[TAYLOR, ZACHARY]. A Brilliant National Record. General Taylor’s Life, Battles, and Despatches, with the Only Correct Portrait yet Published; including Highly Important Letters, from the President of the United States, the War Department, Secretary Marcy, General Taylor, General Scott, Commodore Perry, and the Mexican Authorities. Accounts of the Glorious Battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de Palma, Monterey, Buena Vista, Vera Cruz, and San Juan D’Ulloa. Compiled from Authentic Sources. Illustrated by Plans of the Cities, Maps of the Battle Grounds, and Portraits of the Principal Generals. Philadelphia: T.C. Clarke, 85 Dock Street, For Sale also by King & Baird, Printers, No. 9 George St. And All the Book Stores and Agencies, 1847. [1-5] 6-70 pp., one woodcut plate of Santa Anna, eight woodcut text illustrations and maps (counted as part of pagination). 8vo (25 x 17 cm), original tan pictorial, illustrated wrappers bound in modern three-quarter burgundy morocco over rose cloth, spine gilt lettered and with raised bands, t.e.g. Wrappers with a few neat repairs on verso (no losses). Except for some light staining to a few leaves, very fine. Armorial bookplate with motto “Perseverantia” and name “Bell” on front pastedown.
First edition. Garrett & Goodwin, pp. 194-195. Haferkorn, p. 62.
A well-documented account of Taylor’s campaigns, including a long section (pp. 33-70) of official dispatches. What sets this publication apart, however, are the spectacular full-page woodcuts by Edward William Mumford that occur on the wrappers and in the text. The upper wrapper has a stunning woodcut of an equestrian Taylor, which is repeated in the text. The lower wrapper has an equally appealing depiction of an esquestrian Santa-Anna, which is repeated in the plate (with the curious detail that “He is five feet eleven inches in height”). The first battle plan shows “Battle Grounds of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma,” the opening battles of the war that took place on Texas soil. One of the notations on the map is, “Walker’s Fort 10 Texian Rangers Slaughtered on the 1st of May by 150 Mexicans.” Concerning the siege of Fort Brown, the author quotes this detail of American anti-battery fire: “‘One of the Mexican twelve-pounders was seen leaping twenty feet into the air, accompanied by arms, legs and mangled bodies’” (p. 10).
Sold. Hammer: $300.00; Price Realized: $367.50.