Auction Highlights: Printed & Manuscript African Americana — March 21, 2024

Black Patti, Greatest Singer of Her Race (Mme. Sissiereta Jones), poster, circa 1900. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500. 

One of our largest African Americana auctions to date includes important documentation of the abolition movement, including a rare pamphlet by David Ruggles; catalogues and posters for exhibits by leading Black artists; previously unseen Black Panther material; material on Black-owned businesses; and the first auction appearance of a majestic poster for opera singer Sissieretta Jones.

From the Civil War, we have a badge made for a private in the famous 54th Massachusetts who was wounded at the Battle of Fort Wagner. 

“As we drew nearer the firing ceased. No more shells came howling over us. Quickly there came an aid riding a fleet horse, and shouting something as he rode. ‘Gen’l Lee has surrendered.’ Oh what a storm of cheering! I never expect to hear another like it. . . . Then a sudden impulse seemed to seize the whole line, and every musket was pointed toward the sky, and a perfect roar swept from right to left as all the pieces were discharged in the air. Officers grabbed one another by the hand. Soldiers struck up ‘Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.'”

— A letter from an officer in the 29th United States Colored Troops describes their final pursuit of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army.
Frederick Douglass, Letter discussing the role of Quakers in the abolitionist movement, Washington, February 9, 1885. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000.
Black Panthers, Move On Over or We’ll Move On Over You, circa 1966.
Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.
Phillis Wheatley, The first magazine printing of her patriotic poem “His Excellency Gen. Washington,” in an issue of The Pennsylvania Magazine or American Monthly Museum, Philadelphia, April 1776.
Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

Charles C. Dawson, O, Sing a New Song: Supreme Spectacle of a Musical Race, 1934. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000.

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