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Wrede in Original Boards

German Napoleonic Veteran emigrates to Texas & is scalped near Austin


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561.     WREDE, Fr[iedrich] W[ilhelm] von. Lebensbilder aus den vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika und Texas, gesammelt von Fr. W. v. Wrede, Königl. Hannov. Hauptmann a. D. und Bürger der Republik Texas. In der Fortsetzung nach Tagebüchern und mündlichen Mittheilungen bearbeitet von E.D. Selbstverlag. Cassel: Theodor Fischer, 1844. [4], [i] ii-v [1, blank], 1-324 pp. 8vo (20 x 12.5 cm), original black paper-covered boards, remains of pale blue printed paper spine label. Fragile binding somewhat worn and chipped, joints heavily rubbed, small piece missing from lower spine, corners bumped and rubbed, small ink stamp on title verso, interior very fine, overall a fine, unsophisticated copy. Contemporary ink name on title. Bookbinder ticket of E. Kremp in Wongrowitz on upper pastedown.

     First edition, second issue, in original boards, with continuous pagination, and reprinted table of contents found at front (the first issue was two parts in wraps and with two partial tables of content, the second inserted between pages 160 and 161). Buck 305. Clark, Old South III:259: “His itinerary included New Orleans, Natchitoches, Baton Rouge, Natchez, St. Louis, various points in Illinois and Missouri, a return to New Orleans [and] Texas.” Graff 4751. Howes W690. Hubach, Early Midwestern Travel Narratives, p. 83. Vandale 198. Streeter 1560:

These Lebensbilder include accounts of three visits to Texas made by Captain Wrede, a retired officer of the Hannover army, who came to the United States in the year 1835 with his wife and teen-age son to seek better opportunities than were available in Germany. Most of his stay was in New Orleans. The first Texas visit was from February to May, 1836 (pp. 16-42), the second from May to September, 1838 (pp. 123-160), and the third from May to September, 1841 (pp. 180-187). The accounts are excellent source material for conditions in Texas at the time. It appears from the preface to the second half, following page 160, signed by Emil Drescher and dated October 12, 1844, that Drescher was acting as editor of the remaining letters. A letter of the latter given on page 309 and dated Cassel, September 7, 1844, says that Wrede had returned to Germany in 1843 and that he had been put on the staff of the Mainzer Verein and had left for Texas in September, 1844. His son, who had been appointed secretary to Prince Solms, had left for Texas somewhat earlier. The Appendix (pp. 311-324) gives the text of the announcement of the Mainzer Verein dated at the end, Mainz, June, 1844, and a letter of the elder Wrede dated at Frankfort “end of August, 1844,” answering attacks on the Verein that had appeared in the Frankforten Journal. Biesele in his German Settlements reports (p. 182) the killing of Captain Wrede by the Indians in October, 1845.

     Chester W. Geue translated and edited the present work, which was published in 1970 as Sketches of Life in the United States of North America and Texas. See Handbook of Texas Online: Friedrich Wilhelm von Wrede, Sr. (1786-1845).



Auction 22 Abstracts

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