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A Quasi-Fictional Account of the Second French Colony in Texas


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106.     [CHAMP D’ASILE]. [ROY, Just-Jean-Étienne]. Les aventures d’un Capitaine Français, planteur au Texas, ancien réfugié du Champ d’Asile par Just Girard [pseudonym]. Tours: Ad Mame et Cie, Imprimeur-Libraires, 1860. [4], 185 [1, blank] pp., frontispiece plate of French officer meeting Native Americans in Texas (Cette cérémonie, passablement grotesque, coûta à la colonie force tafia). 8vo (22 x 14 cm), original navy blue gilt decorated boards, a.e.g. Fragile French board binding worn (extremities chipped, joints open but holding, general shelf wear, especially to covers). Interior very good except for mild to moderate foxing to first and last signatures.

     Second edition of a very popular French fiction on Texas. The first edition appeared in Paris in 1858, and after the present 1860 edition, there followed editions in 1862, 1864, 1866, 1868, 1872, and later. An edition in English appeared at New York ca. 1876-1878, under title: The Adventures of a French Captain, at present a planter in Texas, formerly a Refugee of Camp Asylum…Translated by the Lady Blanche Murphy (Raines, p. 94: “Smacks somewhat of the marvelous”). Howes R479: “Fictionalized, but reasonably authentic, account of the French settlement at Champ d’Asile.” Lagarde, The French in Texas, p. 325 (1862 edition). Monaghan 1273 (cites a 1879 edition but states: “This book was first published, according to Lorenz, in 1860.” Rader 2844n (1879 edition). Streeter comments in his note to entry 1077: “The account has the appearance of being for the most part factual, but the retelling of some of L’Heritier’s stories as if true, such as the dances to which the inhabitants of the neighboring town of San Antonio were invited, casts doubts on its being first hand, and part in any event is fiction.”

     Monaghan remarks of the author: “Roy (1794-1870) was one of the most prolific popular writers of his time. Just Girard was one of the several pseudonyms that he often employed. He travelled widely and his travel accounts were extremely popular; he is said to have travelled in Mexico during the 1850s when it is possible that he might have visited Texas. J.S. Reeves, an authority upon French exiles in America, states that his book contains much historical background and that, despite its fictional form, it has a considerable historical value.” (On Champ d’Asile, see Item 107 herein.)


Sold. Hammer: $150.00; Price Realized: $180.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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