Brentford, Burke; Log Cabin Library. Rocky Mountain Sam, or,
Wind-specter of the Black-feet. New York: Street & Smith, 1896. #397. $50
Original edition. 31cm; 48 pages. Illustrated on cover with comic woodcut vignettes of
a bear hanging from a balloon, and of a daisy chain of men ("Indians," in the
text) hanging from a balloon piloted by Rocky Mountain Sam and The Professor. Stapled.
Pulp stock toned, as in all surviving copies. Fore edge frayed, last leaf torn.
Dime novel in the "Log Cabin Library" series. Episodic plot held together by
character of Rocky Mountain Sam and his balloon escapades in the Indian territories.
Explaining America to France
Crèvecoeur, J Hector St John de. Voyage dans la haute Pensylvanie et dans
l'état de New-York : par un membre adoptif de la nation Onéida . Paris:
Maradan, 1801. $1,500
First Edition. 20cm; 3 volumes. Complete including half-titles, 11 engraved
plates and maps (some folding) and 5 tables (3 folding). Frontispiece portrait of George
Washington. Portraits of Onandaga and Oneida leaders. Scenes of the Hudson Valley and
Niagara Falls. References: Sabin 17501 ("much information and personal gossip not
readily found elsewhere.... No other writer has so well described the Indian great
councils"); Howes C-884; Siebert Sale 216.
A French immigrant to the United States, Crevecoeur effectively defined
the emerging American national character in his Letters of an American
Farmer (1791; we know of no earlier or more elegant formulation of the
'melting pot' theory). He returned to France in the 1790s and published
there this three-volume account of the United States. The lively and
enjoyable text describes amazing landscapes, records conversations with
remarkable Americans, seeks to understand historical events, and penetrates
deeply into the civilization of Northeast American Indian nations. Old
paper-covered boards; very good condition.
Importation of Malaga Wine
Dearborn, Henry. Printed document, blanks filled in and
signed. Marblehead, Massachusetts: March 2, 1810. $400
1 oblong page (5 inches by 10 inches). Certifies the importation of a
cask of wine from Malaga, Spain, containing "twenty-nine and one quarter"
gallons. Signed by Dearborn as Collector, and countersigned by J. Prentiss as Inspector.
Henry Dearborn (1751-1829), Revolutionary War general who commanded the
militia at Bunker Hill, saw action at Ticonderoga and Saratoga; he was on Washington's
staff at Yorktown. He was appointed Secretary of War by President Jefferson in 1801, where
he served until 1809, then became collector of Customs. President Madison named him senior
General of the Army of the Northern Border in the War of 1812.
Duane, William. Mississippi Question : Report of a debate in the
Senate of the United States on the 23d, 24th, & 25th February, 1803, of certain
resolutions concerning the violation of the right of deposit in the Island of New Orleans.
Philadelphia: W. Duane, 1803. $500
24cm; , 198 pages. Bound in mid 20th-century paper-covered boards, joints
split with spine peeling. Some spinal loss at heel. Despite the unfortunate binding, a
very nice untrimmed copy, tanned only with a pervasive light dampstain through sigantures
C to E and Q to Z (apparently dampened in manufacture, prior to sewing). References: Sabin
20990 ; Howes D-517; Shaw & Shoemaker 4113.
On Spains violation of the article in the treaty of 1795 dealing with U.S. rights
to Mississippi navigation & deposit at New Orleans, by which U.S. western trade was
obstructed. The dispute helped spur the Louisiana Purchase.
Holland Land Company ; Tench Coxe. Report of the Case of
The Commonwealth, vs. Tench Coxe, Esq. on a Motion for a Mandamus, in the
supreme Court of Pennsylvania:
Taken from the Manuscript of the Fourth Volume of Mr. Dallas's Reports.
Philadelphia: Jane Aitken, 1803. $800
Kent, James. Printed land contract,
accomplished in manuscript and signed. New York, March 20, 1798. $125.
First edition. 22 cm; 137 pages, and one folded table. Bound in
recent 1/4 morocco over marbled boards, titled in gilt on spine.
Reference: Shaw and Shoemaker 4026; Sabin 60471. Title page toned and
chipped at corners without loss of text; pages evenly toned.
