American History

American History is a semi-annual Live Salesroom Auction featuring everything from 19th century photography, political campaign ephemera, historical textiles, items associated with slavery and abolition, Lincolniana, the Civil War, social history, books, manuscripts and autographs, to flags and historical relics. Online-Only American History auctions also occur throughout the year.

We are always accepting consignments for upcoming American History auctions.Click here for our online consignment form.

Department Director

Katie Horstman, Director
Specialist

Contact Information
Contact Katie at 513-871-1670 x236 or email historic@cowans.com

Katie Horstman is a graduate of The University of Cincinnati with a Masters degree in Art History, where she explored the work of New York photographer, John Oliver Bowman. Working closely with Wes Cowan, Katie has been successfully leading the American History department for the past five years.

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Collection of Cabinet Card Photographs of Women, Including Attractive Woman posed with Stereoviewer & Views
Lot # 172 - Collection of Cabinet Card Photographs of Women, Including Attractive Woman posed with Stereoviewer & Views
Lot of 65, including 45 cabinet cards and cabinet card-sized photographs of women, both young and old, many very well dressed for their studio portraits. The highlight is a portrait of a young, attractive woman standing in a parlor-like interior, posed beside a table upon which a stereoviewer and stereoview are displayed. The woman also holds a stereoview in her right hand. This view bears the studio imprint of Hotchkiss, Norwich, NY. Several other cabinet photos come from the Hotchkiss studio, and additional studio marks include: Wick, Norwich, NY; Granger, Delhi, NY; Van Woert, Athens, PA; Graeff, Oxford, NY; and Mandeville, Oxford, NY. 

An additional 25 photos of women, most measuring 1 x 1 in. and mounted on 2.75 x 2.75 in. cardstock, accompany the lot. 
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[Civil War-CDV] Civil War CDVS of Union Soldiers, Many Identified 
Lot # 66 - [Civil War-CDV] Civil War CDVS of Union Soldiers, Many Identified 
Lot of 9, including: a cdv by Mould & Boutwell of Baraboo, Wis., identified in modern ink on verso as Newton Clark, ca 1865 [Co. K, 14th WI Infy.]; a cdv vignette of Abe H. Key, ink identified on the print, with the backmark of Alexandria's Wolff's Gallery and affixed with a two cent revenue stamp; a cdv of Capt. J.W. Davis, Co. "B" 21st Mo., signed by the soldier on recto and identified in another hand on verso as Second Cousin J.W. Davis; a cdv vignette of A.D. Foster [two "A. Fosters" enlisted in the 2nd MN Infy.], personally signed on the print, with backmark of Milwaukee photographer Lydston; cdv of soldier identified as J. Leusk, an enlisted heavy artilleryman, also with Wolff's Alexandria backmark; a cdv of soldier identified on verso in modern pencil as Capt. Paul C. Cutter, 26th (36th?) Ill. Vol., though that name appears on the rolls of neither; a mounted shot of a company grade officer; a GAR calling card for C.L. Angell, Litchfield, Minn., Commander Frank Daggett Post / G.A.R., No. 35 [Clark L. Angell enlisted as a private in the 3rd MN Infy.]; and a GAR medal.
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Rare 1899 Photograph of Chief Red Cloud Holding the American Flag
Lot # 398 - Rare 1899 Photograph of Chief Red Cloud Holding the American Flag
Silver gelatin print mounted to 6.5 x 8.5 in.  Penciled in the lower margin Chief Red Cloud, 1899.  Penciled on the recto, Red Cloud. Former Souix Chief about 90 years old. 

