The Caren Archive II: How History Unfolds on Paper at Bonhams NY on April 11

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.31.15 AM.pngNEW YORK—Coinciding with the current U.S. Presidential election campaign season, Bonhams New York announces Treasures from the Caren Archive II: How History Unfolds on Paper, a monumental auction on April 11 featuring important documents from U.S. history—spanning the fields of Presidential Politics, Sports, Magic, and Witchcraft — all pivotal records of our nation’s rich heritage.

Auction headliners include:

—George Washington’s Journal, 1754—one of the rarest items relating to the Father of our Country, and a critical document leading to the French and Indian War (detail image above).

—One of the earliest printing of the U.S. Constitution, in the New-Haven Gazette and the Connecticut Magazine. Sep. 27, 1787.

—The First Publication of Casey at the Bat, America’s most beloved Baseball Ballad, [Thayer, Ernest L. 1863-1940.] The Daily Examiner. San Francisco, June 3, 1888.

—Autographed Letter from Harry Houdini written on his first international tour, with drawings of handcuffs.

—Bunker Hill Bible of Francis Merrifield, 1755, carried in the Battle of Bunker Hill and subsequently personally annotated with thanks and praise to both God and gun.

The over 300 lots, ranging in date from the 16th to the 20th century, come to Bonhams from historian Eric C. Caren. Known as the “Babe Ruth of historical collecting,” Caren has collected historical papers since his early childhood, calling them “the life blood of history.” Part of the Caren Archives-the most significant collection of historical documents outside of an U.S. institution-form the benchmark of the Newseum’s holdings in Washington, D.C.

Evocative of today’s heated political climate, many featured lots from pivotal past presidential elections and administrations, provide insight into some of America’s most prominent and controversial office holders and seekers.

Presidential items include:

—First Inaugural Address by George Washington, first printing. May 1, 1789.

—Presidential Campaign Poster for Victoria Woodhull, 1893—The first womanU.S. presidential candidate, Woodhull ran on a platform, which included women’s suffrage, regulation of monopolies, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty, and welfare for the poor, etc.

—Letter Congratulating John Adams after winning a highly acrimonious First Presidential Race from Elbridge Gerry, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and future Vice President.

—Alexander Hamilton’s Report on Public Credit and the establishment of the Bank of New York, 1784, published in The Pennsylvania Packet, And General Advertiser. Philadelphia, which states, “The great benefits to commerce and society at large to be derived from well regulated Banks, especially in republican governments.”

—Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Letter and Printed Proclamation Convening Congress to Vote on the Louisiana Purchase, July 1803.

—The Authorization for the First Treaty between China and the U.S., signed by President James Polk, 1845—in this milestone document, China granted most favored nation status to the U.S.

“The most special aspect of collecting historical documents and newspapers is that sense of immediacy, messiness, mistakes and excitement they offer—understanding what it was like to live in those times,” said Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts Christina Geiger. “Some problems were the same and some shockingly different. History is written by the victors in books, but real history is shaped by everyone in letters, protest posters, newspapers and personal records. And, that’s what we have here-‘old news’-it’s very democratic.”

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