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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[Civil War] Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War, Stereoview
Lot # 86 - [Civil War] Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War, Stereoview
A ca 1890s albumen print on an orange Photographic War History/The War For the Union imprinted mount with the recto title 2208. Edwin S. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War., and a lengthy verso imprint urging the reader to purchase the other views of the series from Taylor & Huntington of Hartford, Conn
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<i>Vote Yes , Signed by Eugene McCarthy" width="224" />
, Signed by Eugene McCarthy">Lot # 150 - Vote Yes "E" / "E"nd The War Now!, Signed by Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy (1916-2005).  U.S. Representative, Senator, and candidate for President from Minnesota, known for his progressive and antiwar views. Antiwar campaign poster signed by McCarthy to the lower left of the large "E;" 22 x 28 in.
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Marquis de Lafayette Autograph Toast Signed, Penned During American Visit
Lot # 371 - Marquis de Lafayette Autograph Toast Signed, Penned During American Visit
Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834). Revolutionary War General, French statesman and officer. Autograph Toast signed, Gen. Lafayette's Toast, penned during his triumphant visit to America, 1p, 7.5 x 9.25 in., on unusually trimmed paper. Pittsfield, Massachusetts. January 13, 1825. Text of a toast given by Lafayette at a dinner in his honor: Berkshire County and the town of Pittsfield: May they more and more enjoy the blessings of Republican freedom and Republican industry. On the same page, beneath the General's toast, Doctor Griffin and George Washington Lafayette, the General's son, have penned their toasts. Accompanied by an engraving of Lafayette from a painting by Chappel, published by Johnson, Wilson, & Co., New York, 8 x 11 in.
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CDVs of Union Generals: Eastern Theater
Lot # 62 - CDVs of Union Generals: Eastern Theater
Lot of 7 CDVs of Union generals associated with the Eastern Theatre, many of who were present at Bull Run and Antietam:

Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836-1881).  Carte as brigadier general, published by C.D. Fredricks & Co., New York.

Edward Ferrero (1831-1899).  Carte as major general, published by Brady.

Napoleon J.T. Dana (1822-1905).  Carte as major general, published by E. & H.T. Anthony from a Brady negative.

Abram Duryee (1815-1890).  Carte as brigadier general, published by E. & H.T. Anthony from a Brady negative.

William Farrar Smith (1824-1903).  Carte as major general, published by E. & H.T. Anthony from a Brady negative.

Irvin McDowell (1818-1885). Carte as brigadier general, taken in the field, published by D. Appleton & Co.

Lorenzo Thomas (1804-1875).  Carte in dress uniform, uncredited.
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N.A. Forsyth, Butte, Montana, Group of Four Mining Stereoviews
Lot # 434 - N.A. Forsyth, Butte, Montana, Group of Four Mining Stereoviews
Lot of 4 views of copper mining and processing in Butte, Montana, in the early 20th century.  These views are from what is considered one of  best stereoscopic series of mining ever produced. All with Forsyth's Butte address stamped on verso and titles in the recto margin: Loading Ore Car from Chute in one of Butte's Great Mines; Bringing in the Copper Ore; Mammoth Air Compressors, Original Mine; and 49 - The Great Steel Hoist, Original Mine, Butte, Mont.
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First Day Cover to Honor Admiral Farragut's Victory at Mobile Bay, Plus Original Artwork by Edward Vebell (b. 1921)
Lot # 182 - First Day Cover to Honor Admiral Farragut's Victory at Mobile Bay, Plus Original Artwork by Edward Vebell (b. 1921)
Edward Vebell (b. 1921). Goauche on paper, 10.25 x 12.5 in. (sight), ink signed l.r. Ed Vebell, framed with an August 5, 1990 canceled America's Patriotic Heroes cover based on the artwork commemorating Farragut's victory at Mobile Bay 126 years earlier, and including a three cent stamp featuring Farragut and his adoptive brother David Dixon Porter. Framed together, 17 x 26.25 in. overall. Edward Vebell is a noted American artist and illustrator, and his numerous commissions include work produced for the US Postal Service.
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Large Group of Colorado Stereoviews, Including Weitfle, Jackson, Chamberlain, and Martin
Lot # 207 - Large Group of Colorado Stereoviews, Including Weitfle, Jackson, Chamberlain, and Martin
Lot of 70, including:

17 by W.G. Chamberlain, including seven views along the line of Colorado Central Rail Road, one along the line of the Denver & Rio Grande Rail Road, and nine scenic views.

