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229.     [HUGHES, William George, et al.]. G.T.T. Gone to Texas: Letters from Our Boys. Edited by Thomas Hughes. New York: MacMillan and Co., 1884. [iv] vi-xiii [1, blank], [2], [1-3] 4-228 pp. 12mo, original dark green cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Light shelf wear (lower corners and tail of spine frayed), light oval spot on spine from removal of label, text block cracked at pp. 80/81, hinges weak, occasional light browning to text (especially on pastedowns and front free endpapers).

     First American edition, the U.S. issue without Oxford printer’s imprint on last page. Adams, Herd 1091: “Scarce.” Basic Texas Books 98B. Clark, New South I:108: “It is a capital book and gives an excellent account of cattle and sheep ranching in Texas. There is much data on English sheep, Angora goats, German settlers, cotton culture, Mexican laborers, and wages in Texas from 1878 to 1884. One of the best accounts of Texas immigrants and ranch life of the period. Extremely valuable.” Eberstadt, Texas 162:421. Rader 1974. Raines, p. 121.

     This highly entertaining, humorous, and literate account contains letters from three young Englishmen who, being dissatisfied with their prospects in England, bought acreage near Boerne, Texas, in 1878, and by 1883 had a much expanded, successful cattle, sheep, and horse ranch. Their letters were edited by their uncle Thomas Hughes, noted author of the English classic, Tom Brown’s School Days. William George (Willy) Hughes (1859-1902), the chief letter writer, was an early importer of high quality breeding sheep to Texas and one of the first to integrate Angora goats into his operations. He also initiated a breeding program between native mustangs and his registered Arabian stallion, resulting in a horse used by the United States Cavalry.

     The title G.T.T. stands for “Gone to Texas,” a term that entered the language in the first half of the nineteenth century when Texas had the reputation for producing and giving refuge to outlaws and rascals of every ill ilk. Editor Thomas Hughes remarks on the term in the preface to this work: “When we want to say that it is all up with some fellow, we just say, ‘G.T.T.’ as you’d say, ‘gone to the devil,’ or ‘gone to the dogs.’”


Sold. Hammer: $300.00; Price Realized: $360.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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