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1878 Guide to Texas with Large Map & Numerous Text Engravings

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494.     ROCK, James & W.I. Smith. Southern and Western Texas Guide for 1878. St. Louis: A.H. Granger, Publisher, 1878. [1-6] 7-282 [2] pp., steel-engraved frontispiece portrait of T.H. Peirce (by the American Bank Note Company), numerous engraved views in Texas, map with original full color: Map of Texas to Accompany Granger’s Southern and Western Texas Guide [lower right below scale] Engraved and Published by Rand, McNally & Co. Map Engravers, Chicago, Ill. [another map on verso] Map of the United States to Accompany Grangers Southern and Western Texas Guide), neat line to neat line: 63.5 x 40.8 cm; scale: 1 inch = 20 miles; lower right. 8vo (22.5 x 15.5 cm), original gilt-lettered green cloth, upper cover with title, banner, and lone star in gilt, spine with title in fancy gilt lettering. Binding a bit scuffed and abraded, lower hinge open, frontispiece portrait and title heavily foxed, text fine, map with a few clean splits, but no losses, overall a very good copy, gilt on binding bright. Frequently lacking the map of Texas.

     First edition. Adams, Herd 1927: “Rare.” Bradford 4687. CBC (140 entries). Day, Maps of Texas, p. 94. Eberstadt, Texas 162:690. Howes R389. Kelsey, Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554-1900, pp. 212-216. This is an excellent, reliable, and well-illustrated guide to Texas, with essays on each county and major town, information on military posts, postal service, railroads, stagecoach lines, real estate, mining, and agriculture. The chapter on stock raising gives precise guidelines for establishing a cattle ranch. The accounts of Richard King and Thomas O’Connor tell how they built their fabulous empires, tempered with this advice: “Results are achieved only through industry and perseverance.” The Rand, McNally map is typical of their detailed cartographical productions, with a modern look and sensibility.

     The work was published when there was a flurry of activity to encourage emigration to Texas and promote railroads. A very rosy view of Texas is presented, augmented with wood-engraved text illustrations of town and country scenes and architecture. Dr. Kelsey in Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554-1900 remarks that the work promotes the towns on the International and Great Northern Railroad and comments: “This may be the first book to illustrate Texas county courthouses, built to attract business to aspiring new towns. These early courthouse images have become important historical records.” Several of the courthouses shown are not extant (p. 158).

     Thomas Wentworth Peirce (1818-1885), whose portrait is the frontispiece of the book, was a Yankee railroad magnate who made his fortune in Texas railroads, especially the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway Company. He was involved with C.P. Huntington in completing the line from New Orleans to California. When he died he owned more than 700,000 acres of Texas land because of his railroad activities. See Handbook of Texas Online and Item 297 herein.


Sold. Hammer: $350.00; Price Realized: $420.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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