Historical Civil War Autographs
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Mexican War, Indian Wars & The American West

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ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY (1767-1848)

# 5874

Sixth U.S. President - 1825-29

Franked Panel, 3” x 4 ½”, “J.Q. Adams,” as U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts, the front portion of a postal cover, also addressed by Adams to his nephew, “Lieut[ena]n[t] Thomas B. Adams, Fort Brooke, Tampa Bay, Florida,” with stamped free designation and an October 11 [1837], Washington City postmark.

The brother of John Quincy Adams, third son and youngest child of John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Boylston Adams died in 1832. Born in 1809, his son of the same name and the addressee on this panel, was stationed at various posts in the South after graduation from West Point in 1828. Young Lieutenant Adams subsequently saw action in the Second Seminole War, during which he died of disease at Fort Dade, Florida on December 14, 1837, one month after the receipt of this mailing at the outpost, as indicated by vertical docketing at left beneath the postmark. On the panel’s reverse (images are available upon request) are approximately fifteen partial lines from the associated letter, with social content, presumably in the hand of a family member.

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ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY (1767-1848)

# 6078

Sixth U.S. President - 1825-29

U.S. Congressman John Quincy Adams submits information relating to the loss of a Seminole War troop transport in Tampa Bay, Florida

Autograph Letter Signed, 7 ½” x 9”, to “James Collier Esqr., Cohassett, Mass[achuse]tts,” with excellent early-Florida, Seminole War association.

As Congressman from Massachusetts, the former U.S. President informs Collier that he has submitted a report to Secretary of War Joel Poinsett regarding payment for the services of the schooner Rubicon in the rescue of the transport Charles Wharton, lost while carrying U.S. troops bound for service in the Second Seminole War. Congressional records state: “the ship Charles Wharton was chartered by the United States for the purpose of transporting nearly three hundred volunteer troops, with arms, provisions, baggage, and a quantity of sauer kraut from Philadelphia to Tampa Bay. While on the voyage, and so laden, about the 20th of December [1837], she grounded on a shoal near the entrance of Tampa Bay, and was found in a very perilous condition…” The same record further indicates that the crew of at least one other vessel, “…at great risk, and with much labor, aided and assisted in saving the troops, the guns, ammunition, and private property of the officers.”

Washington, 24 Feb[ruar]y 1838. Sir, I have submitted your Letter of the 6th inst[an]t to the consideration of the Secretary of War, and have received an answer from him enclosing a report from the acting Quartermaster General T[rueman] Cross of the following report: ‘In reply to the Letter of Mr. James Collier referred to me by the War Department a few days since I have the honour to state that this office possesses no information whatever in relation to the loss of the ship Charles Wharton or the services alleged to have been rendered by the Schooner Rubicon. It appears however, by Mr. Colliers own admission, that the Quarter Master at Tampa Bay, paid the Captain of the Rubicon six hundred dollars, which it is a fair presumption was the value of his services.’ The fair presumptions of the Quarter-Master General may doubtless be rebutted by positive testimony. If you have any such, I shall be happy to give any assistance in my power to exhibit the same before the proper department. I am, very respectfully, Sir, your obed[ien]t Serv[an]t, J.Q. Adams.”

Interestingly, Adams’s nephew, Thomas Boylston Adams, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and a Seminole War veteran, had died of disease at Fort Dade, Florida just two months earlier, on December 14, 1837. Also of note, Trueman Cross, the acting quartermaster general mentioned in this letter, was killed on April 21, 1846 by Mexican bandits near Fort Brown, Texas, just three days before the United States declared war with Mexico.

The sheet bears general soiling and wear.  Paper weakness and minor separation at the usual folds, along with several chips and tears in the margins, none affecting the text of the letter, have been professionally stabilized with archival backing on the reverse.

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BEE, HAMILTON P. (1822-97)

# 7541

Confederate Brigadier General – Texas; Brother of Killed-in-Action Confederate General Barnard Bee; Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives – 1855-57

A resident of Texas from an early age, Bee served in the Mexican War as lieutenant of Texas Rangers. Elected to the Texas State Legislature in 1849, he served a term as house speaker, 1855-57. Bee was stationed in southern Texas during the early years of the Civil War, and went on to serve in the 1864 Red River Campaign and in Indian Territory at the war’s end.

