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164. SANTLEBEN, August. A Texas Pioneer Early Staging and Overland Freighting Days on the Frontiers of Texas and Mexico. New York & Washington: Neale Publishing Company, 1910. 321 [1 blank] pp. 8vo, original gilt-lettered lilac cloth. Spine and cover faded (less so than usual, here some of the original lilac has not faded), a bit of light flecking to cloth, one corner bumped, text block slightly cracked at pp. 112-113, overall very good, interior fine.  Neale books are notoriously difficult to find in fine condition.

     First edition. Basic Texas Books 181A: “Most important account of stage coach and freight service in Texas.” Campbell, p. 99. CBC 464, 1784, 3269, 4529. Dobie, Big Bend Bibliography, p. [19]. Dobie, p. 79: “Best treatise available on freighting on Chihuahua Trail.” Graff 3676. Howes S104. Krick 441. Tate, The Indians of Texas 2426: “Considerable first-hand information on Indian fights and Texas Ranger activity during the 1860s and early 1870s.” Tyler, Big Bend, p. 234: “Best account of the later teamsters who used the Chihuahua Trail.” Santleben came to Texas from Germany in 1845 and settled in Castro’s colony. At age fourteen he became the youngest Pony Express rider in the U.S. and in 1867 formed the first stage run between Mexico and Texas.

     No other writer sketches in such vivid detail an account of staging and freighting on the frontiers of Texas and northern Mexico. Santleben combines a wealth of information concerning the encounters and vicissitudes on the trail with a ready recollection of numerous individuals with whom he came in contact. One of the most fascinating books dealing with Southwest Texas and the northern Mexican frontier between the Civil War and the 1890s. ($200-400)

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