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AUCTION 22

 

Give Me Land, Lots of Land—Burlage in Boards


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87.     BURLAGE, John & J.B. Hollingsworth. Abstract of Valid Land Claims, Compiled from the Records of the General Land Office and Court of Claims, of the State of Texas, by John Burlage and J.B. Hollingsworth. Austin: Printed by John Marshall & Co., at the State Gazette Office, 1859. [i-iv] v-vii [1, blank], [1] 2-670 pp. 8vo (26.6 x 16 cm), original three-quarter sheep over original tan boards, remains of dark blue paper spine label with title in ink. Spine and lower board chipped at junction, spine and upper joint repaired with cello tape, some paper wanting from upper board, upper hinge open, first signature browned and water-stained, light waterstain to first quarter of text block and last few leaves, scattered light browning. Despite these defects, a perfectly acceptable copy of a rare book still basically in original condition. With ink signature and ink stamp of A.Y. Creager of Sherman, Texas (on pastedown, rear flyleaf, and p. 101). Presentation inscription on front flyleaf: “W. Sandsom’s[?] book presented by J. Benton Hollingsworth, June 4th day 1861.” Affixed upside down to lower pastedown is a broadside ad for two firms: Tarleton & Burlage and Hollingsworth & Bros., both of whom specialize in law and land. Rare in commerce; we trace one copy in auction records, American Book Prices Current 1954-1955 ($50, Sotheby’s, modern cloth, title and last 2 pages in facsimile).

     First edition. Basic Texas Books 204C: “One of the essential research tools on Texas lands and their settlement…. Later editions were published as more and more of the Texas public lands were put up for sale or granted for service. Most of these editions list grantees by county. The Burlage and Hollingsworth edition of 1859 is especially useful because it is arranged alphabetically by grantee.” Eberstadt, Texas 162:100: “A laboriously detailed and absolutely indispensable work for the early days of bitterly disputed land cases, listing tens of thousands of claims.” Howes B990. Raines, p. 245 (calling for 70 pp.). Winkler 1144.

     This work is a successor of a publication issued in 1838, which was the first compilation of land titles for Texas (Streeter 270, "Texas Domesday Book"). Included are titles issued under Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the State of Texas. Various types of grants, such as headright certificates and bounty and donation warrants, are set out, including “‘Donation Warrants,’ claims that were issued to all persons who participated in the battle of San Jacinto, the siege of Bexar, in the action of the 19th of March, 1836, under the command of Cols. Fannin and Ward, and those who fell at the Alamo, under the command of Bowie and Travis.” Although each succeeding edition would replough some of the same ground as its predecessors, each new publication stands in its own right. This was the largest such compilation at the time and superseded previous works. Given the vast amounts of land at stake, demand for such works was obviously great in Texas, as the authors remark in their preface: “In offering this work to the public, we believe we supply a desideratum long needed by those in the least interested in Texas land matters; owing to the many frauds that have been, and are still practiced on the uninformed relative to what are good and genuine claims for land against the State of Texas.” A note in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly for July, 1945, Vol. XLIX, p. 126, states, “Since Texas retained her public land when she entered the Union, other volumes of abstracts of titles followed until the series now numbers over sixty volumes.”

($750-1,500)

Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,800.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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