Printed & Manuscript Americana: September 29, 2022 Auction Highlights

Lot 260: Archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. Estimate $60,000 to $90,000.

The highlight of our September Americana auction will be a large archive of family papers of Gideon Welles, who served as secretary of the Navy through the Civil War. Included are his letters to his son regarding the Lincoln assassination and Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, four of his pre-war diaries, and more. A few related artifacts will be offered separately, among them a pass to Lincoln’s funeral at the White House, and an engraving of Lincoln, inscribed by the artist to Welles.

Lot 79: Secessionist recruitment broadside issued in the wake of the Baltimore Riot to the “People of Baltimore!”, 1861. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.

The sale is also rich in graphic content, including a large battlefield painting titled The 16th Maine Volunteers, First Day at the Battle of Gettysburg, done after the war by one of the participants. A large textile titled The Resignation of Pres’t Washington was apparently produced during his lifetime, and is the first example known at auction. Other highlights include the classic secession broadside, Charleston Mercury Extra . . . The Union is Dissolved!, and Alexander Hamilton’s suppressed pamphlet Observations on Certain Documents, in which he admitted to an affair to defuse a blackmail attempt.

Lot 54: Cherbury F. Lothrop, The 16th Maine Volunteers, First Day at the Battle of Gettysburg, oil, circa 1900. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.
Lot 255: Textile titled The Resignation of Pres’t Washington, Scotland, 1800. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.

Related Reading

Rhode Islanders may appreciate a history of Brown University which has been lavishly extra-illustrated with the school’s first commencement broadside, letters by many of the founders, and more. A substantial section of the sale is devoted to the Civil War in Maryland, with scarce anti-Union broadsides, and Latin Americana includes an early manuscript Mexican cookbook, as well as a 1733 confessional in the Mixe language of Oaxaca.

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