Land Patents

Collecting Land Patents

If one wants to collect signatures of America’s founding fathers, land patents are a great place to start! A land patent sounds complicated and technical, but it is simply the name for the transaction and resulting document of a land title when it is issued to the first purchaser of land from a sovereign entity. Usually the sovereign entity in question is the United States government, but in some instances, there [...] Click here to continue reading.


Hunter, Clementine – American Artist – Louisiana

Clementine Hunter (1887 to 1988)

Clementine Hunter (pronounced Clementeen) was born to Creole parents, Antoinette Adams and Janvier Reuben, in late December of 1886 or early January of 1887 at Hidden Hill Plantation near Cloutierville, Louisiana. Hunter would never learn to read or write, later saying she only had about ten days of schooling, and was put to work in the fields when she was very young. At 15, she left Hidden Hill, which [...] Click here to continue reading.


Buffalo Bill Cody

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

The year 1883 neatly divides William Cody’s former life as a hunter, scout and guide from his later career as a showman. He was 37 in this year of transition.

The early life of William Frederick Cody (1846 to 1917) was colorful, adventurous and, thanks to Dime novels, exaggerated. He fought for the Union Army in the Civil War at 18. By 21, he earned his lifelong nickname [...] Click here to continue reading.


Apocryphal – definition

Apocryphal – Definition

Apocryphal, the adjective form, means “of doubtful authenticity,” according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Apocrypha, the noun form, means “writings or statements of dubious authenticity,” again according to Merriam-Webster.

Apocrypha is actually a Greek word that means something closer to “obscure” or “hidden away.” The original meaning of the word, the Apocrypha in the proper noun sense, refers to religious texts outside of the traditional or accepted religious canon. Through connection with [...] Click here to continue reading.


Miro, Joan – Spanish Artist

Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) Joan Miro lithograph, Signes Et Meteores, printed in colors, 1958, p4A item E8972489

Joan Miro was born in Barcelona, Spain, on April 20, 1893, the son of a watchmaker. From 1912 he studied at the Barcelona Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Gali. In the first quarter of the 20th century, Barcelona was a cosmopolitan, intellectual city with a craving for the new in art, music, and literature. But, it [...] Click here to continue reading.


Gardner, Alexander

Alexander Gardner (1821 to 1882)

Alexander Gardner was born in Paisley, Scotland on October 17, 1821. As a young man, he was interested in socialist ideas, especially the concept of cooperatives, the creation of a business venture operated by and to serve the needs of a particular group with a common interest. After the family moved to Glasgow, Gardner apprenticed himself to a jeweler and silversmith at the age of 14. After reading about [...] Click here to continue reading.


Robert Spring – Forger

Robert Spring, Forger (1813-1876)

Robert Spring was born in England in 1813, but little is known about his life until he emigrated to the United States. By the 1850s, he was in the Philadelphia area and working as a bookseller.

Successful forgeries require access to the requisite materials, and in many ways, paper-based forgeries are some of the easiest to perpetrate. More than one dealer of books and ephemera has come to realize that [...] Click here to continue reading.


Audubon, John James

John James Audubon (1785 to 1851)

John James Audubon was born in Haiti on April 26, 1785 on a sugar plantation, the son of Lt. Jean Audubon, a French naval officer, and Audubon’s mistress, Jeanne Rabin, a Louisiana chambermaid. After the death of Jeanne Rabin and a slave uprising that convinced Audubon’s father to give up his holdings in the colony, John James Audubon, still a toddler, and his younger sister returned to France [...] Click here to continue reading.


Parrish, Frederick Maxfield – American artist

Frederick Maxfield Parrish (1870 to 1966)

Frederick Maxfield Parrish was born July 25, 1870 in Philadelphia to Stephen Parrish, an American artist famous for his landscapes, illustrations and engravings and his wife Elizabeth Bancroft Parrish. It’s not surprising that, finding himself surrounded by the tools of his father’s trade, that Frederick (he would begin to use Maxfield as his name later in life) would begin to draw to amuse himself. Around 1881, the Parrish [...] Click here to continue reading.


Russell, Charles Marion

Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)

Charles Russell was as famous for his personal character as he was for his artistic career. A simple and modest man, he left the Midwest to pursue a life on the frontier. While residing primarily in Montana for the remainder of his life, Russell, or “Cowboy Charlie”, went on to become the state’s favorite son and achieve great renown for his depictions of the American West.

An [...] Click here to continue reading.


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