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ¾”, with rank and the command Bee held after the death of Confederate General Thomas Green in the fighting at Blair’s Landing, Louisiana on April 12, 1864 also in Bee's hand - thus, erroneously dated “1862” in an unidentified hand in the lower left corner,

“Hamilton P. Bee, Brigadier General C.S.A., Bee’[s] Division Cavalry, Green’s Corps.”

The card is lightly and evenly toned, with a few stains, and there are old mounting remnants on the reverse.

Price: $595.00
Quantity: 
 

BROOKS, PRESTON S. (1819-57)

# 6683

U.S. Congressman – South Carolina – 1853-57

A Mexican War veteran and two-term Democratic representative from South Carolina, Brooks is most remembered for severely beating abolitionist Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber on May 22, 1856, two days after Sumner’s impassioned speech denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Signature, as antebellum U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, P.S. Brooks, Ninety Six. So[uth] Carolina,” on a 1 ¾” x 5 ¾” portion of an album page.

 
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CUSTER, ELIZABETH B. (1842-1933)

# 6784

Wife of 7th Cavalry Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer; Author of Numerous Books on Her Husband and the American West

Mrs. Custer Asks for an Application to Join the Daughters of the American Revolution

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ½ pages, on two separate 5” x 6 ½” sheets. Well into her eighties, Mrs. Custer writes to obtain an application to join the Daughters of the American Revolution.

71 Park Avenue, N.Y., August 28 [1927]. Miss Blanche Edwards, My dear Miss Edwards, My cousin Mrs. Bingham has long wanted me to be a Daughter of the American Revolution and has been so good as to make it possible by searching records. I shall be glad to have the blanks for application when it is convenient for you to send them. Thanking you in advance I am very sincerely yours, Elizabeth B. Custer.”

Both sheets have a horizontal fold at the center and heavier toning along the edges. The accompanying transmittal envelope, 3 ½” x 5 ¼”, addressed by Mrs. Custer, to “Miss Blanche Edwards, Abiline, Kansas,” has general soiling and wear, along with a tear at the upper edge, near the August 29, 1927, Grand Central Station, New York postmark.

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GEARY, JOHN W. (1819-1873)

# 7022

Union Brigadier General – Pennsylvania; First Mayor of San Francisco, California – 1850-51; Governor of Kansas Territory – 1856-57; Governor of Pennsylvania – 1867-73

A veteran of the Mexican War, Geary began the Civil War as Colonel of the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry. He was twice wounded at Cedar Mountain, commanded the 2nd Division of the 12th Corps at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and subsequently saw action at Chattanooga. After the war, Geary served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania.

War-Date Signature, with rank, “Jno. W. Geary, Brig. Genl. Com[man]d[in]g,” on a 1 ¼” x 4” slip of paper, removed from a larger document or letter.

Lightly and evenly toned, with a few small stains, along with old glue staining on the reverse.

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INDIAN TERRITORY – A Land Patent Signed by the Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation and the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation

# 7030

Document Signed, 8 ½” x 14”, Indian Territory, March 4, 1902, “Green McCurtain,” as Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation, countersigned by “Douglas H. Johnston,” as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, a partly printed land conveyance for a lot in Wynnewood, present-day Oklahoma, to one Frank L. Robinson.

Both Green McCurtain (1848-1910) and Douglas H. Johnston (1856-1939) were born in Indian Territory, their families having been a part of the forced removal of the southern Indians known as the Trail of Tears. McCurtain served as the elected Chief of the Choctaw Nation from 1902 until his death in 1910; Johnston served two terms as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, 1898–1902 and 1904-39.

The document is evenly toned, with paper weakness and separation along portions of the three horizontal folds.

Price: $450.00
Quantity: 
 

JACKSON, ANDREW (1767-1845)

# 6693

Seventh U.S. President - 1829-37

A Double-Signed Check, as President

Document Signed, 2 ¾” X 7”, as President, Washington, August 24, 1835, “Andrew Jackson,” a partly printed check, also accomplished by Jackson. Drawn on the Bank of the Metropolis for $200, the check is made payable to Jackson’s son, “Andrew Jackson, j[u]n[io]r,” and thus bears a second full signature.

The check is lightly and evenly toned, with several folds and light creases. A cross-cut cancellation at center intersects portions of the upper signature.

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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.

