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Human Aspect

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Manuscripts (28)

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Mark Twain's Autograph Notes Regarding People, Places, and Recalling an Incident

Autograph Note

6 pages

SMC 125

Mark Twain's notes from 1907, in two sections. One, in the manner of a questionnaire, matches names to places (Joe Goodman's, for instance, with "San Francisco, and Alameda") and indicates where Clemens had not been (Los Angeles & Palmyra); the other section mostly concerns an incident, and includes dialogue.
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Custer:

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 126

General Custer writes to his friend, Judge Christiancy, to share with him a secret: He will be returning to Monroe, Michigan in a few months to be married. Inadvertently foreshadowing his death and Libbie's misfortune, Custer jokingly tells Christiancy that Libbie, who would "unite her destinies" with Custer's, is "fortunate, or unfortunate."
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Western Gambler

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 135

This license, signed by Sheriff Johnny Behan, gave the famous gambler Ike Isaacs the right to run his faro game for one month, at a cost of $25.00 – about $525.00 in today’s money.
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Congressman Lincoln Praises Future Vice President of Confederacy for his Opposition to the Mexican War

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 161

In 1848, Abraham Lincoln and Alexander H. Stephens were both Whig supporters of Henry Polk, and ardently against the Mexican War. Here, Lincoln praises Stephens. Thirteen years after their short-lived alliance, the country was embroiled in a civil war; Lincoln was President of the United States, and Stephens Vice President of the Confederacy.
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President Ronald Reagan Defends George Custer Against Charges of Negligence at Little Bighorn

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 248

Describing himself as a "Custer Buff," President Ronald Reagan regrets that White House custom forbids his writing a foreword to a book on Custer. Reagan then goes on to defend Custer as a "brilliant officer," and rejects the idea that Custer's last stand was foolhardy, but actually following orders.
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General Custer Gives an Order to His Loyal Adjutant Cooke, Who Would Die Next to Him at Little Bighorn

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 289

This order to Cooke concerns another 7th Cavalry regular who also rode with Custer – though not as a friend. Major Lewis Merrill, with whom Custer had numerous run-ins, is alleged here to have taken some instruments belonging to the 7th Cavalry band: Cooke is tasked with making sense of what happened.
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Libbie Custer Makes a Secret Plea to Aid the Widows of Captain Yates, Lt. Calhoun, and Enlisted Men

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 291

In order to maintain their dignity, Libbie Custer secretly petitions for funds for the widows and children of fallen soldiers at Little Bighorn.
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Custer's Aide, Frederick Benteen, Takes the Oath of Office as Captain in the 7th Calvary

Document Signed

2 pages

SMC 303

Here Benteen, infamous for coming to Custer's aide too slowly at the Battle of Little Bighorn, steps into history, taking the Oath of Office as Captain in the 7th Cavalry.
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General Custer Signs Off on the Tobacco Allotment for Enlisted Men Who Died With Him at Little Bighorn

Document Signed

2 pages

SMC 390

Here, General Custer certifies that four non-commissioned officers of the 7th Cavalry have taken possession of a pound of tobacco each.
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30-Year-Old Theodore Roosevelt Declares His Affinity for the West, and His Identification with its Heroes

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 464

Researching his history about the conquest of the North American frontier, Roosevelt writes to the president of the Tennessee Historical Society, declaring his affinity for, and identification with, such great Tennesseans as John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, William Clark, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston.
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Theodore Roosevelt Decries the Deprivations Suffered by His Rough Riders After Battle of San Juan Hill

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 465

Colonel Theodore Roosevelt writes to the father of one of his soldiers who was taken ill with typhoid fever. He thanks the father for his offer to send some food to the soldiers but condemns the government for not providing enough food, supplies, and medical treatment to his cavalry.
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Josephine Earp, Wyatt Earp’s Jewish Widow, Admits Her Destitution to Earp’s Biographer

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 618

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Signature of Young Officer, J.J. Crittenden, Killed With Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn

Signature

1 page

SMC 671

Signature of John Jordan Crittenden III, whose father, Thomas Leonidas Crittenden was a Lieutenant Colonel who secured for his son an army commission after the latter failed out of West Point. The frail, one-eyed Lieutenant met his end at Little Bighorn with General Custer.
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Signature of Second Lieutenant Henry Moore Harrington, Killed With General Custer at Little Bighorn

