Rare 1790 Census Up For Auction
This year's census was a massive undertaking but things were a little simpler at the time of the first census back in 1790. A rare copy of the 1790 census conducted under the direction of Thomas Jefferson will highlight the bi-coastal Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Auction on October 4. Simulcast to New York, the Los Angeles based sale is comprised of fine and rare first-edition books, maps, manuscripts, and ephemera.
The census being sold is one of the rare copies signed by Jefferson on the final page. It has been handed down through the family of Gideon Granger, Postmaster General during Jefferson's administration, and is believed to be his copy. It is annotated with all sorts of calculations. This rare piece of American history is estimated to sell for $80,000 to $120,000.
The sale also includes historical photographs and maps and atlases including John Melish's Map of the United States with the Contiguous British and Spanish Possessions (1816) which is estimated at $50,000 to $70,000. Other items include a signed 1922, first edition, first printing of F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned; an original 4-panel daily strip of Charles Schulz's Peanuts and a single page printed and typed report detailing a blood test taken from Mohandas Gandhi ten days before his assassination, indicating that, although he is generally healthy, his white blood cell count is high. A New York preview is scheduled for September 23-25 and the Los Angeles preview will be held October 1-3.