19 by Charles Weitfle, eight of which are scenes along the C.C.R.R., the others showing the Garden of the Gods and other scenery.

15 by W.H. Jackson, mostly scenic views of Manitou, Pike's Peak, and the Garden of the Gods, plus railroad views 706 - The Royal Gorge and 911 - East From Marshall Pass.

13 by Alex Martin, of which seven are views along the C.C.R.R.

AND three views by J. Thurlow, one by by C. Duhem & Bro., one by H.W. Stormer, and one anonymous view, all scenic.
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Edwin Forbes, Original Civil War Pencil Drawing
Lot # 149 - Edwin Forbes, Original Civil War Pencil Drawing
Pencil drawing titled in lower right corner, Stoneman's Switch, Falmouth, Va. April 2nd, 1863. Signed at lower left, Edwin Forbes, New York. 9.875 x 13.25 in., matted in original, period frame, 15 x 18 in. This detailed drawing shows a Union Cavalry officer smoking his pipe inside a fully equipped tent with fold-down desk. In searching the name "Stoneman's Switch," we find another Forbes drawing with the title "Winter Camp near Stoneman's Switch, Falmouth, Va.," which was created January 25, 1863, and is in the Morgan Collection of Civil War Drawings at the Library of Congress. 
 
Professionally conserved and in very fine condition, the drawing is a remarkable example of Forbes' Civil War-period work. 
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*Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider Revolver
Lot # 511 - *Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider Revolver
.45 LC caliber, 4.75" barrel, S/N F21237. Nickel finish; original box and papers.
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Space Exploration & Aviation Jewelry
Lot # 366 - Space Exploration & Aviation Jewelry
Lot of 28 pieces related to space exploration and aviation, including 11 tie clips, 2 tie clip pencils, 3.5 pairs of cufflinks, 4 pins, 1 pair of earrings (or two pins), a space module pendant, and a commemorative coin.
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Mark Twain's <i>Sketches New and Old</i> Illustrated Order Form
Lot # 248 - Mark Twain's Sketches New and Old Illustrated Order Form
An order form for Mark Twain's Sketches New and Old (published 1875), featuring an illustration of the character from Jim Smiley and His Wonderful Jumping Frog.  Offered by John L. Boland Book & Sta. Co., St. Louis.  12.5 x 6 in. 
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German WWII  Executed War Crimes Criminals, Lot of Fifteen (15) Photos
Lot # 77 - German WWII Executed War Crimes Criminals, Lot of Fifteen (15) Photos
Lot includes: one Herman Goering photo, two Ernst Kaltenbrunner photos, two Hans Frank photos, two Alfred Rosenberg photos, one Seyss Inquart photo, five General Alfred Jodl photos, one Wilhelm Frick photo. Jodl, Frick, and Inquart pictured with noose still around neck.
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Patriotic Real Photo Postcards from Campbellsburg, Indiana
Lot # 212 - Patriotic Real Photo Postcards from Campbellsburg, Indiana
Lot of 9 ca 1917-1921 real photo postcards, identifiable by a postcard of the Campbellsburg Milling Company and one of a street scene with visible signs showing mileages to other southern Indiana towns. Four of the postcards show young men in World War I era army uniforms, including two identical photos of a soldier and two other men in front of house, with penciled id's on verso, one two soldiers standing in front of a house, and a studio shot of another soldier. Another two postcards show a large group of what are presumably Civil War veterans, posed in front of a large American flag (one is of the men only, the other with their wives). The final postcard is a class photo, inscribed on verso Sophomore Class 1921/taken Oct. 1921.
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[War of 1812] James Buchanan Secretarial Signed Land Grant for War of 1812 Veteran 
Lot # 5 - [War of 1812] James Buchanan Secretarial Signed Land Grant for War of 1812 Veteran 
James Buchanan (1791-1868). 15th President of the United States (1857-61). Secretarial signed land grant dated January 3, 1860, for 120 acres in Missouri, in favor of Hermogene Cantrelle, who served in the Louisiana Militia during the War of 1812.
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Political Paperweights & Jewelry, Including John & Jackie Kennedy, Roosevelt, & Wilson
Lot # 2259 - Political Paperweights & Jewelry, Including John & Jackie Kennedy, Roosevelt, & Wilson
Lot of 8, including: Cristal D'Albert paperweight of John F. and Jackie Kennedy, from a sculpture by Georges Simon, in the original box numbered 838/2000; Cristal D'Albert paperweight of Franklin D. Roosevelt, from a sculpture by Georges Simon, in the original box numbered 972/2000; millefiori-style paperweights featuring John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt; glass paperweight featuring a photo transfer image of Woodrow Wilson; acrylic paperweight featuring PT-109 and Kennedy's facsimile signature, given to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 1960; and two similar Jackie Kennedy brooches and pendants.
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<i>The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser</i>, Two Issues, Plus
Lot # 262 - The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, Two Issues, Plus
Lot includes 2 issues of The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, Thursday February 8, 1787, and Monday, November 19, 1787, each 4pp.

