Legendary J. Doyle DeWitt Collection returns to Heritage Americana & Political Auction

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Legendary J. Doyle DeWitt Collection returns to Heritage Americana & Political Auction
James Buchanan: Yellow "Rally! No Popery!" Satiric Broadside.

DALLAS, TX.- Barely over a half a year removed from the Inaugural J. Doyle Dewitt Collection Americana & Political Signature® Auction that reached nearly $1.9 million, nearly 700 more lots from the extraordinary collection will be made available in Heritage Auctions The J. Doyle Dewitt Collection Part II Americana & Political Signature® Auction Oct. 15-16.

“J. Doyle DeWitt was a giant in the insurance industry,” Heritage Auctions Americana & Political Director Curtis Lindner said. “But within the collecting world, he is known as a student of history who compiled one of the finest collections of American presidential material ever assembled. His collection is as impressive in quality as it is in quantity, and many of those rare presidential items will find new homes through this auction.”

Among the highlights is an Abraham Lincoln: Belfast, Maine, Wide Awake Parade Banner, which is widely accepted as one of the top five items in the DeWitt collection. Measuring 41 by 35 inches, the hand-painted, multicolored, double-sided, shield-shaped textile proudly proclaims, “Victory is Ours/ Belfast Wide Awake Club.” The reverse is inscribed with the legend, “Lincoln/ 1860.” It is pictured on page 154 in Herbert Ridgeway Collins’ Threads of History. The Wide Awakes were a youth organization and later a paramilitary organization cultivated by the Republican Party during the 1860 presidential election.

A James Buchanan: Yellow "Rally! No Popery!" Satiric Broadside is considered perhaps the greatest political broadside in the hobby. It measures 12 by 19 inches and is printed on yellow paper. Unlike conventional broadsides, this magnificent piece does not announce a mass meeting or political rally at a real, specified location. Instead, using “negative campaigning,” it ridicules the opposition – in this case, Republican John Frémont, Know-Nothing Millard Fillmore and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. It mixes legitimate slogans (“Freedom National! Slavery Sectional!” and “Put None but Americans on Guard to-night.”) with cynical, sarcastic versions (“All North! No South!” and “Fremont, Free Love Free Fight!”). Its true origins and intent are evident in the concluding paragraph, which states: “All those who are opposed to the Election of James Buchanan to the Presidency, and are willing to ‘Let the Union Slide’... are requested to meet at the Powder Mill, now known as the ‘Fremont Hut’ on Thursday, Aug. 7th, at 8 o’clock, P.M.” It is thought quite possible that the meeting place existed only in the mind of a Buchanan partisan, the author of this wonderfully graphic piece of campaign demagoguery.

An Abraham Lincoln: Wide Awake Marcher Wooden Parade Ax includes a contoured handle, one side of which has black stenciled lettering that reads: "Lincoln & Hamlin. 1861." The date presumably refers to the presumptive election of the Republican ticket and the year in which Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, his candidate for Vice President, would assume office.

A muslin Ulysses S. Grant: Large Graphic 1868 Campaign Flag is unlisted in Collins’ Threads of History, but has several features that generate considerable appeal: The graphic and unusual flowing font is large and interesting, taking up most of the flag's field. The imposing size – the flag measures 22-1/2 by 33-1/2 inches – is a feature that immediately attracts attention. Also important is the appealing 36-star arrangement in the canton – a very unusual pattern resembling an arrangement found in a similar but much smaller flag in the Ralph E. Becker Collection at the Smithsonian.

Heritage Auctions experts believe a John Adams and James Madison: Important Founding Fathers Tea Caddy is the last surviving example. Measuring 6-1/4 inches high, the powder blue tea caddy features portraits of Adams and Madison – one on each side – and the sentiment “Kindly Take This Gift of Mine/ Full of Love For Thee and Thine.” It likely was issued circa 1796-1800, if not earlier.

Those who collect political campaign ribbons will be drawn to a Lincoln & Hamlin: Jugate Ribbon that is considered the ultimate in Lincoln and Hamlin jugate ribbons. The 7-inch silk ribbon boasts “rustic” portraits of the 1860 Republicans superimposed on a panoply of draped flags, inscribed “Lincoln, Hamlin, and Liberty. Protection to American Industry.”

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

• An Andrew Jackson: Pewter Rim Medallion
• An Abraham Lincoln: Large Mounted Salt Print of New Haven Wide Awakes with Bonus
• A George Washington: Exceedingly Rare Emancipation Dog Tag

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