AUCTION 23

 
 

One of the Fifty Texas Rarities

With an Early, Handsome Engraving of Texas &
Folding Map of The Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company

 
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584. WOODMAN, David. Guide to Texas Emigrants. By David Woodman, Jr. Boston: Printed by M. Hawes, For The Publishers, 81 Cornhill, near the N.E. Museum, 1835. [i-iii] iv-vi, [13] 14-192 pp. (p. 59 misnumbered 29), copper-engraved print of buffalo hunt, folding copper-engraved map with original hand-coloring (professionally mounted on acid-free light-weight paper, one small triangular piece at top left, about 1.3 x 3 x 0.1 cm, and the inset map of Galveston at lower right supplied in sympathetic facsimile). 12mo (18.6 x 12 cm), new forest green pebbled cloth, spine gilt-lettered Texas Guide, fresh white endpapers(the binder modeled the binding cloth, style, lettering, and endpapers upon a copy in original binding). Very minor loss to two small sections at right blank edge of title (no loss of text), very pale waterstaining to last few signatures. Book, plate, and map in fine condition with the rare map. One of the most elusive Texas guide books, especially with the map. On blank endpapers, previous contemporary owner has pasted printed thermo-metrical table (kept at Houston by John Henry Bauer, July 1837) and meteorological table for Houston in July 1838.

Plate

The Buffalo Hunt [lower left below image] Painted by A. Fisher. [lower right below image] Engraved by W.E. Tucker. Image: 7.8 x 10 cm; image plus title: 7.8 x 9 cm; overall sheet size: 10.5 x 17.5 cm.  After p. 92,

Map

Map of the Colonization Grants to Zavala, Vehlein & Burnet in Texas, Belonging to The Galveston Bay & Texas Land Co. [lower right below neat line]: S. Stiles & Co NY [inset map at lower right] Plan of the Port of Galveston, Made by Order of the Mexican Government. By Alexander Thompson of the Mexican Navy in 1828. Neat line to neat line: 23 x 30 cm. Grants colored in green, pink, and yellow. Overall sheet size: 29 x 31.8 cm. The excellent map that appears in this rare guide is also found on a large broadside of the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company (Streeter 1164).  The map is bound in before title.

     First edition. Graff calls for a terminal blank leaf, and Streeter for a preliminary blank. Neither is required by the collation. American Imprints (1835) 35502. Bradford 6000. Brinley Sale 4747. Clark, Old South 3:117. Fifty Texas Rarities 12. Graff 4737. Howes W647. Kelsey, Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554-1900 2.18 (illustrated, p. 27); map listed as entry 2.19. Phillips, American Sporting Books, p. 413. Rader 3731. Raines, p. 222. Sabin 105111. Streeter 1177. Vandale 197.

     This book was almost assuredly sponsored by the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company, which at the time was actively promoting its Texas holdings in both America and Europe. The basic text is their Address To The Reader Of The Documents Related To The Galveston Bay & Texas Land Company, Which Are Contained In The Appendix (New York: G.F. Hopkins & Son, 44 Nassau Street. January 1, 1831). Woodman states that he is using the address as a source "making it the text for such comments upon the present condition of the country as the change of circumstances and relations require." In expanding the basic document, Woodman has included numerous articles from newspapers and letters written to describe Texas and the Company's lands.

     Although apparently a hack writer about whom almost nothing is known, Woodman has a way with words. In his Introduction he remarks: "The difference between the condition of the farmers in New England and Texas may be summed up in a few words. Here, the owner is at work for the support of his beasts the whole year round; and there, the cattle are at work the whole time for the profit of the owner. There, the cattle are the slaves of their master; and here, the master is the slave of his beasts" (p. iv). The genuine problem that Woodman must address, however, and what may have formed some of the impetus for the publication of this work, is contained in pp. 97-113, wherein questions that had arisen concerning Mexican emigration laws and the security of the Company's title to its lands are covered. On the whole, this publication is very favorable in its descriptions of the Company's lands and the prospects of the emigrant to them. It has been suggested that Woodman's guide was written to ameliorate some of the negative comments in Fiske's 1834 Visit to Texas.

     The handsome, chiaroscuro copper-engraved plate illustrates a Native American with bow and arrow and on horseback in speedy pursuit of a huge buffalo on a vast prairie and cloudy sky. This is a very early engraving of a Texas scene. Alvan Fisher (1792-1863), the artist who created the engraving, appears to have drawn inspiration from Titian Peale’s American Buffaloe (1832). William E. Tucker (1801-1857), who engraved the plate, worked in Philadelphia between 1823 and 1845 (“He was an excellent engraver in line and stipple”—Fielding).

($7,500-$15,000)

Sold. Hammer: $7,500.00; Price Realized: $9,187.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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