AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2013 Issue

The Latest Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books

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The Record, from Confederate Richmond.

Here is an amazing collection of pamphlets concerning issues leading up to the Civil War, specifically the battles over the Kansas-Nebraska compromise. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 allowed for those soon-to-be states to choose for themselves whether to be slave or free. It led to both sides bringing sympathetic settlers into Kansas, and to the pro-South side fixing elections to seize power. The result was what became known as “Bloody Kansas” as violence flared between the two camps. President Buchanan's support of the minority pro-slavery constitution further aggravated the North, as the compromise only served to make matters worse. This collection contains thirty documents from 1854-1858, including congressional speeches, presidential messages, and other documents related to Kansas-Nebraska. It was compiled by Congressman and future Vice-President Schuyler Colfax. There is an index in Colfax's hand along with his signature. Colfax was an Indiana opponent of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and of slavery, originally a member of the Whig Party who later joined the Republicans. Colfax was elected Vice-President in 1868, serving during President Grant's first term, but was not renominated in 1872 as a result of charges pertaining to scandals during the Grant administration. Item 45. $750.

 

Item 172 is a complete run of The Record of News, History, and Literature. It contains 26 issues plus supplements to this window on America's most troubled time. It was issued weekly from Richmond during the heart of the Civil War, from June through December 1863. Complete runs of Confederate magazines are exceedingly rare. The paper proclaimed it was “devoted, as its name implies, to a brief and abstract chronicle of the time.” While it included literature and foreign news, the focus was on the war which dominated the times. Not surprisingly, events are described from a southern perspective. One of its features was a black list of Union officers born in the South who “adhered to the federal government and are making war upon their homes.” It speaks unflatteringly of Lincoln as “Surely a more presuming, groveling and uncompromising military despot never disgusted the world by a disregard for constitutional principles, individual rights, the sovereignty of well-established law, and the rules of honorable and civilized warfare.” $6,000.

 

David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books may be reached at 203-389-8111 or dmlesser@lesserbooks.com. Their website is www.lesserbooks.com

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