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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McKinley & Roosevelt, Miniature Glass <i>Full Dinner Pails</i>
Lot # 162 - McKinley & Roosevelt, Miniature Glass Full Dinner Pails
Lot of 2, including: molded glass dinner pail featuring McKinley & Roosevelt's campaign slogan Full Dinner Pail, and embossed on bottom Albert Pick & Co. Chicago, with tin cup lid and wire bail handle, 4.5 in. tall; plus a variant of the molded glass dinner pail, but entirely made of glass with the exception of the wood and wire handle. Front and back embossed with the wording Four Years More of the Full Dinner PailMcKinley and Roosevelt. Lid can be removed. 4 in. tall. The promise of the "Full Dinner Pail" became the Republican campaign slogan for 1900. 
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Spanish American War and Patriotic Photographs
Lot # 154 - Spanish American War and Patriotic Photographs
Lot of 3. First is a folky frame with a printed parade flag mat, with a cdv in center. Back with penciled Al Murphy / Spanish War / Veteran. His uniform is infantry, but he has a billy club on his belt. He might be an M.P. Second is definitely a hand-made frame, this one a circle, 2.5 in., with small face cut out of another photo and mounted in the center. Face is just under 1 in. diam. Below are crossed flags, U.S. and Cuban, clearly another Span.-Am. veteran. Third is later, 4 x 6 in. photo in photographer's folder, of two men in uniform. Uniform style indicates these gentlemen served just prior to WWI, or were very early recruits, as the uniform appears to be 1912-1918 (wrapped leggings 1912 and later). Photographer's blind stamp E.A. Hirth / Waukon, IA.
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[Western Photo] William Notman Western Landscape Photographs 
Lot # 344 - [Western Photo] William Notman Western Landscape Photographs 
Lot of 11 photographs by Montreal photographer William Notman, each a 7.25" x 9.25" print with Notman's credit and a printed title in the negative, including: 1707-The Great Glacier; 1761-Fraser Canon, Above Spuzzum, On The Canadian Pacific Railway; 2102-Great Glacier, Showing Hotel, On The Canadian Pacific Railway; 3095-Lake Agnes; 3102-Victoria Glacier & Hazel Peak; 3130-Asulkan Glacier From Mt. Abbott; 3719-Banff Hotel and Mount Rundle; 3819-Cathedral Peak (Alt. 10,284) Kicking Horse Valley(with a 1904 Notman & Son/Canadian Parliament Dept. of Agriculture copyright also in the negative); 3827-Early Morning, Emerald Lake(with the same 1904 copyright); 3869-Sir Donald (Alt. 10,808) and Illecillewaet Glacier(1904 copyright); and Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier.

William Notman (1826-1891) was a Scottish-born Canadian photographer.
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1823 American Sampler
Lot # 61 - 1823 American Sampler
American, dated 1823, with alphabet strings and the verses 'Tis religion that can give / Sweetest pleasures while we live / 'Tis religion must supply / Solid comfort when we die, framed 11.75 x 11.5 in.
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Large Group of Cased Tintypes
Lot # 127 - Large Group of Cased Tintypes
Lot of 22, including 10 sixth plate tintypes, 10 ninth plate tintypes, and two sixteenth plate tintypes.  Three ninth plates are housed in Union cases, one sixteenth plate in an blue velvet oval case, one sixth plate in a wood wall frame, 14 of the rest in pressed-paper cases, and three sixth plates are matted under glass but uncased.  The Union cases include The Blind Beggar (Krainik-388), a floral/scroll case, and a geometric case.
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Interesting and Unusual Cased Images, Including Postmortem, Dog, Boaters, and Silhouettes
Lot # 148 - Interesting and Unusual Cased Images, Including Postmortem, Dog, Boaters, and Silhouettes
Lot of 5, including:
 
Charming sixth plate ambrotype of a boy and his dog; housed in a floral/scroll Union case with patriotic eagle imprint on the pad.
 
Sixth plate ambrotype of three men and two women in a rowboat; housed in a pressed-paper case, separated at the spine.
 
Sixth plate postmortem tintype of a child; housed in a pressed-paper case with a lock of the child's hair.
 
Two ninth plate tintypes of silhouettes of a man and woman; both housed in pressed-paper cases.
 
