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Printed & Manuscript Americana

  •  A Look Inside the CataloguePrinted & Manuscript Americana  

    Lot 358: The Journal of Major George Washington, London, 1754.

    Sold for $45,000.


    In 1753, on the eve of the French and Indian War, a 21-year-old Virginia militia major named George Washington was sent on a diplomatic mission. The French had started to assert authority in the Ohio Country, which the British viewed as part of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Major Washington was sent to meet with the French commander. His arduous wilderness journey took him from Williamsburg, VA to Cumberland, MD, across the Alleghenies through what is now Pittsburgh (where he met with Indian leaders), to Fort Le Boeuf near today's Erie, PA. There, the French commander politely informed him that he had no plans to withdraw from the Ohio Country. After an equally difficult return journey to Virginia, Washington presented his notes to the governor, who had them published. This was Washington's first publication, and his first real appearance on the public stage.



    Printed & Manuscript Americana


    First edition of the scripture of the mormon church, released just days before the official establishment of the church on 6 April 1830. This was the only edition listing Joseph Smith as the "author and proprietor" rather than as the translator, and the only edition with his 2-page preface. This copy has the 2 pages of witness testimony at the end, but not the index pages which were inserted in later copies. 


    Lot 225The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830.

    Sold for $57,500. 



    Printed & Manuscript Americana

    Lot 173: Manuscript book of furniture designs by Philadelphia joiner John Widdifield, circa 1700-20. Sold for $75,000.

    Printed & Manuscript Americana

    Widdifield (1673-1720) was a very early Philadelphia joiner who learned his trade in northern England and thensettled in Philadelphia circa 1705. This volume shows him bringing William and Mary-era designs to the colonies, decades before the golden era of American craftsmanship. The first 26 pages are devoted to sets of measurements and prices for furniture forms ranging from clock cases to stools, cradles to coffins. He also includes sketches of three pieces: a spice box, a scrutoire (writing desk), and a "chest of wallnutt drawers upon a fraime." The materials noted are mostly walnut or pine, before the ready availability of mahogany. 


    Lot 184: Rebecca Gratz, Manuscript Annual Report for the first Jewish Day School in America, March 1851. Sold for $3,750.                                       

    Printed & Manuscript AmericanaGratz (1781-1869) was an important Jewish philanthropist and educator in Philadelphia. Among her numerous accomplishments, she founded the Hebrew Sunday in 1838; it was the first suchinstitution in America. This is the institution's thirteenth annual report. "The super-intendent has the satisfaction still to speak of encouragement and co-operation among the congregation of Israelites in this city. . . . In pursuing this labor of love her breast warms to the cause. . . . Efforts are making to create a permanent fund which it is hoped in a few years may become sufficient to secure the permanency of the school, should it fall into less zealous hands." 



    Printed & Manuscript Americana

    Lot 188: Speeches on the Jew Bill, Philadelphia, 1829.

    Sold for $20,000.

    For fifty years after independence, the state of Maryland prohibited Jews from holding public office. This law was repeatedly challenged by members of the state's small Jewish community and its more reasonable legislators until the 1826 passage of "An Act to extend to the sect of people professing the Jewish religion the same rights and privileges that are enjoyed by Christians"--better known at the time as "the Jew Bill." This volume collects speeches in support of the Jew Bill by H.M. Brackenridge, W.G.D. Worthington, and John S. Tyson, as well as several unrelated speeches and essays by Brackenridge--one of them a eulogy for the late presidents Adams and Jefferson.









    For more information on these, or any other items in the sale, contact Specialist Rick Stattler.

Swann Galleries, Inc.


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