Historical Civil War Autographs


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African-American & Related


ANDERSON, MARIAN (1897-1993)

# 6811

African-American Contralto

One of the most celebrated singers of her time, Anderson was refused permission to perform at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939, due to racial prejudice. In response, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her membership in the organization, and a concert was arranged for Easter Sunday, 1939, at the Lincoln Memorial. On January 7, 1955, Anderson became the first black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Document Signed, 6” x 9”, “Marian Anderson,” a four-page printed program for “her twelfth consecutive coast-to-coast tour of her native land,” presented by the Civic Music Association; signed diagonally across the text of the title page.

The program has general soiling and wear, along with several folds and light creases, and there is a break in the paper in the mid-left margin.



# 6940

U.S. Postmaster General - 1861-64; Brother of Francis P. Blair, Jr.; Mayor of St. Louis – 1842-43; Counsel for Dred Scott before the U.S. Supreme Court

War-Date Signed Envelope, 3 ¼” x 6”, free-franked as U.S. Postmaster General under President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, “M. Blair, P.M.G.” The envelope is also addressed by Blair, to “Col[onel] F.A. Dick, St. Louis, Mo.,” and is postmarked “Washington, D.C., May 8, 1863.”

The envelope is lightly toned, with minor wear and a few superficial tears at the edges, along with several small stains.


CARR, JOSEPH B. (1828-95)

# 6961

Union Brigadier General - New York

A colonel of New York militia when the Civil War broke out, Carr led the 2nd New York Infantry at Big Bethel, commanded a brigade at the Peninsula and Second Manassas, and saw action at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. Afterward, he was assigned command of a division of Black troops in Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James, the unit serving in the Union defenses on the York and James Rivers.

Signed Card, with rank, "J.B. Carr, B[revet] Major Genl. U.S. V[olunteers].”


CHASE, SALMON P. (1808-73)

# 6942

U.S. Treasury Secretary - 1861-64; U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice - 1864-73

As Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary, Chase was instrumental in the efforts to finance the war, and was responsible for the issue and acceptance of paper money as legal tender. Continued rivalry and strife with Lincoln precipitated his appointment to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Roger B. Taney in 1864.

Inscribed Signature, as antebellum Governor of Ohio, “For Geo[rge] M. Fowler, Esq[uire]. I have the honor to be Very respectfully Yours & c., S.P. Chase, Columbus, Ap[ri]l 24, 1857,” on a 5” x 7” sheet of embossed stationery. A period engraved image, cut into an oval shape, has been affixed to the upper right corner.

The sheet has light soiling and wear, along with the expected folds.



# 6996

American Journalist & Abolitionist; Founder of the Abolitionist Newspaper, “The Liberator”

Civil War-Date Autograph Quotation Signed, voicing the abolitionist sentiment for which Garrison was widely known, on a 2 ½” x 5” portion of an album page.

“Yours, for universal freedom, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Boston, May 20, 1862.”

Garrison’s long-held, oft-stated dream of “immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves” was very soon advanced two-fold, as the bill abolishing slavery in the territories was signed into law on June 19 and, more significantly, President Lincoln read the first draft of his Emancipation Proclamation to the Cabinet on July 22, 1862.

Barely discernible damp-staining to the left one-third, along with a few small stains, detract very little.



# 7032

American Journalist & Abolitionist; Founder of the Abolitionist Newspaper, “The Liberator”

Autograph Sentiment Signed, reflecting the spirit of reform on which Garrison had risen to national prominence, on a 2 ¼” x 4 ¾” slip of paper.

“Yours, to vindicate all human rights, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Boston, Nov. 23, 1875.”

The paper is evenly toned, with light soiling and wear, and there is old glue staining on the reverse.


KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT – Southern Congressmen Petition the Attorney General for a Pro-Slavery Judicial Appointment in the New Territories

# 6833

Letter Signed, 8” x 10”, a manuscript petition signed by five Democratic U.S. Congressmen from the South: James L. Seward - Georgia; Elijah W. Chastain - Georgia; Alfred H. Colquitt - Georgia; William B.W. Dent - Georgia; Sampson W. Harris – Alabama. Addressing Attorney General Caleb Cushing just two days after the U.S. Senate approved the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the letter recommends the appointment of Edward R. Harden, formerly a Democratic state congressman in Georgia, to a judicial post in the new territories.

