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Civil War manuscript crosses the block April 14

The harrowing experience of Civil War Union soldier Capt. H.L. Estabrooks, the inspiration behind “Adrift in Dixie," as explained in a rough manuscript is coming to auction.

PLYMOUTH, Mass. – Willis Henry Auctions is holding an Estates & Antiques Auction in Plymouth, Mass., on Saturday, April 14, at the Hotel 1620, beginning at 11 a.m. The auction has a large offering of fine art jewelry, American silver, 19th century Hingham, Mass. Objects related to “Bucket Town” include flintlock and percussion rifles and side arms. In addition to a large collection of woodenware, spongeware, redware, stoneware and folk art.

'Big Names' Headline Estate Jewelry Offerings

Estate jewelry will also be in the spotlight with diamond rings, gold bracelets and necklaces from famous makers including Tiffany. In addition, watches will be sold from makers such as Tag Heuer, Cartier, Benrus, along with 14K gold pocket watches.

The town of Hingham, frequently referred to as “Bucket Town,” was well known in the latter half of the 19th century. The town was a primary supplier of wooden toys, pails and firkins to General Stores across New England. The auction will feature a pair of painted firkins with decoration signed by a Hersey family by the name of Cooper.

Civil War Manuscript Explores Escape from POW Status

A rare group of Civil War items on offer include the original manuscript of a Union soldier (Capt. H.L. Estabrooks). A member of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, he describes his escape from a POW Train. His departure from Libby Prison includes working his way back through the Confederate states to the Union lines. This escape as described in his 1865 memoir was facilitated with the help of slaves from cotton and sugar plantations. His journey north was published in the 1860s. It is still in print today as “Adrift in Dixie.” The original manuscript has pencil illustrations. They are not in the printed version. Along with this important book are photographs of Estabrooks taken before and after his escape, the Estabrooks Family Bible, and a photo album of carte de visites that include a portrait of Abrahahm Lincoln.

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Americana and folk art offerings in this sale include 40+ pieces of blue Spongeware, blue decorated stoneware, a large Early American Redware collection, folk art weathervanes, baskets, decoys, whirligigs, canes, quilts, silhouettes, owl collections, antique country furniture with fine painted surfaces, many Oriental rugs, early maps, colored bottles including perfume and snuffs.

Visit for the auction catalog.

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