University Archives April 10, 2024 Sale Now Online!

    The next sale at University Archives will take place on April 10, 2024! At over 360 carefully curated lots, Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Memorabilia offers collectors a terrific buying opportunity. Our April sale is especially strong in U.S. Presidents, Science, the Arts (Literature, Art & Music), Entertainment, Civil Rights, Early America, & Sports. Here is your chance to acquire outstanding autographed material, historical documents, rare books, photographs, relics, and memorabilia from every imaginable collecting category. We hope you can join us!

    U.S. Presidents

    Lot 88 is a transmittal cover boldly free franked by former president George Washington as “Free / Go: Washington,” ca. October 21, [1799], less than two months before his death. The cover was addressed to a Revolutionary War veteran, Captain Abraham Shepherd of Shepherdstown, Virginia, who was one of the only known set of five fighting Patriot brothers.

    Lot 45 is a handsome Civil War-dated military commission signed by President Abraham Lincoln and co-signed by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, promoting Maryland-born career army officer Robert H.K. Whiteley to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Ordnance Department. At the onset of the war, Whiteley had declined a command in the Confederate Army, instead serving as administrator of first the New York Arsenal, and then the Allegheny Arsenal, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Lot 45, Abraham Lincoln DS

    Lot 34 is a collection of three items relating to John F. Kennedy’s friendship with Democratic Maryland Governor Elbert Carvel, attractively arranged in a frame, including a Kennedy signed presentation photograph; a typed letter signed by Kennedy; and a RSVP on White House stationery.


    Lot 315 is a 2pp autograph letter in German signed by Albert Einstein, with additional manuscript mathematical equations and edits in his hand. In this September 14, 1935 letter to friend and fellow physicist Cornelius Lanczos, Einstein described some of the difficulties he had encountered when attempting to articulate the theory of general relativity through useful equations. Einstein wrote in part: “Consider especially the 14th, etc., component. One then obtains the curious g14, g24, g34, which cooled my confidence below the freezing point, namely something like xa / r, thus something non-decreasing with r. The fact that one obtains ga41 at all in such a static case really bothers me... Didn't this cause you serious concerns?"

    Also crossing the auction block is Lot 316, an extremely rare document signed by British polymath Robert Hooke relating to the Great Fire of London of 1666. In addition to being one of the greatest scientists of Early Modern Europe, Hooke also served as a Surveyor of the City of London and settled many claims following the conflagration.

    Lot 319 is a 1p autograph letter signed by artist and inventor Samuel Morse dated November 11, 1861, describing the origins of his most famous invention, the telegraph. Morse had strenuously defended his intellectual property rights for the telegraph, both in courts and out, for the last 25 years. Morse wrote in part: “A letter … has just reached me inquiring if I lay claim to the first operator in Telegraphs, and when the first line was used. Presuming you mean the Elector magnetic recording Telegraphy I reply that being the inventor of it, I must of necessity be the first operator..."

    Arts (Literature, Art, Music)

    Lot 284 is an epic 15pp autograph letter in French signed by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, the Russian writer and second cousin of novelist Leo Tolstoy, addressed to an Italian journalist who had inquired about the former’s personal and professional life. At once a literary confession and an intellectual mission statement, A.K. Tolstoy expounds at length about his writing process, notable works, and his upbringing in “Little Russia,” or Ukraine. In it, Tolstoy cites his famous historical trilogy, The Death of Ivan the Terrible (1866), Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (1868), and Tsar Boris (1870), as some of his most important work.

    Lot 97 is an 4pp autograph letter in French signed by Paul Gauguin while visiting the artist’s colony in Pont-Aven, Brittany, France, ca. April 27, 1888. The letter, which has been fully translated, is jam-packed with incredible artistic content. Gauguin dismisses the prevailing attitudes towards monochromatic color theory, furiously demanding, “Is that color?”, especially when compared to his own richly and bright artist’s palette. In the letter, Gauguin also gossips about contemporary artists and art critics like Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, Paul Alexis (pen name Trublot), and others.

    Lot 97, Paul Gauguin ALS

    Lot 182 is a first edition copy of Dr. Haydn's IV Original Canzonettas, for the Voice with an Accompaniment for the Piano-Forte Dedicated to Mrs. John Hunter (London, [1794]), signed by Classic Austrian composer Joseph Haydn as “Haydn” on the full title page. This rare musical collectible highlights the collaboration between Joseph Haydn and the Irish-born female poet Anne Hunter, who provided lyrics to several of Haydn’s musical compositions.

    Marvelous Miscellany (Entertainment, Civil Rights, Early America)

    Lot 178 is a vintage black and white 8” x 10” pin-up photograph of Marilyn Monroe, signed by her as “Marilyn Monroe” just a year after she had discarded Norma Jeane Mortenson in favor of her iconic stage name. In terms of the combination of photo quality, signature quality, image composition, and how early this was taken in her career, ca. September 1947, we feel a better one will never be found. PSA/DNA graded 10!

    Lot 133 is an original mimeograph entitled “Advance Text of speech to be delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”- better known as his “I Have a Dream Speech” – which King, Jr. delivered later that day, August 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln memorial in his March on Washington. The mimeograph was run off by March’s Press office early that morning, between 4 and 7 am, after King had finished late night eleventh-hour edits. King frequently referred to this speech draft in his speech before launching extemporaneously into his “I Have a Dream” sequence.

    Lot 133, Martin Luther King, Jr. Original Mimeograph of "I Have A Dream" Speech

    Lot 152 is a very scarce 2pp autograph letter signed by Continental General Nathanael Greene and addressed to Commander-in-Chief George Washington on June 24, 1780, in which Greene triumphantly announces the Patriot victory at the Battle of Springfield (also known as the Battle of Connecticut Farms.) The colonials had frustrated Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen’s attempts to delve into New Jersey in what was one of the last major battles in the northern colonies during the Revolutionary War.

    These are just a few of the unique lots that will be offered in our April 10, 2024 sale. We hope to see you there!