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AUCTION 18

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

Lot 1

Major Iconography for the Southwest & Borderlands
First Printed View of Santa Fe

1. ABERT, J[ames] W[illiam]. Report of the Secretary of War... Report and Map of the Examination of New Mexico..... [Washington, 1848]. 30th Congress, First Session, Senate Executive, No. 23. 132 pp., 24 lithographs, folding lithograph map of New Mexico + 11 lithographs from Abert’s 1846 report (Message...Report of an Expedition...on the Upper Arkansas and through the Country of the Comanche Indians, in the Fall of the Years 1845). Total: 35 lithograph plates with exceptionally beautiful watercoloring. The coloring of the plates is in the same style, technique, and shades found in Abert’s own copies of these reports with his original watercolors or personally hand-colored lithographs in the Beinecke Library at Yale. This is an extra illustrated and annotated copy, with extensive manuscript corrections, especially of botanical and Spanish words, apparently in Abert’s hand, and pencil notes on most plates indicating proper placement of plates within text. Signed “Abert” on first plate. 8vo, modern full green levant morocco, spine gilt-lettered, raised bands, inner gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers. Light intermittent foxing. Upper inner corners with light waterstaining barely into plates. Text and plates trimmed (a few plates shaved with occasional loss of a few letters of title or imprint; a few of the manuscript annotations are also trimmed). The map appears to be supplied from another copy. Overall a very good copy, the coloring of the lithos quite lovely, fresh, and bright. The W. J. Holliday copy, with his bookplate tipped in (front pastedown with evidence of removal of former bookplate).

     Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country Report, 1846 (11 plates): Bennett, American Nineteenth Color Plate Books, p. 1: "Very fine colored lithographic plates. This item appears in two forms, colored and uncolored, and the colored copies have long been in substantial demand." Graff 6. Howes A10. Matthews, p. 297. Plains & Rockies IV:120. Raines 1: “Significant and important.” Sabin 59. Streeter Sale 161 (Abert’s copy, now at the Beinecke). These are the plates from Abert’s 1846 report on his 1845 trip from Bent’s Fort along the Canadian River, back to St. Louis. Among them is an important early lithograph view of Texas.

     New Mexico Report, 1848 (printed report, map, and 24 plates): First edition of an early official U.S. publication relating to New Mexico. Graff 5. Howes A11. Pilling 2. Rader 3344. Raines, p. 1: “Canadian Valley of Texas was part of region traversed and described.” Rittenhouse 2: “A basic Santa Fe Trail document.” Sabin 57. Streeter Sale 168: “First printed map of New Mexico made public by the War Department.” Plains & Rockies IV:143. Wheat, Transmississippi West 532. This report contains Abert’s journal of the expedition from Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe and tour of New Mexico Territory immediately following U.S. acquisition. An extremely important work, initiating a scientific awareness of Southwestern geography and containing some of the very first regional views. Abert’s report includes valuable observations and illustrations of Hispanic and Native American cultures of the Borderlands.

     The Upper Arkansas Report was available (but is rarely found) with the lithographs tinted by the lithographer. Abert, however, complained that the copies so colored contained errors, especially in the coloring of the flowers (see Holliday Sale Lot 4 where this problem is mentioned). Because two of the plates of this report present here have yucca flowers incorrectly colored yellow, it seems possible that the coloring on these plates is the work of the lithographer. Conversely, in the plates from the New Mexico report in which yucca plants are depicted, the flowers are correctly colored white, which gives rise to the presumption that they were colored by someone with first-hand knowledge about Southwestern botany. This copy, except for the map, seems actually to have been assembled, annotated, and signed by Abert, whose signature appears on one of the plates from the Upper Arkansas Report, with the yucca incorrectly colored. It seems clear that Abert assembled this volume before it was bound, because his annotations are trimmed. Possibly, in assembling this volume Abert used plates tinted by the lithographer in addition to those that he completed himself. The volume needs more research.

     For examples of Abert’s lithographs with his original coloring and his original watercolors, see the internet exhibit “The Illustrating Traveler” assembled in 1996 by William S. Reese and George Miles for the Beinecke Library at Yale: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/brblevents/spirit2.htm and http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/native3.htm. See also Reese and Miles, Creating America 34 & 114 (color illustration at p. 85)

Map

Map of the Territory of New Mexico, Made by Order of Brig. Gen. S. W. Kearny, under Instructions from Lieut. W. H. Emory, U.S.T.E. by Lieut’s J. W. Abert and W. G. Peck, U.S.T.E. 1846-7. C. B. Graham’s Lithy. Washington [top left]: Data. The road from the direction of Bent’s Fort to Santa Fe and from Santa Fe to Taos and the Astronomical positions given on the map of Lieut. Emory, except the latitude of Taos by Lieut. Warner, U.S.T.E. Topographical sketches by Lieut. W. G. Peck, T. E. This map is connected with the map of Senate Document No. 438; 2nd. Session, 29th. Congress. Published by order of the War Department. Uncolored lithograph map. Neat line to neat line: 65 x 50.8 cm; 24-5/8 x 20 inches. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 532.

Plates

In order of appearance in this copy:

The Pillar Rock on the Canadian. Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Shaved into caption with slight loss of lower portion of letters of title.

