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Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 193-196: Nubile Captives, Cards, the Tattler & Express Companies

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193. [SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD]. PLAYING CARDS. Souvenir Playing Cards of the Southern Pacific Lines. Sunset, Overland, Golden State and Shasta Routes [title on upper wrapper of inserted pamphlet]. N.p., [after April 1943]. 27 pp. pamphlet in original printed wrappers (stapled) + 53 standard-size illustrated playing cards lithographed on toned grounds (1 joker) + 2 advertising cards, a.e.g., in original cardboard slipcase with railroad name stamped in gilt on one side and two of hearts affixed to the other. Slipcase lightly worn, upper pamphlet wrapper slightly creased, cards very fine.

    The pamphlet explains the scenes shown on the cards: a different image appears on the playing face of each card and the backs of the cards all have the same chromolithograph of the futuristic locomotive Daylight rolling through the desert. Most of the scenes are in California, but one is of El Paso, Texas.
($75-150)

194. STIMSON, A[lexander] L[ovett]. Express Office Hand-Book and Directory, for the Use of 1,200 Express Agents and Their Customers, Being the History of the Express Business and the Earlier Rail-Road Enterprises in the United States. Together with Some Reminiscences of the Old Mail Coaches and Baggage Wagons...Interleaved with It Will Be Found the Advertisements of Numerous Mercantile and Manufacturing Establishments.... New York: Printed and Published by John K. Stimson, Stationer, No. 77 Cedar Street, 1860. [4] xvi [iii]-iv [5]-228 [6, Colt ads] pp. (lacks errata slip), 97 inserted leaves of ads (many on colored paper, one in colored ink), 7 engraved plates, 2 lithographs, pastedowns printed. 8vo, original brown embossed leather over printed orange boards. Rubbed, moderate shelf wear, wanting final endpaper, offsetting from inserted leaves, else very good, with prospectus laid in.
    Fourth edition. Howes S1008 (“best ed., with adds”). Sabin 91826. Streeter Sale 3106. An oft-reprinted work first published in 1858 but here in an expanded edition. The collation of this work is complicated, but this example appears to complete except for the errata slip noted by Streeter in his copy (and the blank final endpaper). In addition to the prospectus, this copy also includes a leaflet for Samuel Colt’s firearms, entitled The Pioneers of Civilization. Colt’s Revolving Breech Fire Arms: “Treat them well, and they will treat your enemies badly.” Although Stimson’s history concentrates on the East coast and the Midwest, he does include information about the expansion of express companies into California.
($4,000-8,000)

195. STRATTON, R[oyal] B.
Captivity of the Oatman Girls: Being an Interesting Narrative of Life among the Apache and Mohave Indians; Containing Also an Interesting Account of the Massacre of the Oatman Family, by the Apache Indians, in 1851; The Narrow Escape of Lorenzo D. Oatman; The Capture of Olive A. and Mary A. Oatman; The Death by Starvation, of the Latter; The Five Years Suffering and Captivity of Olive A. Oatman; Also, Her Singular Recapture in 1856; As Given by Lorenzo D. and Olive A. Oatman, the Only Surviving Members of the Family, to the Author, R. B. Stratton. San Francisco: Whitton, Towne & Co’s Excelsior Steam Power Presses, 1857. 231 pp., portrait of Olive with the chin tattoo applied by the Mohaves to mark captives, text illustrations, map (untitled map showing slightly west of the mouth of the Colorado River, lower Arizona and New Mexico, Gadsden Purchase, and locating places mentioned in the book, such as “Place of Massacre,” etc.; 8.4 x 13.2 cm; 3-3/8 x 5-1/4 inches). 8vo, modern tan calf over marbled boards. Title page darkened along right side with minor chipping, scattered foxing and staining.
    Second edition. This is the revised and expanded version of Royal B. Stratton’s text by the same publisher in the same year, with the addition of a map, an illustration, and other materials. A best seller practically upon publication, the first edition of this work sold out in two weeks (p. ix). The work has remained in print ever since and is one of the more popular works of the genre. Cowan I, p. 223n. Field 515. Greenwood 885n. Holliday 1040 (Littell copy). Howell 50, California 859. Howes S1068. Jones 277. Littell 999. Plains & Rockies IV:294:2. Sabin 92742. Not in Flake, although the Oatmans were Mormons. The story has been repeated many times in various venues. In short, the Oatman family, traveling alone by wagon, was fallen upon by Apaches, who killed everyone but Olive, Mary, and Lorenzo, the last of whom was left for dead but whose survival resulted in Olive’s redemption after five years of captivity. Mary eventually died of starvation, and Olive underwent many of the typical degradations found in such annals. Lorenzo, upon learning his sister was still alive, arranged her return, which was accomplished at Fort Yuma. After her release, she completed her education, lectured widely on her experiences, and married cattleman John Brant Fairchild. She died in Sherman, Texas.
    Aside from the typical horror stories the work contains, it is important for preserving, in however prejudiced a form, many details of Apache and Mohave life. The author, Royal B. Stratton (d. 1875), was a Methodist minister in San Francisco. After he published this book, he accompanied Olive on a speaking tour to the East. The illustrations are typically lurid. To emphasize the degradation the girls suffered, they are four times depicted bare-breasted. Even in the last engraving, which shows Olive being received at Fort Yuma, she is thus depicted, even though the text specifically states that she is clothed at that point. Such frankness is unusual for the Victorian era. Her husband, possibly embarrassed by this shocking portrayal of his wife, is said to have burned all the copies of the book he could find. One engraver, William F. Herrick, moved to San Francisco about 1848. See Groce & Wallace, p. 311; Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers II, p. 92. The other engraver, George Holbrook Baker (1827-1906), came to California in 1849 and engraved many letter sheets and books, such as Sacramento Illustrated (q.v.). Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers II, p. 78.
($300-600)

196. Tahoe Tattler. 24 issues, July 9, 1881-September 7, 1881 (vol. 1, nos. 1-3, 7-10, 12-17, 25, 32, 38, 43, 45, 47-52). [4] pp. each. 12mo. Except for some minor foxing and soiling and a few chips, fine copies. Preserved in beige board slipcase with chemise.


    First printings. Howell 50, California 864 (these copies). Streeter Sale 2978: “The Tattler was apparently the first newspaper to be established at Lake Tahoe. Like similar examples of the beginnings of the press in other localities, it is interesting for ‘local color.’–TWS.” A combination advertising sheet and small newspaper intended to provide readers “with spicy reading matter, chronicle all events of importance that transpire on the lake and vicinity, and keep tourists and the inhabitants of our beautiful little town well posted generally” (no. 1, p. [2]). The newspaper ran until July 15, 1882 (Howell).
($1,200-2,400)


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