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Estimated at £100-150 but bid to £3800 was a letter of 1818 sent from Drummonds Island, Lake Huron, in which F Austin gives his brother Thomas news of his travels after being appointed to investigate disputes between the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company.

“I took 40 men with me… The distance from this place is 1400 miles, and in part inhabited by Indians… we went in Canoes. This is a most miserable place, we are entirely amongst Indians, and for six months have no communication with the lower country…”

Also part of the lot was a manuscript of Anne Hunter’s Death Song of the Cherokee Indians, a ballad first printed in 1784 and inspired by a song passed on to her by someone who had spent time with the tribe.

Sold for £2400 at the auction on May 7 was a letter in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s hand. Writing in February 1845 from Concord, Massachusetts, to an un-named correspondent, he apologises for the delay in returning his books but explains that they had also been read by two friends, Mr Thoreau and Mr Bradford.

The former was the essayist and poet Henry David Thoreau.


Also sold in the May 7 Forum auction was one of 28 large chromolithos that feature among illustrations from an 1898 Catalogue of Sanitary Appliances produced by Doulton & Co of London, Paisley & Paris. It took £360.