Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 22

Manuscript and Collectibles Auction

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 251
  Holmes, Oliver Wendell (1841-1935) Associate justice, U.S. Supreme (1902-32), known for vigorous, lucid arguments, often in dissent; he promulgated the "clear and present danger" test for freedom of speech; author of The Common Law (1881).

Scarce Autograph Quotation Signed, on a 3 x 5¼ in. card, no place, June 12, 1901. Written as chief justice of the supreme court of Massachusetts, in recognition of American Revolutionary War patriots, and especially of the contributions of John Marshall, who was the principal founder of the American system of constitutional law and chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-35. The quotation undoubtedly rings with special resonance today, but when the words were uttered, they may have been in response to a contemporary story of questionable accuracy: It was said that some protesting strikers had wrapped a baby in an American flag and threatened to place it on railroad tracks in front of an approaching train.

"The flag is but a bit of bunting to one who insists on prose. Yet, thanks to Marshall and to the men of his generation - and for this above all we celebrate him and them - its red is our life-blood, its stars our world, its blue our heaven. It owns our land. At will it throws away our lives. Oliver Wendell Holmes / June 12, 1901." Extremely Fine.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 2,000.
View details
Lot 252
Jay, John (1745-1829) American jurist and statesman. Partly-printed Document Signed as Governor of New York, Albany, April 18, 1803. One page oblong folio. A military commission for William Clapsaddle as "Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of the Regiment of Militia in the County of Herkimer.…" Countersigned by Secretary of State Jasper Hopper. Overall age toning and light soiling. Scalloped lower edge and paper seal is intact. Jay's signature is nice and bold. Suitable for framing and display.

John Jay served in the Continental Congress (1774-77, 1778, 1778, as President 1778-79). He drafted New York's first constitution and was chief justice of the state supreme court (1777-78). He was appointed American minister to Spain in 1779, but was called to Paris by Franklin to help negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain. He served as U.S. secretary of foreign affairs (1784-80) and, with Hamilton and Madison, wrote The Federalist . From 1789-95 he was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He negotiated Jay's Treaty with Great Britain, settling outstanding disputes (1794-95), and was Governor of New York (1795-1801). Truly a great American.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 2,000.
View details and enlarged photo
Lot 253
Taney, Roger B (1777-1864) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1836-64); best known for rendering the Dred Scott decision that made slavery legal in all territories. Manuscript Document Signed ("R.B. Taney") as attorney for the plaintiff, Frederick County (Maryland), February 14, 1804, 1 page, folio. An early legal document, missing 2 or 3 lines of text at lower edge, not affecting signature on top verso. Very Good. Dred Scott was a slave whose master had taken him from a slave state (Missouri) to a free state in 1834, then back to Missouri. Scott sued for his freedom in 1846, but Taney declared in 1857 that Scott had "no rights which any white man was bound to respect," and that the Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery in the territories, was unconstitutional.
Estimated Value $250 - 300.
View details and enlarged photo

Home | Current Sale | Calendar of Events | Bidding | Consign | About Us | Contact | Archives | Log In

US Coins & Currency | World & Ancient Coins | Manuscripts & Collectibles | Bonded CA Auctioneers No. 3S9543300
11400 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 800, Los Angeles CA 90064 | 310. 551.2646 ph | 310.551.2626 fx | 800.978.2646 toll free

© 2011 Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, All Rights Reserved