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Confederate General Wheeler's General Orders, February 1864
Lot # 33 - Confederate General Wheeler's General Orders, February 1864
1p, 5 x 8 in. (13 x 20 cm), Head Qu’rs Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps, February 10th, 1864. General Orders No. 2. Typeset signature: By Order of Maj. Gen. Jos. Wheeler. E.S. Burford, A.A. Gen’l. The order concerns training, for example: The Captains and Lieutenants of each Regiment will be organized into a School, and will recite daily to the Regimental commander, or some other field officer. These officers will also be formed daily and thoroughly drilled by the Instructor in the School of the Trooper, Platoon, Squadron, and in the use of the saber.…The non-commissioned officers of each company, together with two or more of the most intelligent privates…will be drilled by the Instructor in the school of the Trooper, Platoon, and in the use of the saber…. Division and Brigade commanders will superintend these schools, and will use every exertion to facilitate and urge forward work so necessary to the proper discipline and efficiency of this arm of the service.
 

A rare Confederate imprint, Parrish & Willingham [994] found 3 copies in 1988 most as part of General Orders 1-6 issued between 31 Jan. – 18 June 1864. One was located at Harry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA (1-6); one at the National Archives in Washington (1-6); and one at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA (2-5). World Cat. Only lists one at the Simpson University Library, Redding, CA. There is a digital copy at the Internet Archive.org, that is stamped as being from Duke University.
 
Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler was born in Georgia in 1836, and even though he lived most of his life with relatives in Connecticut, he always considered himself a Southerner. He was appointed to the USMA, and graduated in 1859, 19th of 22. He received his 2nd lieutenancy in Sept. 1860, and on April 26, 1861, resigned to join the Confederate forces, having already been offered a commission in the Confederate Army. He became colonel in September 1861, Brigadier General in Oct. 1862, Major General in Jan. 1863, and Lieut. General in Feb. 1865. He was given command of the cavalry of the Army of the Mississippi in July 1862, and spent most of the war fighting in the Western theater. Wheeler was one of the only generals opposing Sherman on his March to the Sea. He has been criticized in possibly inadvertently weakened Gen. John Bell Hood’s ability to defend Atlanta, and did not win any friends among Georgia civilians as he harassed Sherman’s army on its long trek across the state. (It is ironic that this order concerns military discipline, when, apparently, the men under his command had little other discipline when fighting through Georgia. One of the primary civilian complaints was lack of discipline of his men.) He tried to cover President Davis’ flight from Richmond and to reach the Western forces, still fighting after Lee’s surrender, but was captured along with several officers. He was imprisoned for two months before being paroled in June.
 
After the war, Wheeler became a cotton planter, lawyer and representative for the state of Alabama from 1880 – 1882, 1884 – 1900. He volunteered for the Spanish-American war, the only former Confederate General to do so. He was appointed Major General of Volunteers by William McKinley, a former Captain in the 23rd Ohio Infantry, and for many symbolic of the reunification of the nation. He also received the permanent rank of Brig. General of the regular (U.S.) army, retiring by age in 1900.
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[California] Ten Miscellaneous California Stereoviews
Lot # 121 - [California] Ten Miscellaneous California Stereoviews
Lot of 10 miscellaneous views of California plus one of Arizona incl. H.T. Payne #22 Overview of Los Angeles from Telegraph Hill; Hellman, Stassforth & Co. #3131 Stret in Los Angeles w/St. Charles & Grand Central Hotels; amateur view of Los Angeles Railway Co. car before Southern Pacific Depot; 2 of trains before Depot at Los Angeles (1 by Continent Stereo, other anonymous; Busy Market area, San Francisco by M.M. Hazeltine; W.N. Tuttle untitled of people under grape arbor; Hayward & Muzzall view of Mission of Santa Barbara; Piated copy of train on Santa Monica Wharf & Continent Stereo of train at Extension of Southern Pacific in Arizona. Mixed flat mounts.
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German Periodicals and Occasional Publications
Lot # 227 - German Periodicals and Occasional Publications
Lot of 4. Includes Heinzen, Karl (1809-1880). Der Pionier. Boston: Vol. 11, Nos. 1 - 52 (1 Jan. 1864 - 21 Dec. 1864). Bound folio, in German. Although German-born, Heinzen spent a good deal of his adult life in the cause of reform, much of it fleeing from one "hot spot" to another. He came to the United States in 1848, but returned to Germany briefly to attempt to take advantage of the February revolution in France. In 1853 he settled in Louisville, KY where he founded Der Pionier, moving it to Boston in 1859. Heinzen and other radical Germans laid out their "Louisville Platform" in 1854 which denounced slavery, advocated equal rights for African-Americans and women, advocated free land for genuine settlers, easier access to citizenship, as well as reforms in education, the judicial and penal systems, among many others. The name of the paper was revived in 1911 by even more radical German Socialists; Heinzen was gone, but many of his ideas lived on. He has also been credited with a key role in the history of terrorist thought.

