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Très Rare Texana Français—Avec une charte de la République de Texas

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196.     FOURNEL, Henri [Jérôme Marie]. Coup d’Oeil Historique et Statistique sur le Texas. Paris: Delloye, Libraire-Éditeur, Place de la Bourse [title verso: Paris.-Imprimerie de Schneider et Langrand, rue d’Erfurth, 1], Avril, 1844. [1-3], 4-57 pp., lithograph folding map, boundaries with original hand coloring: Carte du Texas, Extraite de la grande Carte du Mexique par A. Brué Géographe du Roi; revue, corrigée et considerablement augmentée, d’après des documens récens et des resignemens fournis par Mr. le Docteur Fc. Leclerc, par Ch. Picquet, Géographe du Roi et de Mongr le Duc d’Orléans. Paris, 1840 [below neat line] Lith. de Thierry frères à Paris | Paris, chez Ches. Picquet, Quai Conti No. 17 près de l’Institut; neat line to neat line: 27.3 x 32.6 cm; overall sheet size 32 x 47 cm, graphic scales in “Myriamètres” and “Ligues d’Espagne” (about 75 miles to the inch). 8vo (25.3 x 17 cm), original pink printed wrappers, title within ruled border with type ornaments at corners, lower wrap with brief printer’s imprint and cut of steamship. Wrappers lightly stained and slightly worn, first few leaves with light waterstain at upper blank margin and light to moderate stains in lower blank margin. Overall a very good copy of a publication very rare in commerce. The map is fine. The last copy we find on the market was Streeter’s copy at his auction in 1966 (Streeter Sale 372; fetched $90).

     First edition. Bradford 1751. Howes F296. Kress Library of Economic Literature 32006.11. Rader 1457. Raines, p. 85. Sabin 25288. Streeter 1378: “This is an excellent, brief account of Texas, written by a French mining engineer who the previous year had published in Paris Du travail des haute fourneaux dans l’Amérique du Nord et de l’établissement des haute fourneaux dans l’Arkansas. In the introduction, dated at the end April 21, 1841, Fournel expresses his debt to various talks he had had with General James Hamilton, then in Paris negotiating with bankers for a loan to Texas. Otherwise the text seems to be based on secondary sources…. The note to Henri Castro’s Le Texas in 1845, Paris, 1845 (entry No. 1570) refers to a claim by his son Lorenzo that this pamphlet was written by his father.” Sabin 25288.

     This glowing account of Texas—a country with astonishing progress that is so little known but deserves to be known, Fournel states—pays compliments to both the heroism from which it was born and the progress to which it is susceptible. Written by a mining engineer, it opens immediately with the salient fact that founder Moses Austin was a miner. But ever a Frenchman, he also gives credit to Lasalle, who had “l’honneur d’avoir assisté à la naissance du Texas.” After giving a brief, correct, and enthusiastic account of the Texas Revolution, Fournel spends the rest of his work discussing Texas in general. He includes geographic divisions, coastal features, rivers, population, and agricultural products. He closes with the confident prediction that if Mexico were to be so foolish as to attempt to reconquer the country now, the outcome would undoubtedly be the same as before.  Fournel (1799-1876), mining engineer, surveyor, cartographer, geologist, geographer, and historian, worked for private individuals and the French government. His most important post was that of mineral surveyor in Algeria, to which he turned his attention shortly after this book was published. He was one of the early promoters of the Suez Canal and involved in French railroad development.

     The map is the same as that which appeared in Leclerc’s Le Texas et sa révolution (Paris, 1840; Streeter 1362 & Phillips, America, p. 843). It is based on the Picquet-Brué map of Texas, but with additions, including Austin, Waco, and wagon roads not previously mapped. The large, fine map alone would garner great interest by itself, but having it in the pamphlet, as it issued, is most desirable.


Sold. Hammer: $4,600.00; Price Realized: $5,520.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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