Red Cloud stands on a windy plain somewhere in the Western United States wearing a feathered headdress and clutching his feathered tomahawk. He has beaded moccasins and holds an American flag. 
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Harrison & Morton Jugate Campaign Engraving, 1888
Lot # 2211 - Harrison & Morton Jugate Campaign Engraving, 1888
14 x 10 in. jugate campaign engraving of Benjamin H. Harrison & Levi P. Morton / Republican Candidates For President And Vice President, 1888., surrounded by patriotic symbolism.  Designed by S.J. Ferris, engraved by J.R. Rice, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
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[New York State & Niagara Falls] Large Mixed Group of Niagara Falls and Flat Mountains Stereviews
Lot # 94 - [New York State & Niagara Falls] Large Mixed Group of Niagara Falls and Flat Mountains Stereviews
A large lot of 97 flat mount views, c. 1860s-1880s of New York State (30) and Niagara Falls (67). Nice views of Oswego Lake; Ithaca area; Hudson River; Catskills; Rochester area; Harlem River; Pulaski; Lake George; West Point; Delaware County; Ausable; Syracuse; Binghamton & Warsaw. Plus large grouping of Niagara incl. Suspension Bridge and construction; Clifton House; Suspension bridge at Borning Springs, etc. Various mounts.
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[Civil War - Manuscripts] Post-Civil War Archive of Charles Warren, 50th Mass Infantry, Regarding Re-Enlistment Bounty Money 
Lot # 115 - [Civil War - Manuscripts] Post-Civil War Archive of Charles Warren, 50th Mass Infantry, Regarding Re-Enlistment Bounty Money 
Lot of 38 documents relating to Charles H. Warren, Co. C, 50th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and member of GAR Major Howe Post #47, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Most are post-Civil War and document his fight to obtain his re-enlistment bounty money. Warren served in the 50th Mass. from September 1862 to July 1863, when he was discharged at Port Hudson, Louisiana and re-enlisted into "Headquarters Troops-Dept. of the Gulf", then was transferred to the 1st New Orleans Regiment. When he re-enlisted he was credited to Louisiana and not Massachusetts, so he was told he could not get the $400 bounty. He then hired a lawyer and wrote to politicians and generals looking for help. With several war-date documents, some from brevet brigadier generals, including three items from General N.P. Banks.
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US WWII Navy Waves Recruitment Posters, Lot of Four
Lot # 201 - US WWII Navy Waves Recruitment Posters, Lot of Four
Posters include: three Navy Waves posters, 21 x 14"; and one gold star poster, They Gave Their Lives - Will You Lend Your Money? 18 x 24".
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[Political Americana - Lincolniana] Lincoln Mourning Sheet Music, Plus 
Lot # 304 - [Political Americana - Lincolniana] Lincoln Mourning Sheet Music, Plus 
Lot of 3, including: Funeral March to the Memory of Abraham Lincoln, / The Martyr President of the United States of America, who died April 15th, 1865, in the 57th year of his age. Music by Mrs. E.A. Parkhurst. New York: Horace Waters, 1865. Professionally framed, 9.5" x 12" sight, 14.5" x 17.5" overall; a fine photomechanical rendering of Abraham Lincoln, copyrighted top left edge of portrait, 1901, by the Gravure Company of America, 9 x 12.75 in., with Lincoln's facsimile signature below portrait, 15 x 19.5 in. overall; and sheet music titled Dedication to Miss Laura Keene, The Laura Keene Schottisch, featuring a lithograph of Laura Keene at center by Sarony and her facsimile signature. Music composed by Thomas Baker, published in 1856 by Firth, Pond & Co., New York. 10.75 x 14, taped under mat.
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Turner Ashby, Confederate Lieutenant Colonel, War-Date DS
Lot # 353 - Turner Ashby, Confederate Lieutenant Colonel, War-Date DS
Turner Ashby (1828-1862). A signed Confederate States of America pay voucher, February 7, 1862, no place, acknowledging receipt of $555 for three months service, November 1, 1861 to January 31, 1862, signed in black ink Thomas Ashby / Lt Col Comdg Cvry.