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LEE, ROBERT E. (1807-70)

# 6212

Confederate General & Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia

Returning the Remains of a Young Lieutenant Who Died in Texas to His Father in Pennsylvania

Autograph Letter Signed, 8” x 10”, to John Dick, a prominent Pennsylvania banker and businessman, later a U.S. Congressman from 1853 to 1859. While in command of his first fort, Camp Cooper, established in northern Texas to protect the frontier from hostile Indians, Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee resends information relating to the return of the remains of Dick’s son, 2nd Lieutenant George McGunnigle Dick, in light of the possible loss of his previous letter on the subject. That communication, Lee suspects, may have been carried aboard the steamer Louisiana, when it burned and sank in the harbor of Galveston, Texas on May 31, 1857.

“Hon[ora]ble John Dick, Meadville, P[ennsylvani]a. Camp in Clear fork of Brazos, 13 July 1857. Dear Sir, Having seen a statement in the papers that the letters that had reached Indianola from about the 20 to the 30 May had all been lost in the mails shipped aboard the Steamer Louisiana, & as my letter to you of the 6 May should have been at Indianola about that time, I have determined to send to you a Copy, that you might see why your letter of 10 Sept. [18]’56 had been so long unack[nowledge]d, should the original have been lost, & that I had given such attention to your inquiries as I was able. I hope my letter of the 19th May reached you safely, & that you will have rec[eive]d w[ith] this the remains of your Son, forw[arde]d at that time to the Messrs. Thorps, who were also written to. I made arrangements for their shipment from Indianola, & have heard of their safe passage through San Antonio. With Sentiments of esteem & respect I am very resp[ectfull]y your Ob[edien]t Serv[an]t, R.E. Lee.”

During a forty-day expedition which scouted the headwaters of the Colorado, Brazos, and Wichita rivers, begun in early June, 1856, the four cavalry squadrons in Lee’s command had several encounters with hostile Comanche Indians. The available records indicate that Lieutenant Dick died at Camp Cooper on July 31, 1856 - just eight days after Lee’s return.  It is unknown if he died of wounds received during the expedition, or due to an illness or an injury that occurred at the notoriously harsh Camp Cooper.

The letter is in excellent condition, with slight discoloration along portions of the usual folds and superficial paper breaks at their intersections.

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LEE, ROBERT E. (1807-70)

# 7506

Confederate General & Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia

Document Signed, 8” x 10 ½”, as President of Washington College, Lexington Virginia, April 28, 1867, “R.E. Lee,” the partly printed report card for a student, “Mr. Edwin T. Dumble,” in the subjects of Latin, Greek, and Mathematics.

Born in Madison, Indiana in 1852, Edwin Dumble moved to Galveston, Texas with his family as an infant. His education at Washington College was twice interrupted by reversals in his father’s cotton and lumber businesses. He later served as an executive in several oil companies – most notably the Southern Pacific, the Rio Bravo, and the East Coast Oil Companies - and as Texas State Geologist from 1887 to 1897. In 1924, Dumble received a doctorate of science from his early alma mater, now Washington and Lee University, before retiring to Virginia. He died in 1927.

In excellent condition overall, the document is lightly and evenly toned, with a few superficial stains. There are two small pinholes along one of the usual folds, none of which passes through Lee’s signature.

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NewLONGSTREET, JAMES (1821-1904)

# 7517

Confederate Lieutenant General – South Carolina

Longstreet saw action from First Manassas through Appomattox, becoming Lee’s senior lieutenant general in the Army of Northern Virginia. He held post-war positions in the Grant, McKinley, and Roosevelt administrations.

War-Date Endorsement Signed

Civil War-Date Endorsement Signed, on a 1 ¾” x 3 ¼” slip of paper, removed from a larger document.

Respectfully forwarded, J. Longstreet, L[ieutenan]t Gen[era]l.”

While post-war manuscripts by Longstreet are readily available, war-date examples are seldom encountered. This endorsement, distinctly signed by Longstreet with his right hand, can be dated to the war-time period before the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5 & 6, 1864, where a severe wound forced Longstreet to use his left hand for writing for many years afterward.

