Top Lots: Printed & Manuscript African Americana

Our annual auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana, held on March 21, featured an outstanding array of material devoted to the Civil War, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panther party, sports, religion and more. Each piece comprised the rich history of the African experience in America, and more than 100 lots sold to institutions.

Keep us flying, Tuskegee Airmen
Keep Us Flying, Tuskegee Airmen, color poster, 1943.

A collection of 94 letters concerning the Amistad captives, written between two Connecticut natives, Charlotte Cowles and her brother Samuel from 1833 to 1846 was the top lot; sold to the Connecticut Historical Society for $66,000.

Amistad Captive
Cinque, the Chief of the Amistad Captives, mezzotint engraving, Philadelphia, 1841.

The sale honored this year’s 150th anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation. Among the collection of lots relating to the Civil War, an 1865 leaflet of The Thirteenth Amendment, as ratified by Rhode Island and signed by Secretary of State John R. Bartlett brought $21,600.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an AmericanSlave, Written by Himself
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, Boston, 1848.

The sale also included exciting lots pertaining to the civil rights movement and Black Panther party, including photos, art, posters and ephemera. A very rare Black Panther cloth banner from 1967 hailing from Lowndes County, Alabama brought $43,200.

Black panther banner 1967
Black Panther ’67, cloth banner from Lowndes County, Alabama, 1967.