Washington City, March 6, 1854. Hon[orable] Caleb Cushing. The undersigned beg leave to recommend to your favorable consideration Edward R. Harden of Georgia as worthy of an appointment to the office of Associate Judge for the territory of Nebraska or Kansas in the event of the organization of those Territories. Mr. Harden is a man of high character & distinguished legal ability & would fill this office with honor to himself & to the Country. It will not be improper to say that Mr. Harden is a democrat & a warm & ardent friend of the administration, and we hope it will be consistent with your views of the public interest to confer upon him the appointment asked. Respectfully, James L. Seward, E.W. Chastain, Alfred H. Colquitt, Wm. B.W. Dent, Sampson W. Harris.
Passed by the U.S. Senate on the morning of March 4, 1854, destined for approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, and signed by pro-southern President Franklin Pierce on May 30, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act introduced the provision of popular sovereignty, allowing the issue of slavery to be decided by a vote of the settlers in the new territories. Immigrants on both sides of the slavery question soon converged on Kansas and Nebraska, setting the stage for clashes, some violent, between the factions. Likewise, the signers of this petition immediately seized the opportunity to influence the territorial judiciary. Their effort was amply rewarded, as Harden was soon appointed justice on the Nebraska Territory Supreme Court, serving from 1854 to 1857.

During the Civil War, Edward Harden served as Confederate colonel, Elijah Chastain served as lieutenant colonel of the First Georgia Infantry, and Alfred Colquitt rose to the rank of brigadier general in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Condition is excellent, with the expected light toning and folds.


RANSOM, MATTHEW W. (1826-1904)

# 6825
Confederate Brigadier General -
North Carolina; U.S. Senator – North Carolina – 1875-92   
After enlisting as a private in the 1st North Carolina shortly after war broke out, Ransom led the 35th North Carolina from Seven Pines through the siege of Petersburg. He was wounded three times during the war, afterward serving as U.S. Senator from North Carolina, 1872-95.
“Let the Negroes have Christmas until Monday, that is long enough…”
War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pages, on two 8 ½” x 10 ¾” sheets. 
From the Confederate encampment in northern Virginia, Ransom sorrowfully writes to his wife just a few days before Christmas of the war’s first winter, discussing gifts for her and their children, the death of their daughter, and his loneliness at being away during the holiday. Ransom’s very detailed instructions for the operation of his North Carolina plantation include treatment of the slaves, in part – “…Let the Negroes have Christmas until Monday, that is long enough. And tell Dr. Roberts to put everything at the neck in charge of Jack until the new overseer comes… Tell Mr. Cox to see that all my sheep are gathered up & to give an order that no other Negroes are to come on the place during the Holidays…”
In full:                                                                   Camp Bee, Dec. 21st [18]61

My precious wife -
Yesterday I wrote you a short note from Fredericksburg. I hope the Geese will go safely & amuse the dear boys. There was nothing in the place to send them for Christmas. I trust tho that you can get something for them. I can not find a nice shoe here for you. Mr. Schlop tho’ will surely get them for you. I ordered from Messrs. Donnan & Johnston, Petersburg 30 lbs. nice white sugar to be sent you. I guess you will need some candles, etc., if so let me know and I will send you the money, or you can write immediately to Messrs. D & J & direct them to send me the bill. Be sure & have what you wish. I wish so much that your sister may come up. There is no danger from the sickness.
I can not tell you how sadly disappointed I am in not being to see you at Christmas. Col. Stokes wishes to go home & as I have been absent since he was, it is right that I should give way.
You must not think of it tho, darling, for the time will soon pass and we will be together. As soon as he returns I will go & that will not be very long. And yet for me I almost dread to go home. I hate so much to undergo afresh the pangs the place will revive. And that sorrow has been so heavy that this disappointment, bitter as it is, seems like nothing. I am not, precious, like I was at all. This grief has changed the face of the whole world to me and I can not recover from it. I fear now that I can see but little more pleasure in anything, but I will try very hard to do right and that will make everything better. How dark the House must now be to you, My own dearest child, that sweet light removed forever. But it will be so blessed to meet her in a brighter world, as I pray we all may. But I am too sad this morning to write you. I still love you, Sweetest, more sacredly & true than ever. But Oh, I do miss our little daughter so much.
I am greatly provoked at Mr. Branch. But tell Dr. Roberts (the overseer), if Allen is not seriously injured, to sell Mr. B. two mules - at $150 each - either Molly, Jolly, Bet, Fan, Ruben, Prince, Jim, Kate, or Jenny Ribbons. He can take any two of them at $300. I will not part with the others.
Let the Negroes have Christmas until Monday, that is long enough. And tell Dr. Roberts to put everything at the neck in charge of Jack until the new overseer comes.
Tell Dr. Roberts to make Mr. Branch get up all the tools, etc. & give him a list of them.
I will send you the balance of Mr. B's pay in a few days, unless Allen is injured; if he is I do not mean to pay him.
Tell Mr. Cox to keep on with me. He & I will bargain when I get home.
If the New Overseer at the neck has no bedding, You must do the best you can for him, but ask the Dr. to persuade him to furnish his own furniture, if I have to pay $25 extra for it, or even more.
Make them at both places (the two plantations) go right on & save the crop after Christmas.
I shall write to Mr. Newsum to hire Crawford again. After Christmas, Jarrall & Allen must both return to the River.
I do not wish the hogs killed until I go home.
If Rom sends his mare to our house have her well attended to & not used.
Tell Mr. Cox to see that all my sheep are gotten up & to give an order that no other Negroes are to come on the place during the Holidays.
Ask Dr. Roberts to drive down every day to the neck & see that the mules are fed & watered & the hogs attended to. A few days neglect will ruin them.
And in everything, my precious darling, do the best you can & just as you wish. 
I am feeling too badly this morning to write. I will be home surely by 1st Feb. 
Kiss the darling boys for me & tell them how I love them. 
Do write very often. I am very well today, but sad. 
I will write you almost daily.
With my whole soul.
                                                                          Yours forever,
                                                                          M.W. Ransom

