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AUCTION 18

Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
Interesting books, broadsides, maps & ephemera

Lot 74

The Prisoners of Perote—One of the Fifty Texas Rarities

74. STAPP, William. The Prisoners of Perote: Containing a Journal Kept by the Author, who was Captured by the Mexicans, at Mier, December 25, 1842, and Released from Perote, May 16, 1844. Philadelphia: Zieber, 1845. 164, [4] (ads) pp. 12mo, original green cloth. Head of spine chipped, cloth slightly discolored, interior very fine, with contemporary ownership notation of Charles H. Wessels.

     First edition. Basic Texas Books 197: "This was the first book to appear on the Mier expedition; it is still one of the best.... Descriptions of the march to the Rio Grande, the Battle of Mier, the surrender of the Texans, their imprisonment and attempts to escape, the drawing of the black beans, the removal to Mexico City, and imprisonment in Perote Prison." Fifty Texas Rarities 27. Graff 3949. Holliday 1038. Howes S891. Littell 987. Raines, p. 194: “An interesting story of personal adventure and prison life; but as to Santa Anna and description of Mexican life, plagiarized largely from Brantz Mayer’s Mexico, issued the previous year.” Sabin 90483. Streeter 1610 (cited by Streeter as one of the top books for a Texas collection, p. 329). Vandale 167.

     “Probably this book did not have a wide circulation, for few copies have survived. In 1887-88 the La Grange Journal reprinted Stapp's story in its columns. In 1933 the Journal republished the book in a facsimile edition taken from its files. The book harshly denounces Antonio López de Santa Anna. Although Joe B. Frantz observed that the book was neither ‘fair’ nor ‘dispassionate,’ Wayne Gard found its denunciations only ‘understandable expressions of outrage.’ Stapp was well educated; the book abounds in classical references as well as literary and musical allusions. It was the first book to appear on the Mier expedition and remains one of the best. “ Handbook of Texas Online. ($600-1,200)

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