Intensely interesting set of documents related to the Dutch
investment company's land holdings in Pennsylvania. In 1792, the Holland
Land Company was formed by four large Dutch banking houses. The banks
had loaned considerable money during the American Revolution to the U.S.
financier Robert Morris. After the war, the banks decided to keep the
funds invested in the new country, and purchased from Morris vast tracts
in New York and rights to land in Pennsylvania. The Company sponsored
pioneers to settle the Pennsylvania lands, but frontier wars prevented
them. In compensation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued
certificates granting title if settlement occurred within five years,
and the Holland Land Company purchased many of these certificates. A
change in the administration of the state's land office determined that
the certificates were invalid, demanding immediate settlement of the
lots. The matter went to court, and the Holland Land Company won; the
company also won the appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court. This volume
begins with a summary of the case decided by the Pennsylvania court. The
appendices include the text of the law governing the sale of vacant
lands (1792); and an essay by Coxe on "An authentic View of the Progress
of the State of Pennsylvania, since the establishment of the
Independence of the United States," tracing the development of the
20 x 32 cm; 1 leaf docketed on verso. Horizontal fold split and expertly repaired.
Edges chipped; some folds beginning to split. Marginal ghost of prior matting.
Land contract between Andrew Gautier of Bergen County, New
Jersey, and David Porter of New York, for land near Rutland, Vermont. Docketed on verso by
Rutland town clerk Pliny Smith. Signed by James Kent (1763-1847), first professor of law
at Columbia University, New York Supreme Court Justice (chief justice after 1804) and
later chancellor of the New York court of chancery. Kent's Commentaries on American Law
(1826) is fundamental.
Life on the Mississippi: a Swindler in New Orleans
Lienard de Beaujeu de Villemonde, Louis (1716-1802) and others.
A note payable in beaver fur, protested. Manuscript document, signed.
New Orleans: 5 August, 1766. $2,000
205 x 170 mm; 2 pages. Signed by Beaujeu, disputed with bailiff's writ
signed Joseph Maison and notarized by Denis Nicolas Foucault. Very good.
In the summer of 1766, Louis Beaujeu (1716-1802) wrote out a promissory note
to Guillaume Estebe for £362 and change against a load of furs that Beaujeu
would deliver by December. Beujeu had been a military officer who reportedly
became wealthy trading pelts in Michigan, although it was against military
regulations. Stationed in Michilmackinac, his wife was criticized for
abusing the protection of the military for shipments of personal property.
After the scandal, Beaujeu was forced to liquidate his goods and sent down
the river into Illinois. That is where his financial difficulties apparently
began. The present document shows him involved with Guillaume Estebe
(1701-1779?), a New World entrepreneur associated with the corrupt
government of François Bigot. Estebe returned to France after the Seven
Years War with a large fortune, but was imprisoned in the Bastille with
other colonial administrators accused of corruption. He was convicted with a
slap on the wrist, and was apparently back in action in New Orleans by 1766.
Appended to the IOU is an addendum dated 24 October 1768, signed by the
bailiff of New Orleans, ordering the absent Beaujeu to make good on the
note. The bailiff's protest is notarized by the comptroller of troops in
Louisiana, whose father was coincidentally also involved in the Bigot
Montigny, Jean-Baptiste-Pierre, called
Louvigny. The case of Nanette, subject of a property dispute. Autograph letter,
signed. Montreal: March 19, 1789. $750
Slavery in Canada
Folio, 4 pages (last three blank except for docket on page 4).
eight lines of text, plus salutations, signed by Montigny, followed by five lines of text,
plus salutations, signed by William Gray, sheriff of Montreal.
Montigny tries to recover a slave claimed by another landowner. Slavery
was diminishing in Canada by the end of the 18th century, and was completely eradicated by
1804. Here Montigny writes, "I hereby claim a certain negroe Wench named Nanette ...
seized by Jacques Vigé ... she being my property as appears by the receipt of [the one]
who sold her to me." The sherriff appends, "The Hussier who seized the above
Negro Wench will deliver her to Mr. Montigny..." Montigny (1750-1813) stemmed a
family still prominent in Montreal. Documents of slavery in Canada are rare.
Money to the Senecas
Wolcott, Oliver, Jr. (1760-1833) & James
McHenry (1753-1816). Autograph Memo Signed, & Autograph Fragment.
[Washington:] January 28, 1799. Torn fragment, 8 inches x 3 1/2 inches. Six lines in
McHenrys hand, and, on verso, six lines plus date and signature of Wolcott.
James McHenry, secretary of war during Washingtons second term, was in effect
charged with Indian Affairs. A letter of McHenrys that proposed methods of payment
to the Seneca nation apparently passed to Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott, Jr., who
wrote a memo on the back. The memo suggests that payment can proceed directly by the
authority of the Treasurer, without involving President Washington. Please inquire for
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