Lohmeyer, Karl. Mitteilungen des historischen vereins fur die saargegend. Heft XI. (Communications of the Historical Society for the Saar Region) Friedrich Joachim Stengel...1694-1787. Dusseldorf: Druck und Verlag von L. Schwann, 1911. 4to, cloth, gilt front and spine, which is moderately sunned, 187pp. In German. Biography of the great Saarland Baroque architect and engineer, Friedrich Stengel.

Fliegende Blatter. ("Flying Leaves") Munich (Germany): Braun & Schneider. Vols. 94 (Jan. - June 1891) and 113 (June - Dec. 1900). Small 4to, 3/4 leather over cloth "leatherette," gilt borders on leather and gilt spine lettering. This was the oldest and most successful of the German satirical periodicals, covering politics, culture, and other social issues. It was able to recruit the best artists/cartoonists and writers, and employ above-average printing materials and techniques. A "must" for a "snapshot" of turn-of-the-century German society.
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Figures from Abraham Lincoln's Circle, Group of Signatures and ALsS
Lot # 276 - Figures from Abraham Lincoln's Circle, Group of Signatures and ALsS
Lot of 6, all related to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln:

Gideon Welles (1802-1878).  Secretary of the Navy under President Lincoln.  Wartime LS, 1p, large 8vo, 7 February 1863, Navy Department, addressed to J.M. Ballard, a gunner on the Colorado, releasing him from duty due to "indisposition."

Simon Cameron (1799-1889).  Secretary of War under President Lincoln (1861-1862).  ALS, 1p, small 8vo, U.S. Senate stationery, May 8, 1976, at Washington, to Horace E. Hayden, telling him that he has no remaining copies of the Hayden Survey available for distribution.

William P. Fessenden (1806-1869).  Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln (1864-1865).  ALS or LS, 1p, small 8vo, Dec. 7, 1865, Washington. 

Edward Everett (1794-1865).  U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Massachusetts, U.S. Secretary of State under President Fillmore (1852-1853); also prominent orator who gave the two-hour speech preceding Lincoln's two-minute Gettysburg Address.  Clipped signature, 3.25 x 1 in.

Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891).  15th Vice President of the United States, under President Lincoln (1861-1865).  Clipped signature, 3.25 x 2 in., H. Hamlin / Me.

John Hay (1838-1905).  Personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln; later U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.  Clipped signature, 2.75 x 1 in., John Hay / Secretary of State.
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[Civil War] Gathering of CIvil War Stereoviews of Rebel Worls at Petersburg, Va.
Lot # 150 - [Civil War] Gathering of CIvil War Stereoviews of Rebel Worls at Petersburg, Va.
Lot of 10 E.&H.T. Anthony War Views, each on their orange The War For The Union / Photographic History mounts and titled on the verso labels, including: No. 3031; No. 3038; No. 3039; No. 3207; No. 3221; No. 3223; No. 3337; No. 3339; No. 3342; and No. 3343
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Scarce Opera Broadside from Wyoming, Iowa, 1880
Lot # 371 - Scarce Opera Broadside from Wyoming, Iowa, 1880
6.5 x 19.75 in., advertising two performances of H.M.S. Pinafore, May 27-28, 1880, at the Opera Hall in Wyoming, Iowa.  The show, declared to be "for your sister, your cousins and your aunts," was performed under the management of Prof. E.H. Lane of the Rockford Bureau of Music, with tickets costing $0.25 for adults ($0.35 for reserved seats) with librettos for an additional $0.10.
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Paiute Indians Old Winnemucca, Young Winnemucca, and Captain Dave, Composite Cabinet Card by Marston
Lot # 333 - Paiute Indians Old Winnemucca, Young Winnemucca, and Captain Dave, Composite Cabinet Card by Marston
Cabinet card of a composite image of Paiute Indians Old Winnemucca, Young Winnemucca, and Captain Dave from a photograph by Noe & Lee, Virginia City. Stamped on the verso C.A. Marston, Carson City, Nevada. 
 
Old Winnemucca was a prophet and medicine chief of the Northern Paiute. He was more friendly to white settlers than his son-in-law, Young Winnemucca. 
 