Ashby served as a Confederate Cavalry Brigadier General. He mustered into Co. A, Virginia 7th Cavalry on July 1, 1861 as a Captain, and was commissioned into CS General & Staff on May 23, 1862. Ashby gained prominence as Stonewall Jackson's cavalry commander in the Valley Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley in 1862. Despite his vigorous reconnaissance and screening efforts in this campaign, Ashby was KIA on June 6, 1862 at Cross Keys, Virginia.
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*Hi Point Model JHP Semi-Auto Pistol with Laser Sight
Napoleon Bonaparte LS, January 29, 1811
Lot # 212 - Napoleon Bonaparte LS, January 29, 1811
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). LS, 1p, 7.25 x 9 in., January 29, 1811, addressed to Major General, Mon Cousin, instructing him to give the order that no Spanish prisoners are to remain at the Depot de Paris and Major Quasnel is to be responsible for anyone left under the addressee's command under pretext of illness, etc. Initialed by Napoleon.
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Free African American Woman, Elizabeth <i>Aunt Betty</i> Proctor Thomas, Photograph taken with Civil War Veterans in front of the Lincoln Memorial Boulder
Lot # 229 - Free African American Woman, Elizabeth Aunt Betty Proctor Thomas, Photograph taken with Civil War Veterans in front of the Lincoln Memorial Boulder
4-7/8 x 7-1/8 in. photograph, dated in the negative Fort Stevens, Nov. 7, 1911 - #8, and penciled on verso Betty Thomas, owner of land.  Elizabeth Proctor Thomas (1821-1917), also known as "Aunt Betty," was a free black woman who, with her husband James, owned and farmed land on a hilltop in NW Washington DC.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, Union soldiers seized the property to build Fort Stevens.  Aunt Betty told the story that as she sat weeping with her child, watching the soldiers dismantle her house, President Lincoln approached her and attempted to console her by saying "It is hard, but you shall reap a great reward."  Aunt Betty was never compensated for the damages, but maintained that she was confident Lincoln would have made sure she was, had he survived.  The photograph offered here shows Aunt Betty posed with Civil War veterans at the Lincoln Memorial Boulder at Fort Stevens, which commemorates the spot where the president was actually under enemy fire while visiting soldiers at the fort on July 11, 1864.
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Folk Art Carved Wood Ball in Cage Whimsies
Lot # 47 - Folk Art Carved Wood Ball in Cage Whimsies
American. A group of four carved wood folk art ball-in-cage whimsies; largest ht. 10 in.
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CDV of Captain Thomas Cluney, 49th New York Inf., Present at Gettysburg, Plus
Lot # 52 - CDV of Captain Thomas Cluney, 49th New York Inf., Present at Gettysburg, Plus
Lot of 3 CDVs of identified Union soldiers from regiments present at the Battle of Gettysburg, including:

Full-length portrait of Capt. Thomas Cluney, Co. B, 49th New York Infantry, carte by Mathew Brady, with penciled identification on verso.  Cluney, from Fredonia, NY, enlisted August 1, 1861, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in Co. A of the 49th, and promoted to first lieutenant by November.  He was made Capt. of Co. B in May 1864, and served through the end of the war, with some sources listing him as having served as lieutenant colonel for a time.  At Gettysburg, the 49th NY was part of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, VI Corps, and held off skirmishers along Baltimore Pike.

Seated portrait of Lieut. Henry Slauson, Co. I, 137th New York Infantry, carte by Brady, signed by Slauson with rank on verso.  Slauson, of Binghamton, was commissioned a first lieutenant in Co. I on September 2, 1862, and discharged for disability April 7, 1863 (so he was not present at Gettysburg when the regiment suffered over 100 casualties defending Culp's Hill).

