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

Lot 33

“He lived in wrath and wrote with fire”—Dobie

33. GREEN, Thomas J[efferson]. Journal of the Texian Expedition against Mier; Subsequent Imprisonment of the Author; His Sufferings, and Final Escape from the Castle of Perote. With Reflections upon the Present Political and Probable Future Relations of Texas, Mexico, and the United States.... New York: Harper & Brothers, 1845. xiv [3] 18-487 pp., 11 engraved plates, 2 maps: [1] Plan of Mier. The Texian Camp (14.6 x 25.4 cm; 5-1/8 x 10 inches: scale not stated; lower right: Engd. by W. Kemble, N.Y.); [2] Ground Plan of the Castle of Perote, Drawn by Charles M’Laughlin, One of the Mier Prisoners (14 x 20.1 cm; 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches; scale not stated). 8vo, publisher’s original green embossed cloth. Binding worn with some light staining and spine sunned. Upper pastedown abraded from bookplate removal. Moderate to heavy foxing. Usual scruffy copy, but in original cloth; apparently people read the book to death, which is understandable, given its dramatic content. With ownership signature of Sommers V. Pfeuffer (1856-1928), a prominent New Braunfels businessman and politician, who also had a large collection of Texana (see New Handbook of Texas).

     First edition. Basic Texas Books 80: “The most important account of the tragic Texan expedition against Mier and the drawing of the black beans, this is also one of the most vitriolic Texas books.... The book recounts the abortive expedition in 1842 under William S. Fisher and Thomas J. Green into Mexico after the withdrawal of the Somervell Expedition.” Dobie, p. 55: “He lived in wrath and wrote with fire.” Graff 1643: “One of the most exciting accounts.... As a participant Green was able to write a vivid and terrifying tale. He was particularly bitter toward Sam Houston and believed Houston was responsible for the deaths of those Americans shot as brigands.” Library of Congress, Texas Centennial Exhibition 123, citing the plate “Escape from the Castle of Perote.” Howes G371. Rader 1670. Raines, p. 98. Streeter 1581 & p. 329 (selected as one of the top books for a Texas collection): “The unauthorized so-called Mier expedition into a group of hot-headed Texans...when one out of ten of the captured Texans was immediately shot.”

     According to the title-page, the well-executed plates were engraved after drawings taken from life by Charles McLaughlin, one of the Mier Expedition prisoners. Dr. Kelsey includes this book in his preliminary survey of Texas engravings. W. Kemble, the engraver of one of the maps in the book (Plan of Mier. The Texian Camp), also engraved the map of Texas that appeared in Kendall’s Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition (see Martin & Martin 34). ($500-1,000)

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