1853 Jefferson Davis Family "Constitution"
My father was a book lover and this was part of his library. And he had told us that he had acquired this book, entitled “The Constitution,” and it had belonged to Jefferson Davis.
As we see up here.
And he told me that he thought that was extremely important-- that this book, entitled “The Constitution,” should have come from the library of Jefferson Davis.
Absolutely, the man who seceded.
Yes. APPRIASER: And we have various signatures inside the book to document this. I think we have two distinct forms of them. To bring... to come to the title page first, I'm always a little suspicious of pencil, and I think that maybe somebody has added this signature later on. My colleagues and I, here on the show, have looked at these signatures, and we think that this is in the handwriting of his wife, Varina Davis, who was born in 1826 and died in 1906. Now, Varina Davis took over a lot of Jefferson Davis's correspondence, throughout his life and his political career, and we think that this is Varina's hand and that this is Varina's hand. As far as value is concerned, if this had been authentically signed and owned by Jefferson Davis himself, I would have thought that an auction estimate of... in the region of $50,000 would be appropriate, but being that it's in the hand of his wife-- and that therefore makes this what we call a family association copy, as opposed to an individual's association copy-- I would put the value of this at $15,000 to $20,000, for an auction estimate.
My own interest, though, is in the history. The real interest in the book is that there was some controversial interpretation of the Constitution. APPRASIER: Absolutely.
And if Jefferson Davis was... had studied his Constitution and still felt like it was constitutionally possible, uh, to secede from the Union, to me, that's the great historical interest of the book, not any monetary value.
Yes, it's an extraordinary association-- the leader of the secession owning a copy of the Constitution of the United States, which he broke.
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