Full-length pose of Martin D. Marcley, Co. E, 44th New York Infantry (Ellsworth's Avengers), carte by D. Denison, Albany, NY, with penciled identification on verso.  Marcley enlisted as a musician on Sept. 24, 1862, at Albany, and was discharged for disability March 1, 1863, at Falmouth, VA (so he was not present at Gettysburg when Ellsworth's Avengers defended Little Round Top).
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Theodore Roosevelt Toy Soldier Group, Plus
Lot # 101 - Theodore Roosevelt Toy Soldier Group, Plus
Lot of six, including: mounted Theodore Roosevelt figure, hand-painted metal, 3.5 in. high; hand-painted metal figures of Spanish soldiers (2) and a Cuban War of Independence infantry soldier, 2.5 in. high, the Spaniards marked K&C on the base; hand-painted plastic Teddy Roosevelt figure, 2.75 in. high; plastic Teddy Roosevelt figure, 8 in. high; and a 3.875 in. sq. tile with five hand-painted soldiers.
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Washington Commemorative Poster
Lot # 268 - Washington Commemorative Poster
A commemorative lithograph of the 50th anniversary of Washington's death. Included on the bottom are open portions for individuals to fill their own family history. This accounts for the Warner, Camp, and Schwartz families. The original artist C.H. Willey and printed by A & J McLees from New York in 1849. It measures 23.75 x 30 in.
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[Flags and Patriotic Textiles] Unusual Mexican Flag with Eagle, Ca 1890-1920s 
Lot # 156 - [Flags and Patriotic Textiles] Unusual Mexican Flag with Eagle, Ca 1890-1920s 
Ca 1890-1920s, 15" x 31". The eagle at center was most likely done with a copper plate, and the binding, although uneven, done by machine. The flag features a central emblem similar to what has been used since the 1820s, but with a Libertad cap above the eagle's head.
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Pamphlets Relating to the Lincoln Assassination
Lot # 188 - Pamphlets Relating to the Lincoln Assassination
Lot of 2. Each 8vo with printed paper wraps. Both were hastily printed as events were unfolding in the pursuit of the conspirators and their trial to feed the demand of the public for current information.

Townsend, George Alfred. The Life, Crime, and Capture of John Wilkes Booth, with a Full Sketch of the Conspiracy of which he was the Leader, and the Pursuit, Trial and Execution of his Accomplices. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1865. Portrait of Booth on front wrap and frontis, 70pp. Rear wrap missing; front wrap chipped and frayed. Ads inside front wrap give interesting portrait of the publisher and times, and possibly the quality of information within, including titles such as "The Biblical Reason Why," "Bordeaux Wine and Liquor," "The Art of Dancing," "Gamblers' Tricks with Cards," "The Lyrics of Ireland," "Every Woman her own Lawyer," and "Freemasonry Exposed" (the "Freemason conspiracy" goes back over a century and a half).

The Terrible Tragedy at Washington. Assassination of President Lincoln. Philadelphia: Barclay & Co., [1865]. A few pages torn out at beginning, first page is numbered 23; several sections mis-numbered (31-38, 53-60, 75-84: in all of these, a plate has been inserted, and the page numbers skip, but the text flows fine and seems to be complete, as if the printer knew there was to be an insert, but not how much); 65-70 are torn out. Front with portrait of Lincoln; frontis of the assassination; back with Booth riding away on his horse; inside back, Lincoln's funeral car. Wraps chipped and soiled, as are a few inner pages.
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Neil Armstrong Autographed Copy of <i>Space Pioneer</i>
Lot # 38 - Neil Armstrong Autographed Copy of Space Pioneer
Armstrong, Neil (1930-). Apollo 11 crew member and the first man to set foot on the moon (1969). A copy of the children's biography Neil Armstrong: Space Pioneer (Paul Westman, 1980), signed on the cover in black marker, framed with a commemorative moon landing certificate affixed with a First Man on the Moon stamp postmarked Moon Landing; 15" x 22" overall.
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Atlas and Cyclopedia of Butler County, Ohio
Lot # 269 - Atlas and Cyclopedia of Butler County, Ohio
Lot of 2. Cover title New Historical Atlas of Butler County Ohio, Illustrated. Title page: Everts, L.H. Combination Atlas Map of Butler County, Ohio. Compiled, Drawn and Published from Personal Examinations and Surveys. Everts, 1875. Folio, 3/4 leather, embossed and gilt device on front, 144 numbered pages (page numbering a bit awkward - page 28, for example, is followed by two pages numbered 28 1/2). Two-page folding map of Ohio, climatological and geological map of US, hand-colored maps of each township, and lithographs of farms, towns, residences, and citizens. Includes full-page bird's-eye view of Miami University.

A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio, with Illustrations and Sketches of its Representative Men and Pioneers. Cincinnati: Western Biographical Publishing Co., 1882. 4to, 3/4 leather over beveled boards, gilt page edges, gilt lettering front and spine, 4 spine bands, fold-out map of Butler County, 666pp.
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