American History Headlines Leslie Hindman’s April 10th Fine Books Auction  

American History Headlines Leslie Hindman’s April 10th Fine Books Auction

On April 10, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will showcase a fine selection of rare and historical Americana, including books, autographs, and maps, as part of their Fine Books and Manuscripts sale.

Leading the sale is an early four-page letter from George Washington, as Commander of the Continental Army, to the Governor of New York, George Clinton, July 30, 1782. Letters from this period in Washington’s military campaign are exceedingly rare, especially with historically significant content. Here, Washington expresses his concern to Clinton for General Marinus Willett’s command of the Mohawk Valley, a strategic and vulnerable point on the Revolutionary War battle lines that had been plagued with numerous skirmishes between Loyalists and Allies. Washington planned to send Willett on a secret mission to recapture the British-held Fort Ontario at Oswego, but expresses doubts: “I wish to be informed … of the force of Willet’s [sic] corps now assembled on the Mohawk, also the strength of the enemy at Oswego, of which I have as yet had only vague and unsatisfactory accounts.” He warns them to be cautious; not to act too quickly. The mission, sent February 1783, would fail, when Willett’s forces were unable to surprise the garrison. It continued to be held by the British until 1796, thirteen years after the Peace of Paris.

Other autographed letters of note include Thomas Jefferson, Justice John Marshall, John James Audubon, Buffalo Bill Cody and John F. Kennedy. Abraham Lincoln is represented in a rare plaster life mask, from the original by Clark Mills, which was the only life mask taken during his Presidency.

The sale will also highlight major historical works on the mapping and exploration of the United States, including first edition histories of the Lewis and Clark expedition to the sources of the Missouri and Zebulon Pike’s exceedingly rare expedition to the Southwest. The highlight of the cartography session is a first edition of Henry Tanner’s landmark map of the United States. Measuring 49 ½ x 63 inches on 60 sections backed onto linen, this huge map incorporates the discoveries of Lewis and Clark, Pike and their contemporaries, giving an unprecedented survey of the Rocky Mountain region and Oregon Territory, as well as fourteen inset maps of major cities.

“We are excited to be providing collectors, scholars and American history enthusiasts with such high quality books and manuscripts, many of which are very rare to the auction market,” says Mary Kohnke, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The sale will also feature Continental Rare Books, including Claude Lorrain’s Liber Veritatis, Livres d’artistes, literary first editions, and an impressive selection of cartography, including Hartman Schedel’s fifteenth-century world map from the Nuremburg Chronicle.

Previews are scheduled for Saturday, April 6 through Tuesday, April 9.

The auction will take place Wednesday, April 10, on location at 1338 West Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois, at 12pm. The auction catalogue and live bidding are also available online at

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