Both sheets bear light soiling and wear, and several tears, mostly at or near the usual folds, have been neatly repaired with archival tape on their reverses.

Price: $2700.00


# 6681

American Abolitionist Writer – Authored “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

Signed Card, 2 ¼” x 4 ¼”, with date and sentiment from Stowe’s Hartford, Connecticut home.

“Jan[uar]y 22, 1885. Very Truly Yours, H.B. Stowe, 49 Forest St., Hartford, Conn.

The card is lightly and evenly toned, with a few superficial stains.



# 6981

American Abolitionist Writer – Authored “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

Signed Gold-Edged Card, 2 ¾” x 3 ¾”, with date and sentiment from her Hartford, Connecticut home.

“Truly Yours, H.B. Stowe, 49 Forest St., Hartford, Conn., Jan[uar]y 26, 1885.”

The card is lightly and evenly toned, with surface loss along the upper and lower edges, presumably from past mounting, and there are old glue stains on the reverse.


TILTON, THEODORE (1835-1907)

# 6580

American Poet & Abolitionist Newspaper Editor

A longtime associate of Henry Ward Beecher, Tilton filed charges against Beecher for “criminal intimacy” with his (Tilton’s) wife in 1874.

Signed Card, 2 ¼” x 3 ½”, “Truly yours, Theodore Tilton.”

The card is lightly toned and soiled and has a light diagonal crease in the lower left corner.



# 6977

U.S. Senator - Illinois - 1855-73; Co-authored the Thirteenth Amendment – Prohibiting Slavery in the United States

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ½”, as U.S. Senator from Illinois, Lyman Trumbull, Ill[inois].”

The card is lightly and evenly toned, with old mounting remnants on the reverse.



# 7038

Union Brigadier General - Pennsylvania; Returned the Body of John Brown for Burial after His Execution

At the request of his Quaker mother, Tyndale turned down an appointment to West Point to enter his father’s ceramics business. He escorted Mrs. John Brown to visit her imprisoned husband on the night before his execution, and on the trip returning his body for burial in North Elba, New York. Twice wounded, having three horses shot from under him, and being left for dead on the field at Antietam, Tynsdale resigned due to poor health on August 26, 1864.

Signature, with the rank Tyndale held from April 9, 1863 until his resignation the following year, “Hector Tyndale, Brig. Genl. U.S. Vol[unteer]s,” on a 1 ¼” x 5 ½” slip of paper; quite possibly war-date, as Tyndale resigned well before the end of the war, and was brevetted major general of volunteers on March 13, 1865.



# 6771

African-American Educator, Author & Political Leader

Letter Signed, on 6” x 9 ½” imprinted stationery of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. As school principal, Washington solicits a contribution to help pay the students’ tuition.

Tuskegee, Ala[bama], Jan[uary] 17, 1901. Mrs. E.C. Hammer, B. Hotel Alexander, Boston, Mass[achusetts]. Dear Madam, I write thinking that you might like to take some interest in our work. Our students pay their own board partly in cash and partly in labor, but are wholly unable to pay their tuition in addition. Any sum, however small, will help us. The enclosed circular gives definite information. Yours truly, Booker T. Washington, Principal.”

The letter is lightly and evenly toned, with two horizontal folds and a few stains.



# 7016

African-American Educator, Author & Political Leader; First President of Tuskegee University

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ½”, from the institute Washington helped establish in 1881.

“Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, Alabama, Oct[ober] 30, 1908.”

A light ink smear above the “W” detracts very little, and there are old mounting remnants on the reverse.