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1885 New Mexico Promotional

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437.     [NEW MEXICO]. MILLS, T.B. New Mexico. San Miguel County, Illustrated. Its Health, Wealth, Resources and Advantages. Prepared for the World’s Exposition at New Orleans in 1884-85, By T.B. Mills, Commissioner, Las Vegas, New Mexico, U.S.A. First Edition. Las Vegas, New Mexico: J.A. Carruth, Printer and Binder, 1885. [1-3] 4-52 pp., wood-engraved text illustrations (some full page) of architecture (business, official, and domestic) and scenes. 8vo (21.7 x 14.8 cm), original stitched yellow printed wrappers with ads on versos, upper wrap with title and imprint within ornamental border, lower wrap with wood-engraved map of rail lines from Kansas City to San Francisco by both the northern and southern routes and routes south into Mexico as far as Durango and Guaymas: Map of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, Leased Lines and Connections. Poole Bros., Map Engr’s, Chicago. [text in box at lower right] When you Want Notarial and Corporation Seals and Blanks, Mining Stock Certificates…Write to Geo. W. Crane & Co., Topeka, Kansas; neat line to neat line: 11.3 x 19.5 cm. Wraps: Moderately chipped with loss of several corners, upper portion and lower half of spine; a few tears (one intruding into map, but no loss); moderate to light staining and old tape repairs. Text: except for light marginal waterstaining to a few leaves (not affecting text), interior is fine. Lacks folding Rand McNally map sometimes found with the work. Rare. OCLC locates five copies.

     First edition. Howes M631. Rader 2404. Not in Adams, Herd. “The Live Stock Business” and “Stock Raising” are discussed at pp. 13-15 and 24-27, the latter accompanied by a full-page woodcut of The Cattle Ranch of Hon. Trinidad Romero. Romero (1835-1918), a member of one of oldest and most prominent Hispanic families of New Mexico, was an important businessman and political leader in the area. Along with ranch holdings and other businesses, he held appointments as a probate judge and a U.S. marshal. He was also a delegate to the Territorial Assembly and later to the U.S. Congress from New Mexico.

     The pamphlet, basically intended to promote New Mexico, San Miguel County, and Las Vegas itself, opens with a description of the fair, including directions on how to get there. Naturally, one takes the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, some advantages of which are enumerated. One may order such items from the menu as “ham sandwiches, tongue sandwiches, bread and butter, boiled eggs, oysters, fruit, milk and cream,” all the while enjoying the sleeper cars, which are “the perfection of grace and convenience” (p. 7). The author first gives a history of New Mexico, covering topics such as mining, climate, livestock, agriculture, and railroads, then discusses San Miguel County, Las Vegas Hot Springs (owned by the railroad), and Las Vegas itself. All of these areas are described in some detail and their numerous advantages touted. The last four pages answer the question: “Is there a future for Las Vegas?” Mills, of course, sees the future as bright: “Its present inherent advantages insure its continued, steady, and permanent growth, while the speculative prospects are decidedly brilliant” (p. 49).

     The illustrations are all calculated to project an image of solidity, prosperity, and growth, and all relate either to San Miguel County, or Las Vegas itself. The Las Vegas Hot Springs resort is given prominent play, including a handsome full-page engraving of the present facility and another smaller view of the facility as it appeared in 1883, before it burned to the ground. The wood engravings were commissioned from various sources, such as Mills Engraving Company in Denver, Rand McNally in Chicago, and the Poole Bros. in Chicago. Regrettably, the individual artists are not identified.

At the time of this pamphlet, author T.B. Mills represented San Miguel County in the New Mexico Legislature and served as the county’s commissioner at the New Orleans World’s Exposition. His ad, which appears inside the back wrapper, describes him as a real estate dealer, a commission merchant engaged in selling securities (such as warrants and land scrip), and the publisher of The Mining World.


Sold. Hammer: $250.00; Price Realized: $300.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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