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October 26, 2007

“Because this is one of the earliest travel books written in English about Texas, it is of great value” (Streeter)
Early Engravings of Texas & a Rare Republic of Texas Map

219. PARKER, A[mos] A[ndrew]. Trip to the West and Texas. Comprising a Journey of Eight Thousand Miles, through New-York, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas, in the Autumn and Winter of 1834-5. Interspersed with Anecdotes, Incidents and Observations. With a Brief Sketch of the Texian War...Second Edition. Concord, N.H.: Published by William White; Boston: Benjamin B. Mussey, 1836. 380 pp., engraved map of the Republic of Texas with original shading in pale yellow to grants (Texas, neat line to neat line: 19.1 x 25.5 cm), 3 full-page woodcuts (unattributed): (1) Prairie on Fire. Page 92 (frontispiece); (2) untitled cut of wild horses (p. [172]); (3) untitled cut of shooting deer (p. [178]). 12mo (18.5 x 11.5 cm), publishers’ green moire cloth, title “Texas” in gilt on spine preceded by design of Texian flag, stamped with motto (“Independence” printed upside down), covers with blind-embossed borders. Lower cover slightly wrinkled, some minor edge and corner wear, endpapers lightly foxed, text generally very fine with only scattered light foxing, folding map with a few minor splits at folds, very light offsetting, and two small spots. Overall this is a fine copy, with bright binding, especially desirable for having the map, which is usually lacking. September 25, 1837, ink and pencil inscription of E. Benjamin, 60 Alderman’s Way, London on front flyleaf and title page, respectively (there was an engraver in London at the time with the same name). Twentieth-century bookplate of Horace White on front pastedown. Preserved in brown cloth slipcase.

            “The second and better edition” (Graff 3184), with significant additions: a 56-page “Sketch of the Texian Revolution” (one of the earliest accounts of the Texas Revolution in a book), a map of Texas, and an additional plate. The first edition came out the previous year. Basic Texas Books 159A. Buck 276. Clark, Travels in the Old South III:82. Eberstadt, Texas 162:588. Howes P74. Hubach, p. 78. Kelsey, Engraved Prints of Texas 1554-1900, pp. 28-29 (D7.22, D7.23, and D.7.24 Phillips, American Sporting Books 286. Plains & Rockies IV:47a:2 (new entry). Rader 2589. Raines, pp. 161-62: “One of the earliest descriptions of Texas in English.” Sabin 58643. Streeter 1172:

This includes a rather pedestrian account of a sightseeing journey of a little over a month in December, 1834, from the Sabine to the Colorado, then back to San Felipe and Brazoria. In the account are around forty pages with the caption heading, “General View of Texas.” The “Brief Sketch of the Texian War” in the title of the second edition is given in an appendix, which tells the story in popular form to the capture of Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Parker’s entire journey, as outlined on the title page, was to gather information on the regions visited. Even though quite prosaic in style, it has for a little known new country like Texas the interest that is present in any early contemporary account of travels. Parker, a graduate of the University of Vermont in 1813, was a New Hampshire lawyer and judge, and an occasional author. There is a brief account of him in the General Catalogue of the University of Vermont, Burlington, 1901.

The map is a rare and variant feature of this second edition. One is fortunate to find a map in this book at all (only five copies of the book have appeared at auction going back to 1975, two lacked the map, and one had only a portion of the map), possibly indicating that the addition of a map to the second edition was an afterthought. The last copy at auction was at Sotheby’s London on November 18, 2004 (Lot 358), where it fetched £6,200 ($11,532). The map is among the early maps of the Republic of Texas in a book, and it is based on Bradford’s 1835 map of Texas published in his atlas (the first Texas map to appear in an atlas). We have seen three different maps with this book: (1) the Dearborn map described in Streeter’s 1172A, (2) an 1836 issue of the important Mitchell-Young map of Texas (see Streeter 1178), and (3) the present map, which is copied very closely from the 1835 Bradford map of Texas. Comparing the Parker-[Bradford] map with a copy we have in hand of the Bradford map (labeled 64.A.) from Bradford’s 1835 atlas, we find a few differences. The paper with the Parker-[Bradford] map is thin, and in the atlas version, the paper is quite thick. The southern border of the Parker-[Bradford] map is about a half degree further north than shown in the Bradford atlas map. The Parker-[Bradford] map does not locate Camargo, El Rincon, and Laguna de Santander, which are shown on the Bradford atlas map. The captions for Tamaulipas and “Mustangs or Wild Horses” have been moved slightly north and west. On the Parker-[Bradford] map, the caption “Longitude West from London” is in the center of the lower border; the caption “Longitude West from Washington” is in the center of the upper border—whereas in the Bradford atlas map these designations are to the left. The grants on the Parker-[Bradford] map are shaded pale yellow; on the Bradford atlas map, they are outlined in various colors. If anyone ever prepares a much-needed cartobibliography of the Bradford Texas maps, the present map should be included in that analysis.

            The two plates included in the pagination are the same as the plates in the first edition, but here they are printed without titles. Jenkins Catalogue (The Texas Revolution) 188:169: “The gilt Lone Star flag on [the] spine [is] the first pictorial representation of the Lone Star of Texas.” ($5,000-$10,000)

Sold. Hammer: $7,500.00; Price Realized: $8,812.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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