71. JAMES, Vinton Lee. Frontier and Pioneer Recollections of Early Days in San Antonio and West Texas. San Antonio: Published by the Author, Artes Graficas, 1938. 210 pp., 8 plates (mostly photograph and portrait), text illustrations. 8vo, original tan pictorial wrappers. Other than mild browning to wraps, very fine. The book came out in cloth and wraps, and the wrappers issue appears to be more scarce in commerce.
First edition. Adams, Burs I:214: “This scarce, privately printed book of memoirs has some mention of King Fisher, Ben Thompson, and Billy the Kid.” Adams, Guns 1157: “Rare.” Adams, Herd 1149. Not in CBC. James wrote this book in the first place to memorialize his father, John James, an early settler and important surveyor in Texas (see Handbook of Texas Online: John James). The first part of the book is devoted to his life, including a cattle drive to California in 1854. (Ironically, James became better known as a sheep rancher after importing 500 head of Merino sheep to his ranch in the Bandera-Uvalde area.) The narrative then continues with the author’s own life, which constitutes the bulk of the book and dwells considerably on hunting and fishing, which the author particularly enjoys and which activities he would like to see continue by way of legislation that regulates and protects the taking of game. His descriptions of West Texas are excellent and include a chapter on Texas Ranger James Dunn. Finally, the book includes a section on San Antonio society and activities. ($250-500)
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