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A Modern Rarity & a Basic Texas Book—First History of Galveston

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218.     HAYES, Charles W[aldo]. Galveston: History of the Island and the City. Austin: Jenkins Garrett Press, [1974]. Vol. I: [6], i-xiii [1, blank], [1] 2-543 pp. (frontispiece counted as p. [6]); Vol. II: [4], [547-548] 549-1,044 pp. 2 vols., 8vo (23.5 x 16 cm), original white linen, spines lettered in brown, upper covers with brown gilt-lettered labels. Other than a few spots to upper edges of text block of first volume, very fine, in publisher’s brown board slip case.

     First published edition, printed from proofs of an 1879 edition never published. Basic Texas Books 88:

This is one of the most comprehensive histories of any area of Texas, written and set in type in the 1870s, but never published. The author had access to documents now lost, as well as to early settlers and pioneers of Galveston Island. The work contains much primary and secondary historical information on Texas unavailable elsewhere, and reaches far beyond the Galveston region….

Hayes was born in Pennsylvania, served in an Illinois company in the Civil War, was captured and imprisoned in Alabama, and became a railroad man and journalist in Galveston during Reconstruction. Hayes’ book “represents five years of work by Mr. Hayes. Upon its completion, in 1879, it was sent to Cincinnati and set in type, however the printing plant burned down destroying the plates. A single copy of the revised proofs had been sent to the publisher and this proof became the only existing copy of the most complete history ever written of Galveston. This proof copy passed through the hands of several dealers” [Larry Wygant, archivist of Rosenberg Library in Galveston], and became part of the fabled Jenkins Garrett Collection, now in the Jenkins [and Virginia] Library at the University of Texas at Arlington. Garrett and his son published the work as the initial volume of their Basic Texiana Series, making the text available to scholars for the first time….

The volume is divided into 25 chapters of chronological history, followed by a statistical section and 173 pages of biographies, including sketches of Gail Borden, X.B. DeBray, Ben C. Franklin, Levi Jones, N.D. Labadie, James Love, Francis R. Lubbock, Thomas F. McKinney, M.B. Menard, Sidney Sherman, and Samuel May Williams, almost all written with the aid of persons and material now unavailable…. [Wygant]: “Hayes consulted persons actually involved with the making of the city and he had access to newspapers, documents, and records which were destroyed long ago.” The narrative itself encompasses the recollections of many early Texans, such as Amasa Turner, Robert J. Calder, and others, and includes much on Jean Lafitte, Samuel Bangs, the Texas Revolution, the Texas Navy, the invasions of 1842, and the Civil War.


Sold. Hammer: $325.00; Price Realized: $390.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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