Young Winnemucca was born a Shoshone around 1820 but became a Paiute when he married the daughter of Old Winnemucca. He became war chief of the Kuyuidika and led several parties against the United States until he died of poisoning in 1882. 
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[Chicago?] Stereoview of Confiscated Stills
Lot # 33 - [Chicago?] Stereoview of Confiscated Stills
Extremely rare view by an accomplished amateur showing a large group of confiscated stills during the Prohibition era in Chicago, c. 1920s. (Burchard had this filed with his Chicago views and having lived most of his life in the Chicago area it is probable this is in Chicago). Nice 3-D as we look at the stills on a gritty loading dock, probably behind the Federal Building in Chicago. Oversized gray cabinet mount.
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<i>Arkansas Traveler</i>, Illustrated Minstrel Show Broadside
Lot # 133 - Arkansas Traveler, Illustrated Minstrel Show Broadside
Printed broadside, 42 x 28 in., illustrating a scene from the popular act, Arkansas Traveler, produced by the Commercial Job Room Print, Cincinnati, OH. The skit involves a lost traveler who encounters a penniless backwoods squatter in the Arkansas frontier. The traveler asks the squatter for directions and humorous dialogue occurs. The two finally come to an understanding through music. The act originated from Sandford Faulkner, a Little Rock native who experienced asking directions of a country settler and performed the interaction on stage in 1840.  

This broadside descended directly in the family of Peter Marks, a harpist that worked in the minstrel show circuit, ca 1860-1863. A portion of Peter Marks Minstrelsy Collection is housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
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Daguerreotypes and Ambrotype Portraits of Brothers, Incl. View of Twins
Lot # 182 - Daguerreotypes and Ambrotype Portraits of Brothers, Incl. View of Twins
Lot of 4 images of brothers, including 3 sixth plate daguerreotypes of young brothers and 1 sixth plate ambrotype of two men that appear to be twins.
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Daguerreotype of a Folk Art Painting
Lot # 195 - Daguerreotype of a Folk Art Painting
A sixth-plate daguerreotype of a folk art portrait of a young woman holding a small gold tinted object, housed in a half pressed paper case.
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Miscellaneous Group of Glass Lantern Slides
Lot # 166 - Miscellaneous Group of Glass Lantern Slides
Lot of 45, including:

Primary image: All 3.125 x 9.375 in.

Image #2: Largest 3.25 x 9.5 in..  Four with labels of The Philadelphia Museums.  Subjects include the Culebra Cut on the Panama Canal, a river in Ceylon, and a village in New Zealand.

Image #3: 3.25 in. square of 3.25 x 4 in., showing scenes around Pittsburgh, PA, and buildings in Paris and East Asia.

Image #4: 3.25 x 4 in., plus a cracked smaller slide of portraits of famous men, including Darwin.

Image #5: 3.25 x 4 in. Keystone View Co. slides of scenes in the American West.

Image #6: The sleeves corresponding to the slides in image #5.

Image #7: Largest 1.75 x 6.375 in., smallest 1 x 4 in.
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<i>Ouray - Head Chief of the Utes</i> Cabinet Photograph
Lot # 321 - Ouray - Head Chief of the Utes Cabinet Photograph
A studio portrait of Ouray - Head Chief of the Utes, as identified on mount below image, unmarked, but taken by W.H. Jackson on the front porch of the Ute Agency at Los Pinos in August 1874.

Ouray was the great leader of the Southern Ute during the 1860-80 period, when the tribe was overwhelmed by immigrant invaders in the mountains of western Colorado. Ouray distinguished himself in battles with the Ute's enemies, including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa. Ouray traveled to Washington, D.C. on two occasions. In 1880, President Rutherford B. Hayes met with Ouray and called him “the most intellectual man I’ve ever conversed with.” Upon his return from Washington, Ouray died near Ignacio, Colorado, on August 24, 1880, at the age of 60.
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Print by Howard Chandler Christy
Lot # 108 - Print by Howard Chandler Christy
Howard Chandler Christy (American, 1873-1952). Matted and framed print of a military figure from the Spanish-American War looking through binoculars with an inked dedication. This print is one of three watercolor pencil sketches that depicted military figures of the Spanish-American War, probably from Scribner's Magazine. Signed by artist, l.l.; label from Craig, Evans & Harris Inc,, Fine Arts, 1604 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA; 9 x 16 in. (sight).

During the Spanish-American War, Christy accompanied Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders to Cuba. Images from Christy's resulting portfolio, "Men of the Army and Navy" were published in periodicals such as The Century Magazine, Scribner's, Harper's Weekly and Collier's. Completed prior to Christy's famous depiction of the "Christy Girl," these military sketches introduced Howard Chandler Christy to the public.
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