this interesting content is in fine condition.
Catalog: # AM-0167
Topic: Business
Price: $75.00

An Interesting Civil War Document In Which The Notorious “Boss Tweed” Authorizes Payment For A Substitute Of A War Draftee

WILLIAM MARCY “BOSS” TWEED DS. 1 page. New York, September 26th, 1863. “C W Carstens” by occupation an ~…who has been drafted and adjudged by the Board of Enrollment…to be liable to perform military duty according to the requirement of the Act of Congress passed March 3, 1863, having provided a Substitute who has been duly mustered into the service in the place and stead of such drafted person…for the Relief provided by the First and Second Section of the Ordinance…that said Substitute named- Anton F …is entitled to have the sum of $300 paid to him as authorized and provided by the Sixth Section of the Ordinance aforesaid. … An interesting view into the use of draft substitutes during the Civil War signed by one of America’s most notorious political figures. Fine.
Catalog: # AM-0988
Topic: Business
Price: $225.00

An Interesting Jay Cooke Signed Charter Of Incorporation Of The Ogontz Fishing Club Also Signed By Smith, Barney Founder Charles D. Barney

JAY COOKE (1821-1905). Banker. A chance move to Philadelphia as a result of the panic of 1837 determined Jay Cooke’s future career, with his eventually ending up as a partner in the distinguished banking house of Clark & Company in that city. Retiring as a wealthy man in 1857, he could not stay idle long, and founded Jay Cooke & Company in 1861, destined to become one of the most widely known banking houses in the country. Serving as treasury agent for the U.S. government during the Civil War, Cooke’s banking house handled with great success the larger part of the $2 billion in bonds which the government issued to finance the war effort. After the war, Cooke’s banking house specialized in financing very large enterprises, most notably the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In the depression of 1873, however, the house failed, helping bring on the panic of 1873.

CHARLES BARNEY Co-founder of today’s well known Smith Barney borkerage firm. Charles Barney, founded his firm in 1873 and a young investment banker, Edward B. Smith, started his in 1892. These pioneers of the American securities industry helped make Wall Street the world’s financial capital.

Document Signed. Williamsport, Pennsylvania. February 18, 1885. 6 pages. 8” x 12 ˝”. Manuscript Charter of Incoporation of The Ogontz Fishing Club. The charter outlines the details of the club’s formation stating “The purpose of the said Corporation shall be the preservation and propogation of fish in the Waters of the West or First Fork of Larrys Creek and its bributaries in the County of Lycoming and State of Pennsylvania” The document is signed as the conclusion by all who are listed as directors; JAY COOKE, JAY COOKE, JR., CHAS. D. BARNEY, JOHN M. BUTLER, CLINTON LLOYD, THOMAS W. LLOYD AND LIZZIE H. LLOYD.

A fine document displaying Cooke’s avid interest in sportsmanship and a great association with one of America’s most well known brokerage names. Some light dampstaining

Catalog: # AM-1120
Topic: Business
Price: $1500.00

Anne Grant ALS

Anne Grant (1755 – 1838). Scottish poet. ALS. 1 ˝ pages with integral address leaf. To a friend, Grant writes a lengthy letter;

21st January 1832

My Dear Sir Why should I not say my dear friend when I feel myself have an interior claim upon you to that effect before I proceed further I must in justice say that I have no where met with warmer gratitude and attachment than from the few Americans to who I show civilities Services were quite out of my power But whatever I did came from the Heart & was so understood this serves to cover an answer to a letter full of affection and gratitude from Mr. Andrew Bigelowe who it appears had written twice some time ago no doubt in the same stile without receiving any answer, I think I could scarce be such a Savage as to neglect so much kindness. One of his or mine must have been lost This letter was brought by a very pleasing relation of his Stevens by name Who is now in Manchester & wishd my answer to be sent to him to forwarded, but I think it more direct to be sent thro your good offices by the packet for I am impatient to let the good Soul know that age has not with me extinguished all human feeling Bye the bye, I received with this letter a tour to Sicily & Malta of his writing of respectable size & equally respectable contents, indicating much f his natural gentleness and good feeling. Excepting indeed on one subject which carries him uprite of his native element, & it make him appear like a Pigeon in a passion to poor John Bull he is on all occasions unmerciful Now I really think Jonathan Calf ought to respect himself in his progenitor from whom he derives such a rich inheritance of good blood, good language good laws & above all to use his own phrase good Nations. It is ungracious to trumple on the poor old Gentlemen in the day of his on the poor old Gentleman in the day of his adversity, but one shall not begin a subject which has no end but rather speak of Dear Mrs. Booth & her pretty Chickens, As Macduff says. I have a kind of partial interest about the youngest which I should not indulge knowing how little these Blossoms are to be with & in such a case I should be sorrier than I ought to be. We are all quiet & grave here few parties none gay no wonder. Standing as we do on an Isthmus between Revolution & cholera, & without very kindly feelings to each other where Politics differ while matters are come to a crisis which makes a Neutrality impossible. The inclosed will be sent of course to the Packets. I shall be inconsolable if it does not arrive. I love all your children the “Like Jacob lendest of the youngest born”. Mrs. Booth knows that I love her & suspects me of loving you.

A denial would be unworthy of Anne Grant

Catalog: # AM-0090
Price: $275.00

Application submitted to the Examining Board of Naval Surgeons as Assistant Surgeon. William Lillie

Application submitted to the Examining Board of Naval Surgeons as Assistant Surgeon. 3 pages. No date.Although questions are missing, Lillie provides 8 answers on topics including carbonic acid, types of burns and types of tests for Arsenious acid.
Catalog: # AM-1080
Topic: Civil War
Price: $200.00

Armand Hammer

ARMAND HAMMER (1898 – 1990). Industrialist, philanthropist. TLS. 1 page. 8 ˝” x 11”. January 29, 1987. On imprinted letterhead of The Armand Hammer United World College of the American West to Dale Wonder; “I am glad to hear that you have established contact with Sir Ian Gourlay and wish you the best of luck in your search for an international position.” “As for your interest in a book relating the personal experiences of the astronauts, I am sure that NASA and their Soviet counterparts will be helpful.” Boldly signed by Hammer at the conclusion. Excellent for display.
Catalog: # DN-34
State: California
Topic: Business
Price: $150.00

Armand Hammer Inscripbed And Signed Book Presented To An Old Fraternity Brother

ARMAND HAMMER (1898 – 1990). Industrialist, art collector, philanthropist. Signed Book. “The Quest of the Romanoff Treasure” by Armand Hammer. Hardcover. 241 pages. New York, 1932. Presented to one of his fellow fraternity brothers, “To Dr. John J. Jaffin in memory of the good old days of Mu Sigma with best wishes. Armand Hammer, November 22, 1932” Some separation of the binding. Fine.
Catalog: # AB-0008
Topic: Business
Price: $300.00

267 Items.  Showing Items 46 thru 54.
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