Valley of the Purgatory. Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Lower margin trimmed, title present, but possible loss of imprint.

Wah-to-Yah, or The Spanish Peaks | [below title]: Lith. by E. Weber & Co.Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report.

View of the Santa Fe Road | [below title]: Lith. by E. Weber & Co.Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report.

Trap Dikes | [below line border lower right]: Lith. of E. Weber & Co. Balt. Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Plains & Rockies puts imprint at lower left.

Scene near Camp No. 10 Aug 23d. | [below title]: Lith. by E. Weber & Co.Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report.

View of the dividing ridge between the Cañadian & Washita from Camp 48 Oct. 1st.| Lith. of E. Weber & Co. Balt. Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Plains & Rockies puts imprint at lower left.

Antelope or Boundary Buttes | [below line border lower right]: Lithr. of E. Weber & Co.Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Plains & Rockies puts imprint at lower left.

O Cum-Who-Wust, Chief of the Cheynnes [sic]| [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

Old Bark’s Son Ah-Mah Nah-Co and Squaw | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

Las Cumbres Espanolas | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy. Source: New Mexico report.

San Felippe | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

San Miguel. | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Plains & Rockies puts imprint at lower left.

Ruins of Pecos. | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

La Ciudad de Santa Fé | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

A Cañoned Creek | [below title]: Lith. by E. Weber & Co. Balto.Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report.

Gold Mts. Near Tuerto | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

Fort Marcy and the Parroquia Santa Fé | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

Pueblo de Santo Domingo | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

El Pueblo de Santa Ana. | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

View of Volcanic Peaks, Looking North Lat. 35° 13. Lon 107° 20’ | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

Moquino. | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

Acoma No. 1 | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

Acoma No. 2.Source: New Mexico report. Without imprint designated in Plains & Rockies

Acoma No. 3 | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

View near Rito | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

El Cañon Infierno. | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

Ruins of Abo. |[below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithogy.Source: New Mexico report.

Bosque del Apache. | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithogy.Source: New Mexico report.

Bents Fort | [below line border lower right]: Lith. of E. Weber & Co.Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Imprint not noted in Plains & Rockies. This plate is folded at right margin.

View on the Cañadian | [below title]: Lith. by E. Weber & Co. Balt. Source: Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country report. Imprint not noted in Plains & Rockies.

Valverde | [below line border lower right]: C. B. Graham’s Lithy.Source: New Mexico report.

Fossils from the coal beds of the Raton, Lat. 30° 15’ Lon. 104° 35’. For locality see map of Canadian river by Lieuts. Abert & Peck. 1845.| [in image]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

1. Inoceramus- Rio Timpa, Lat. 30° 41’ Lon. 104° 07’ 2. Fossil from the coal bed of the Raton Cañon | [in image]: C. B. Graham, Lith Source: New Mexico report.

1 & 2. Sharks teeth from Poblazon. 3. Fossils from Poblazon. 4 Fossils from the lead mine at Tuerto. | [below title]: C. B. Graham’s Lith. Source: New Mexico report.

     The scientific and topographical illustrations by the artists who accompanied various official U.S. government surveys that probed the Southwest are among the best glimpses of nineteenth-century Texas, New Mexico, and the surrounding regions. This volume contains major iconography of the Southwest and Borderlands by one of the brightest and most outstanding expeditionary artists who served with the early U.S. surveys of the Southwest. Abert (1820-1871) was one of the more competent commanders and artists, serving as both on his expeditions. Leading a dangerous exploration into Mexican territory after being detached by Frémont for the mission, Abert guided his troops successfully to the source of the Canadian River at Raton Pass, New Mexico, successfully crossed the Texas Panhandle, and brought his troops safely back. While so doing, he depicted many of the areas through which he travelled, thereby leaving to posterity many early images of these area and their inhabitants, as published in the two illustrated reports.

     Tyler, Prints of the West, pp. 75-77: “Abert was a West Point graduate who had studied topographical drawing under Robert W. Weir and his assistant Seth Eastman. He and his classmates were probably among the first to use Eastman’s Treatise on Topographical Drawing. Eastman had a much more precise form of drawing in mind, but his language sometimes paralleled the Romantic landscapists of the Hudson River School.... Weir believed that his students should be schooled in the principles of freehand drawing and encouraged them to sketch the scenery up and down the Hudson River. Eastman, meanwhile provided the geometrical explanation for converting a topographical plan into a perspective drawing.... Although trained in topographical drawing, Abert was hardly prepared for the stark and rugged country that he found [in the Southwest]. ‘Should a painter, in sketching the landscape, give it the true tone of color, he likely would be censured for exaggeration.’” The quality of the rare surviving colored plates in Abert’s two reports is in marked contrast to their appearance as usually found in uncolored state. It is almost as if one cannot really see what Abert witnessed on his journeys by viewing only the black and white versions. Abert’s historic images are a felicitous melding of art and science, and the rugged Southwest as seen through the lens of the Romantic vision of the Hudson River School.

     The emphasis of the images in this volume is New Mexico, but the work is also important for Texas. Ron Tyler in his unpublished manuscript on Texas lithographs of the nineteenth century refers to the plate entitled The Pillar Rock on the Canadian as the first lithographic image of Texas from a U.S. government survey. ($25,000-$50,000)

This item was withdrawn for further research.

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