Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 12 x 8.5, May 15, 1799. President Adams appoints Benjamin Conant of Massachusetts “a Midshipman in the Navy of the United States.” Signed at the conclusion by Adams and countersigned by Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert. Intersecting folds, scattered toning and soiling, mild creasing and wrinkling, and several edge chips, otherwise very good condition. Conant would serve in the Navy until he was discharged under the Peace Establishment Act on April 30, 1801. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
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ALS signed “W. T. Sherman, General,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 7.25, Headquarters Army of the United States letterhead, April 2, 1870. Letter to General C. S. Hamilton, US Marshal in Milwaukee. In part: “It is pleasant to realize that some people think of the old Army with some degree of affection and respect, though, it may avail little with those who hold our future in their hand. With them the truth is secondary—the temporary effort is all they care for. The Cry of Economy must be sustained whether there be real Economy or not. The good of the Army, or permanent good of the Country are as nothing on comparison with some specious promise to be used in some local election. I regret always to be drawn into Controversy, but it is sometimes forced on me, and I cannot without Cowardice avoid it. I suppose I do not manifest that deep sense of inferiority in the persons of members of Congress that claim as the Law makers—but my notion was & is that whilst the aggregate we are commanded to respect them. As individuals they are no better or worse than their individual arts demonstrate.” Matted and framed (so both sides may be viewed) with an engraved portrait of Sherman to an overall size of 24 x 15. In very good condition, with horizontal fold passing through signature, scattered toning to first and last page, and a few stray ink marks. Provenance: Christies Sale 2361, December 3, 2010.
In 1870, Sherman was serving as the General of the Army in Washington, D.C., where he was harassed by John Logan, a congressman from Illinois and fellow officer during the Civil War. Logan sought revenge against Sherman for denying him the command of the Army of Tennessee, and introduced a bill in early 1870 that would have lowered Sherman’s income by a third and reduced the number of officers in the army, among other draconian measures. In his fiery speeches, Logan attacked career officers and the military academy, and criticized the killing of Indian women by soldiers. “Had I not been here,” Sherman wrote from Washington, “I am sure Logan would have hit the Regular Army and West Point a fatal blow.” But Sherman failed to completely stave off congressional attacks on the military. As of January 1, 1871, Congress lowered the pay of the military’s top brass, cutting Sherman’s salary by $1,500. After the pay cut, Sherman desired to leave Washington for St. Louis, but Grant convinced him to stay. A remarkable letter in which Sherman unsparingly expresses his famous disdain for Washington politics. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Just before fatefully leaving for Texas in 1835, Davy Crockett firmly states his political distaste: “I have announced through the news papers that I never expect to offer my name again to public office”
Frontiersman, politician and folk hero, he became famous for his shrewd and humorous speeches; he was killed at the Alamo. ALS, one page, lightly-lined, 7.75 x 12.5, September 30, 1835. Letter to a group of 23 named gentlemen in reply to an invitation to a social dinner. In full: “In answer to your kind note inviting me to partake of a public dinner this day at the Planters Hotel I am compeld [sic] to accept your invitation from a sense of gratitude which I feel at all times willing to acknowledge to my old frinds & constituents.
I have anounced [sic] through the news papers that I never expect to offer my name again to the public for any office is one great reason of my acceptance of your kind offer. I hope to spend the evening in a social manner leaving politics out of the question, as I hope never again middle my former political course is known to the public and I have not changed.” The list of the recipients of this letter begins in the lower left of the letter and extends on to the reverse. Reverse of second integral page is docketed in an unknown hand, “Col. Crocket [sic] reply. Answer to an invitation to Col Crocket [sic] to a social dinner when on his way to Pontotock in 1835. Fell at the Alamo in Texas.” Page also bears a couple mathematical computations.
Mr. and Mrs. George Dunton Widener from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, France, with their son, Harry Elkins Widener, Mr. Widener’s man servant, Edward (a/k/a Edwin) Herbert Keeping, and Mrs. Widener’s maid, Amalie Henriette Gieger. They had been in Paris with their servants searching for a chef for Widener’s new Philadelphia hotel, the Ritz Carlton. The Wideners were one of the richest and most influential couples on board. It was they who were standing on deck with White Star Line manager J. Bruce Ismay when Captain Smith handed Ismay the now iconic ice warning from the Baltic which Ismay then placed into his pocket. And it was they who hosted the now famous dinner party in honor of Captain Smith on the night the Titanic hit the iceberg. Questions have arisen as to whether Smith had imbibed too much alcohol at this party, but such rumors have never been substantiated.
Seven Titanic postcards: artist’s rendition of the two liners from the picture that hung in the White Star Line Office, this being a pre-launch postcard circa 1910–11; the next four are the same as the previous, but in black and white, with various sinking information appearing on the bottom of several of the cards; and Tuck’s Celebrated Liner Series Olympic color card, with the caption “T.S.S. Titanic” appearing in the lower left corner. RRAuction COA.
RR Autograph Auctions is offering the public the opportunity to bid on a vast array of recovered relics and signed memorabilia relating to one of the grandest—and most infamous—vessels to ever succumb to the sea. These surviving items convey the astonishing legacy of not only the ship that epitomized the very meaning of opulence, luxury, and stability in the early 20th century, but her passengers as well; the individuals whose names would forever became synonymous with the most devastating peacetime maritime disaster in history.
This historic assemblage will be available for bidding starting April 19-26. A preview will be available beginning March 23rd.
For details, go to http://www.rrauction.com/.
Vintage 3.25 x 5.25 exhibit card of Cobb in his Detroit uniform, with printing at the bottom of the card identifying his team as Philadelphia, nicely signed in fountain pen, “Ty Cobb.” In fine condition. Cobb signed with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1927, after being cleared in a game fixing scandal brought about by Dutch Leonard. Pre-certified Steve Grad/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.