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McLAWS, LAFAYETTE (1821-97)

# 6990

Confederate Major General - Georgia

A West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran, McLaws entered Confederate service as colonel of the 10th Georgia Infantry, subsequently seeing action on the Peninsula, and at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

Signature, with closing and the Mexican War-period rank McLaws held from March 16, 1844 until February 16, 1847, “Respectfully, L.M. McLaws, 2nd Lieut[enant] 7th Inf[antry],” on a 1” x 3 ¼” slip of paper, removed from a letter; affixed to a larger card.

Closely clipped at the top, with light, even toning.

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PIERREPONT, EDWARDS (1817-92)

# 7017

U.S. Attorney General – 1875-76; Prosecutor in the Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy Trial of John Surratt

Letter Signed, on imprinted 8” x 10” stationery as U.S. Attorney General, accepting the resignation of Lemuel D. Evans as U.S. Marshal for the Eastern Judicial District of Texas.

Washington, Jan[uar]y 22, 1876. L.D. Evans Esq., U.S. Marshal for E[aster]n Tex[as], Washington, D.C. Sir, I have received yours of the 29th instant, laying before me your resignation of the Marshalship of the Eastern District of Texas, to take effect on the 17th day of February, 1876, which resignation I hereby accept. Very respectfully, Edw. Pierrepont, Attorney General.”

Born in Tennessee, Lemuel Evans moved to Texas early in life, serving as a member of the state convention that annexed the State of Texas to the Union in 1845. He subsequently served a term in the U.S. Congress, as a member of the Reconstruction Convention of 1868, and as justice on the Texas Supreme Court. Evans died on July 1, 1877 in Washington, D.C.

The letter is pleasantly toned, with the expected horizontal folds and two spindle holes in the upper margin. There is a small tear, with no loss of paper, in the lower left corner, along with minor bleeding of ink to several letters in Pierrepont’s signature.

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QUITMAN, JOHN A. (1799-1858)

# 6499

U.S. Major General - Mexican War; Democratic U.S. Representative – Mississippi - 1855-58; Governor of Mississippi – 1835-36 & 1850-51

A Mexican War veteran and ardent antebellum advocate of states' rights, Quitman died in Natchez, Mississippi in 1858, allegedly as a result of consuming poisoned food at the inaugural banquet of James Buchanan.

Signed Envelope, 3" x 5 ½”, “Free, J.A. Quitman, M.C.,” a franking signature as U.S. Congressman from Mississippi, also addressed by Quitman to his son, “F. Henry Quitman, E[squi]r[e], Houma, Terrebonne, Louis[ian]a,” and bearing a Washington, DC postmark.

Light soiling and wear.

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ROSECRANS, WILLIAM S. (1819-98)

# 6645

Union Major General – Ohio; U.S. Congressman – California – 1881-85

Rosecrans led the Army of the Cumberland at Murfreesboro and through the Tullahoma campaign to Chickamauga, where he was routed by the Confederates under Longstreet, a misadventure which effectively ended his military career. After the war, he settled near Los Angeles, serving as U.S. Congressman from California, 1881 – 1885.

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ½”, with rank, “W.S. Rosecrans, Maj[or] Genl.”

There is general soiling and wear, along with a few pinholes and light creases.

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SCOTT, WINFIELD (1786-1866)

# 7149

Union Major General – Virginia; U.S. Army Brevet Lieutenant General for Service in the Mexican War

Scott’s Civil War role was limited to the conception of the “Anaconda Plan” for forcing the surrender of the Confederacy. Due to advanced age, he resigned from the army shortly after McClellan’s appointment to command the Army of the Potomac.

Signature, with the brevet rank Scott held from his service in the Mexican War, “Free, Winfield Scott, Lieut[enant] Genl., &c.,” on a 1 ¼” x 4” portion of an envelope front.

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THOMAS, WILLIAM H. (1805-93)

# 6780

Confederate Colonel - North Carolina; Commanded Thomas’s Cherokee Legion; White Chief of the Oconaluftee Cherokee

Document Signed, Charleston, South Carolina, June 13, 1838, “Wm. H. Thomas,” a partly printed 3 ¼” x 7” promissory note, payable to James W.Y. Watson for $258.82.

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

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YOUNG, BRIGHAM (1801-77)

# 6587

American Mormon Leader; First Governor of UtahTerritory – 1850-58

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ¼”, “Brigham Young.”

Accompanied by a second card, signed “Josiah T. Young.”

Both cards bear light, even toning, a few stains, and old mounting traces on the reverse.

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