Dorothy Sloan -- Books

Copyright 2000- by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.


October 26, 2007

Apparently the First Lithograph of a Texas Cowboy

230. ROBERTS, O[ran] M[ilo]. A Description of Texas, Its Advantages and Resources, with Some Account of Their Development, Past, Present and Future. St. Louis: Gilbert Book Co., 1881. [2], x, [17]-133 [1 blank] pp., woodcut frontispiece portrait of Governor Roberts; 8 unattributed vivid chromolithograph plates, image size of each approximately 9.5 x 16 cm: [1] Indian Chief, [2] Mexicans, [3] Farmer & Negro, [4] Texian Hare, [5] Catching Cattle With Lasso, [6] Looking After Hogs, [7] Using Mules as a Conveyance, and [8] Manner of Driving Oxen; 5 lithograph maps, 4 with original hand coloring, numbered 1 to 5, thematic: [1] railroads, [2] geological regions, [3] climate areas, [4] minerals, and [5] vegetation. 8vo (23.5 x 16 cm), original brown cloth stamped in black and gilt (gilt seal of Texas). Spine extremities slightly worn, binding lightly spotted and with light shelf wear, corners slightly bumped, text block cracked, last signature and maps detached, one leaf (pp. 37-38) with insect damage costing a few letters, overall a good copy in original binding, the plates fresh and bright. On p. 33 and front pastedown are ink signatures of noted San Antonio attorney, jurist, and businessman John Herndon James (1852-1912), son of noted Texas surveyor John James (see entry herein). Ink stamps of the venerable Gammel Book Store of Austin are on front pastedown. A pencil note on front pastedown indicates that the price was marked down from $1 to 25 cents.

            First edition. Bradford 4667. Clark, Travels in the New South I:185: “Roberts was governor of Texas when he wrote this account. He had traveled over the state as a lawyer, 1841-60, and after the war had settled down and taught law. This is a worth-while account, somewhat historical and somewhat exaggerated, of the resources and advantages of Texas by one who was familiar with the state.”  Eberstadt, Texas 162:287. Howes R344. Raines, p. 175. In an unpublished manuscript on nineteenth-century lithographs, Ron Tyler lists the chromolithographs in this book with a special discussion of the plate “Catching Cattle with Lasso,” noting that it is apparently the first lithograph of a Texas cowboy, preceding Siringo’s 1885 depiction. (On pp. 117-120 is a good discussion cattle ranching, saddles, lassoing, and horsemanship, giving credit to the Mexican vaquero). The other plates present by turns both factual and fanciful stereotypical images concerning the state, including a “Texian Hare,” a colossal jackrabbit that overpowers even the vast Texas landscape and strains credulity. Dr. Kelsey notes the wood-engraved portrait of Roberts (Engraved Prints of Texas 1554-1900, p. 258).

            Oran Milo Roberts (1815-1898), a native of South Carolina, moved to Texas in 1841, where he practiced law. After holding numerous judicial and legislative appointments, he was elected U.S. Senator, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and finally, governor of Texas. The construction of the present Texas state capitol building and the University were both started during his tenure as governor. He was a founder of the Texas State Historical Association. ($750-1,500)

Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $881.25

Auction 21 Abstracts

Click images or links labeled Enlarge to enlarge. Links labeled Zoom open zoomable images.

Auction 21 | DSRB Home | e-mail: