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Granville Stuart–A Merrill Aristocrat

191. STUART, Granville. Forty Years on the Frontier as Seen in the Journals and Reminiscences of Granville Stuart Gold-Miner, Trader, Merchant, Rancher, and Politician Edited by Paul C. Philips. Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1925. 272 + 265 [1 blank] pp., text illustrations (full-page, including frontispiece portrait of Stuart, scenes). 2 vols., 8vo, original navy blue cloth, gilt-lettered spines. Free endpapers and pastedowns lightly browned from publisher’s plain brown dust wrappers (wraps present, but tattered), otherwise a very fine, bright set, mostly unopened.

     First edition. Early Western Journals Series 2. Adams, Guns 2160. Adams, Herd 2195: “Written by a well-educated and influential pioneer of early Montana, this work contains much valuable history and tells many of the author’s experiences in the cattle business.” Adams, One-Fifty 133: “Scarce. This work contains valuable history. The author did much to organize a group of later-day vigilantes to break up a band of horse and cow thieves.... An important book.” Bauer 460. Campbell, p. 92. Campbell, My Favorite 101 Books about the Cattle Industry 88. Clark & Brunet 245: “Stuart was one of the first great cattle barons of the Northwest. His journal is one of the classic accounts of frontier life.” Dobie, pp. 121-22, 146: “Nothing better on the cowboy has ever been written than the chapter entitled ‘Cattle Business’ in Volume II. A prime work throughout.” Dobie & Dykes, 44 & 44 #9. Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 6. Dykes, Western High Spots, p. 18 (“Western Movement: Its Literature”); p. 85 (“A Range Man’s Library”). Flake 8523. Holliday 1059. Howes S1096. Mattes 1296. Merrill, Aristocrats of the Cow Country, p. 25. Mintz, The Trail 450: “This is one of the best books on early Montana history written by a well educated pioneer.... Stuart tells of his father’s overland trip in 1849 and of his own in 1852. A scarce book.” Reese, Six Score 106: “Stuart was one of the first to raise cattle in Montana.... His book has become a classic.” Smith 9974.

     Stuart (1834-1918) is probably the most literate and urbane historian of early Montana, having lived most of what he describes.  An active participant in the founding of the area, he helped rid it of rustlers and thieves by his vigilant activities, prompted the Montana gold rush,  and established a ranch in the lush Judith Basin, although it eventually failed and he swore off the cattle business forever.  Politically active, he held many important posts in the territorial government and became a U. S. ambassador.  Although autodidactic in the craft, he was an excellent artist.  Some of illustrations in this work are from his art work.  As his editor Paul C. Phillips says here of him:  “Granville Stuart had a knowledge of the far western frontier that was intimate and varied.  He saw it at its beginning, and he was a part of every development until its end.” ($400-800)

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