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    Cornelius R. Agnew Archive of Correspondence and Ephemera. The personal papers of Cornelius Rae Agnew, a New York doctor who served on the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and later helped found the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital (later part of New York Presbyterian Hospital). The majority are letters to Dr. Agnew, but there are included two letters from Agnew on Sanitary Commission letterhead, as well as Civil War period circulars and other ephemera and images.

    Letters to Agnew includes: Edwin D. Morgan (15 letters), Dorothea Dix (1 ALS), William E. Dodge, Jr. (4 letters and 1 printed invitation), William H. Vanderbilt (1 ALS), Henry J. Van Lennep (6 ALS), E.R. Squibb (1 ALS and 1 printed DS), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (2 ALS), Augustus St. Gaudens (1 ALS), Arthur MacArthur (1 ALS), and more. In total, over 50 letters.

    Of note:

    Union League Dinner Programs for the Years 1886 and 1887. Both are signed in pencil by members of the club, including: J. J. Astor, C. L. Tiffany, Edward Wood, Chauncey Depew, W.E. Dodge, Jr., Elihu Root, and many more. The 1886 program contains more than 50 signatures (all in pencil with heavy smudging). The 1887 program contains more than 80 signatures (all in pencil, and very clean).


    Richard Henry Pratt Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages on United States Indian Service letterhead, 5" x 8"; Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; November 12, 1881. Pratt gives Agnew a briefing of a meeting with President Chester Arthur that Agnew had secured for him and outlines his views and goals for the assimilation of Native Americans. In small part: "It is safe to say that the Indns must be a citizen If that is so, association and observation as well as the struggles of life while in youth will make or unmake him for that. If in his school life he associates with and observes savages more than 'citizens' and civilized folk, then at maturity he is weaker for civilized and citizen life... If 10 prc [percent] of our Indn youth could be subjected to training & education in civilized surroundings and the other 90 prc brought forward at agencies one generation would not be required to relieve us from the cost of their support..." Pratt was the founder and superintendent of the Carlisle Industrial School, which he had founded two years earlier. Evenly toned, with a few areas of ink transfer.

    Charles J. Stille: History of the Sanitary Commission. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co; 1866. 4to, 553 pages. With presentation inscription from Dr. Agnew to his wife on the front endpaper. A 4-page letter (5" x 8") from a former Confederate soldier thanking Agnew is mounted on the front endpaper. "Lillington, Harnett County / North Carolina. Aug. 30th 1875... For twelve years I have been endeavoring to get your address that I might... thank you for kindness rendered me immediately after the battle of Gettysburg... while you were at Gettysburg on a mission of mercy... you gave to a Confederate asst. surgeon a $20 greenback, that Rebel individual was me... I thank you too Dr. for the comforts you gave me for the benefit of my wounded men - had I been obliged to rely exclusively on supplies from the U.S. Commissary & Hospital supplies ordinarily obtained in the army... I would have had a horrible time... John T. McLean." The letter is adhered at the top of the fourth page, making the last page of writing difficult to read. The binding is intact, but the spine is mostly detached. Interior pages are toned, and last quarter of book has dinged corners at top. Quarter morocco over cloth boards, with wear at corners and at top and bottom of spine.

    Civil War Manuscript Refuting a Report Made by Colonel George Lyons of the New York 8th Infantry. Six pages, various sizes but most are 7.75" x 9.75". Undated, but likely circa 1861. Titled, "Facts" at the top of the first page, the reports details what really occurred at the First Battle of Bull Run, and contradicts Lyons claims of heroism. According to the manuscript (written in ink, with the last two paragraphs in pencil), Lyons was seen running away from the front lines, and then commandeered an ambulance wagon for his own use, leaving many wounded soldiers on the field of battle and along the road to fend for themselves. The author of the manuscript is unknown, and the language is scathing throughout. It may have been given to Agnew in his capacity as a member of the Sanitary Commission. With folds, as stored, light creasing throughout. Some pages have a ragged margin along the left where integral page has been neatly removed.

    Civil War Imprint, "Relief of Sick and Wounded Soldiers". Eight pages, (6" x 9"), Albany, New York; March 24, 1863. A printed letter from the Committee of the Medical Society of the State of New York, responding to a report issued by the Sanitary Commission that portrayed their work in a poor light. The imprint defends the work of the Medical and adds that they do not wish to be at odds with the Sanitary, as their goals are one of the same. The authors note instances in which the Sanitary Commission acted less than honorably, including at the Seven Days Battle and Savage's Station. They add: "But the whole tenor of the communication of the Committee of the Sanitary Commission savors much more of self-laudation than the interests of the soldier... we wish them God speed in their labors... We seek no controversy with them." The imprint has a vertical fold, with some wear thereat. Heavy toning to last page, and a pencil annotation by Agnew.

    Fort Abercrombie Cartes de Visite (2). Each measuring 4" x 2.5", undated. Period identifications on verso in pencil. Stray stains to mount, with albumens retaining excellent detail and sharpness.

    Manuscript Letter Soliciting Funds for the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. Three pages of a tall bifolium, 8.5" x 14", New York; April 1878. A letter simply addressed, "Dear Sir", giving a brief outline of the institution and soliciting donations for the purpose of building a hospital. Signed by all members of the board of directors, including: James Roosevelt, John S. Kennedy, William E. Bliss, and William Walter Phelps. A great snapshot of wealthy philanthropists in New York City.





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    19th Thursday
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    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
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