We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • Albumen Photograph of Price, Birch & Co., Slave Dealers, Operators of the Largest Slave Pen in Alexandria, Virginia, 1862
    [Alexandria, Virginia, 1862] uncredited, oversize albumen photograph street view of former slave pen, 9 x 7 on an 11 x 9 inch cardstock mount, circa 1861-1862, ink inscription on verso, “Slave Pen at Alexandria Va.” The mount is slightly foxed, else very good.
          While uncredited, this photograph was taken by William Redish Pywell (1843-1886), in August 1862. The Library of Congress has two versions of this image, one a print from the negative printed between 1880-1889, and a smaller print measuring 10 x 7 cm., as well as a stereoscopic glass negative. Pywell’s negative of Price & Birch’s establishment was printed by Alexander Gardner and used in Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War, 1866, vol. 1 number 2. Pywell made a number of photographs of sites in Alexandria connected with the Civil War, including a view of the location of Col. Ellsworth’s murder, also used by Gardner.                William Redish Pywell (June 9, 1843 – 1887) was a 19th-century American photographer. He first worked for Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner making a photographic record of the American Civil War, this work was published by Gardner in 1866 as "Photographic Sketch Book of the War" Vols. 1 & 2. (Washington, DC. Philp & Solomons). After the war, he traveled with George Custer as the official photographer of the 1873 Yellowstone Expedition. He also accompanied Alexander Gardner on the Kansas Expedition. He also participated in the Transit of Venus Expedition, directed by the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.                Later images of these premises made in 1863, when they were… more >