Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Historically Important Archive of 1861 Brooks Brothers Uniform Contracts with the State of New York, Including Original Cloth Samples. For either the uniform collector or student of the Civil War, this truly fascinating archive contains a wealth of information, much of it previously unknown and provides a unique look into the world of government contracts and the controversy that can result.

    , the papers contain a handsomely written "Articles of Agreement" measuring 8½" x 14" made between Brooks Brothers and the State of New York in August, 1861 for "fez caps" and zouave uniforms, red-lined overcoats, brown drilling pants and other uniform parts, all thoroughly described. The agreement is sealed by all parties and signed and, appended to it, are seven actual samples of the cloth that Brooks Brothers attested would be used in constructing those uniforms. Second, there is a similar agreement dated September, 1861 for cavalry and artillery jackets, overcoats and pants which is again signed and sealed by all parties and to which is affixed four original samples of cloth. Third, there is another agreement (on a partially printed form) dated October, 1861 for a much larger order of infantry jackets and trousers, again sealed and signed by all parties. Accompanying this is a separate surety bond which contains two original samples of cloth to be used for these uniforms. Fourth, there is another copy of the October agreement which also contains two samples of the cloth for infantry jackets and trousers. Finally, there are a number of newspaper clippings dating from August, 1861 and earlier outlining "the alleged clothing frauds" and mentioning accusations of misdeeds by Brooks Brothers. Marginal notes on some of the clippings hint that they were kept by someone connected to the clothiers.

    Such contracts, particularly with the cloth samples, are incredibly rare and almost non existent in private hands. Accompanied by the clippings, the information they contain will add substantially to existing information on such early war contracts, and would be an excellent subject for an article or monograph. All pieces in about perfect condition. Very important.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,080

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Jun 25, 2009 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search