“The Beginning, Middle and End of the Subject” (Dobie)
226. WEBB, Walter Prescott. The Texas Rangers a Century of Frontier Defense Illustrated with Drawings by Lonnie Reese and with Photographs. Boston & New York : Houghton Mifflin & Riverside Press, 1935. , xiv , <584> pp., frontispiece plate (“The Rio Grande Guard”), numerous text illustrations (photographs and art work by Lonnie Rees). 8vo, original half tan leather over beige linen, gilt-lettered navy blue spine label, t.e.g. Slight foxing to endpapers, otherwise fine in worn, chipped, and darkened glassine wrapper and split publisher’s slipcase from which the labeled spine is detached (but present). Signed inscription by Webb: “In commemoration of a grand occasion when congenial spirits met at the auction of Texiana for the Texas State Historical Association at Austin-April 28, 1939.” Above the inscription are three small ink vignettes (portraits of Webb, Rees, and horse and rider), signed by Lonnie Rees, illustrator of the book.
First edition, limited edition (#29 of 205 copies signed by author). This is the first issue, with the caption on the photograph on p. 565 incorrectly identifying Ray Miller as the third man from the left. Adams , One-Fifty 145: “The most thorough and reliable work to date on the Texas Rangers, and contains much material on Texas outlaws.” Adams , Guns 2333. Agatha, p. 65. Basic Texas Books 212A: “The most important work on the Texas Rangers.” Campbell , p. 77. Dobie, Big Bend Bibliography, p. 27. Dobie, pp. 58, 60: “The beginning, middle and end of the subject.” Dykes, Kid 210: “Rare”; Western High Spots, pp. 119-20 (“Ranger Reading”): “If I had to limit my Texas Ranger reading to just one book, I’d take [this one].... Here is history, backed by intelligent research and by an understanding of the force (they could ride like Mexicans; trail like Indians; shoot like Tennesseans; and fight like the devil!) and the psychology of the men by actual contact with them, presented with vigor and clarity that makes it better reading than most fiction.” Howes W194. Mohr, The Range Country 790. Tate, Indians of Texas 2449: “Best delineation of ranger-type forces throughout Texas history and...their point of view on the ‘Indian problem.’” Western Literature Assn., A Literary History of the American West, p. 626: "A re-creation of border life as well as the story of Texas's famous—and sometimes infamous—peace-keeping organization." ($600-1,200)
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