PLUS a 19.75 x 7.5 in. print identifying the subjects in John Trumbull's painting Declaration of Independence, each signer identified a facsimile of the signature used on the original document.
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[Civil War] Gardner Stereoviews of <i>Burying the Dead After the Battle of Antietam</i>
Lot # 36 - [Civil War] Gardner Stereoviews of Burying the Dead After the Battle of Antietam
Lot of 2 stereoviews from Alexander Gardner's Photographic Incidents of the War series, both from his own negatives. The first bears his 1862 copyright line in the lower margin of recto and is titled on the verso label No. 561 / Burying the Dead After the Battle of Antietam., while the second has an 1863 copyright and the title No. 569 / View on the Battle Field of Antietam.
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Collection of 20th Century Military Photographs
Lot # 321 - Collection of 20th Century Military Photographs
Lot of 33, including:

First image (clockwise starting at top left). 33rd Ordnance Company (Heavy Maintenance) at Rock Island Arsenal, Dec. 11, 1926; SAWVAEF / Nantes, France, March 1919.; Company E, Thirty First Infantry / Sino-Japanese Conflict / Shanghai, 1932.; modern print of the USS Thomas J. Gary (DE-326).  Largest framed to 11.25 x 15.25 in.

Second image: Photograph of an unidentified WWII-era U.S. serviceman; Signed photograph of L(auchen?) B. Brown / Assistant Adjutant General, inscribed to Maurice McMahon; Photograph of an unidentified WWI-era U.S. serviceman; appointment of Louis Samuel Jacobson to second lieutenant, field artillery, Jan. 11, 1924.

Third image: Photograph of an unidentified late-Indian Wars to Spanish-American War-period U.S. soldier; Photograph of a German general-lieutenant, affixed to a page with German inscription, dated May 18, 1940; Charcoal enlargement of an unidentified soldier, hused in a patriotic frame; Photograph of an unidentified WWII-era sailor.  Largest 10 x 12 in. with frame.

Fourth image: Photograph of WWII-era soldiers crossing a wood bridge with a machine gun; Photograph of U.S. servicemen posed on and around an airplane; Photograph of several rows of early-20th century U.S. servicemen; 3.5 x 4.5 in. German press photograph of German WWII ace Hannes Trautloft; Postcard of a German WWII artillery team, with German correspondence postmarked 1944; Photograph of WWII-era half-track towing artillery across a bridge.

Fifth image: Photograph of two unidentified WWI-era European soldiers; photograph of a sailor wearing a USS Maryland cap; Photograph of a WWII-era German officer and his wife; Photograph of what appears to be a WWII-era German artillery range, with German inscription on verso dated 1944; German WWII sailor wearing a Kriegsmarine cap; Color photograph of a U.S. serviceman, housed in a patriotic case; CDV by Hitz of Tubingen & Rottenburg, of a European officer. Largest framed to 7.25 x 11.25 in.

Sixth image: Illustrated cards featuring various British regiments, plus.
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George A. Custer CDV by Goldin
Lot # 236 - George A. Custer CDV by Goldin
CDV of George A. Custer as Major General, with Gen Custar [sic] printed below image, no backmark, but taken in May 1865 by John Goldin & Co. (Katz-70).
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US Civil War CS 1850 Foot Officers Sword & Scabbard
Lot # 116 - US Civil War CS 1850 Foot Officers Sword & Scabbard
Sword blade measures 32". The leather scabbard is dry and brittle. Retains 40% of wrap and all wire. Blade has been buffed.
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