Signature

2 pages

SMC 674

Signature of Second Lieutenant Henry Moore Harrington, who was killed with Custer at Little Bighorn. His was one of three bodies to not have been identified.
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Excessively Rare

Historical artifacts

1 page

SMC 864

Possibly the only surviving sutler token from the trading post at Fort Sill.
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Franklin Pierce on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill and the Prelude to Civil War

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 961

President Pierce fears that if the Kansas-Nebraska Bill-which granted the States the right to decide on slavery-would not pass, Civil War would ensue.
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President Franklin Pierce Warmly Endorses the Kansas-Nebraska Act as

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 966

Pierce endorses the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed citizens of those states to decide if they wanted to retain slaves or not. This decision reversed the Missouri compromise of 1820 and sharply divided the nation.
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Candidate Franklin Pierce Writes About Nathaniel Hawthorne's Campaign Biography of Him

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 967

An agitated candidate Pierce writes to the publisher of Nathaniel Hawthorne's campaign biography of him, demanding that the West and Southwest be "liberally supplied" with "Hawthorne's book" as "the sales which are to be made must be made promptly."
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James K. Polk Gives Orders for a Fireproof Celebration for the Battle of Cerro Gordo in Washington

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1052

Here Polk-mindful of the dangers of unattended candles and oil lamps-gives orders not to illuminate public offices in honor of General Scott’s victory at the Battle of Cerro Gordo.
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Millard Fillmore On the Fugitive Slave and Kansas-Nebraska Acts:

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1069

Though he detested slavery, Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens of Northern free states to return slaves to their Southern owners. He was denounced by politicians who four years later voted for the same rule of law to apply in the Kansas-Nebraska act. Here, he wishes to expose their hypocrisy.
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Signature of James Calhoun, Custer's Brother-in-Law, Killed With Him at the Battle of Little Bighorn

Signature

2 pages

SMC 1157

Rare signature of Lieutenant James Calhoun, Custer's brother-in-law, who died with him at Little Bighorn on what would come to be known as Calhoun Hill.
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Mark Twain Can't Remember Recent Things But Vividly Recalls His Hannibal Courier Co-Workers

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1699

Mark Twain declares that "recent names & things take no hold" on his "bald-headed memory; they slip-up & slide off" so he isn't sure about a Mrs. Brackett - but to the mention of names and things from thirty-five years ago, his memory is alert.
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Mark Twain on the San Francisco Earthquake and a Picture He Cannot Get Out of His Mind

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1708

Though himself a writer, Mark Twain says that the picture of the San Francisco earthquake entitled "The Spirit of Humanity," expresses the tragedy of the earthquake in a way that words cannot.
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John Wild Bets the Black Hills Gold Rush - Set Off by Custer's Discovery of Gold There in 1864 - is a Bust

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1752

John Wild is willing to bet that those flocking to find fortune in the Black Hills "will be disappointed by going there."
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While

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1822

General Custer writes to his old classmates from Hopedale Normal College - which he attended before West Point - to tell them of the potential of a serious fortune made from their collaboration in mining in the Bighorn country.
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Check of Jewish-Owned Cochise County Bank in Tombstone Sends Money to and from Jewish Merchants

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1924

Interesting artifact of Jewish life in the American West: a transaction from a Jewish owned bank in Tombstone to a Jewish tobacconists in San Francisco.
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General Custer Wants Brother Who Would Die With Him at Little Bighorn Appointed a Second Lieutenant

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 2054

General Custer unsuccessfully requests that his youngest brother, Boston, be appointed second lieutenant in the Seventh Cavalry. Boston was not even admitted to the US army, due to his frail health. Custer ensured his brother was with him, and ultimately died with him, by appointing him as a scout.
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1862 Nevada Directory Listing Mark Twain as Assistant Secretary of the Nevada Territory

Ephemera

2 pages

SMC 2077

This rare, early Directory, in which both Clemens and his brother Orion are listed, records for posterity those two months - beginning October 1, 1861 - when "Samuel Clemens" worked as a dollar-a-day clerk for his brother, during the long opening session of the Nevada Territorial Legislature.
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