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Auction 6: Lots 21-30

Rare and Large Lithograph of El Paso — circa 1852

19. [EL PASO]. Falls on Rio Grande at El Paso, Flouring Mills of Simeon Hart Esq. New York: J. & D. Major, [ca. 1851-53]. Hand colored toned lithograph. Image: 37.4 x 51.0 cm. (14-3/4 x 20 inches); image with text: 39.8 x 51.0 cm. (15-11/16 x 20 inches). Light surface soiling and staining (mainly confined to top), three small voids (affecting only a bit of sky and right blank margin), approximately five tears at top (no losses). Mounted on acid-free paper.

We trace only one other copy of this extremely rare lithograph of El Paso (the Amon Carter Museum copy: see their 1972 Catalogue, entry 1775). Ron Tyler comments in a preliminary version of his forthcoming work on Texas lithographs "So far as I know this is a unique copy, probably made by one of the artists on the boundary survey." A tranquil scene with only a few adobe buildings along the river, majestic mountains in the background, and cactus in the foreground, beautifully colored in subdued hues. Simeon Hart (1816-1874, New Handbook III:492), who came to the Southwest in 1848, married a Chihuahuan, and established his flour mill in El Paso about 1850. He negotiated his first flour contracts with the U.S. Army in that year, and by 1860 his assets amounted to $350,000 making him the richest man in the area. A staunch secessionist at the outbreak of the Civil War, Hart's support of the Confederate cause cost him dearly. During Reconstruction his properties were seized and sold for $3,000 to his ideological enemy, W. W. Mills. Following a long legal battle which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Hart was able to recover his properties, but only shortly before his death in 1874. The Majors' firm was at the Broadway address on this lithograph from 1851 to 1853 (America on Stone, p. 271).
($2,500-5,000) $4,600.00

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20. FISHER, Samuel Rhoads (1794-1876). Manuscript certification of indebtedness for $26.71 of the Provisional Government of Texas, signed by Fisher, Charles Willson (Judge of the Jurisdiction of Matagorda) and Peter Kinsey (to whom the certification is made). [Matagorda?], February 16, 1836. 1 p., oblong 12mo. Two small round voids at left margin where seal removed (loss of three words).

Samuel Rhoads Fisher, a Signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, came to Texas in 1830, engaged in coast trading, and represented the Matagorda Municipality in the Convention of 1836. He served as Sam Houston's Secretary of the Navy (New Handbook II:1012). Charles Willson (New Handbook VI:1003) represented Matagorda at the Convention of 1833 and the Consultation of 1835. He was the first judge of the municipality of Matagorda. ($250-450) $402.50

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21. GERSHWIN, Ira (1896-1983). Silver print photographic portrait, signed: "For Jeff Marsh, With best wishes / Ira Gershwin." Very fine.

Photograph of the noted American composer, wearing a white monogrammed shirt and bow tie, cigar in mouth, pen in hand writing on a manuscript.
($500-750) $575.00

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President Grant appoints Bristol to the Supreme Court of New Mexico Territory

Item 22

22. GRANT, Ulysses S. (1822-1885). Engraved appointment completed in manuscript, signed by President Grant and Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, appointing Warren Bristol to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Territory of New Mexico. Washington, April 24, 1872. 1 p., oblong folio. Embossed seal of the United States. Creased where formerly folded. Splits at four fold edges and at fold junctures.

Grant, a true American folk-hero, was eighteenth president of the U.S. (1869-77) and General and Chief of the Union Army. For us the interest in this rather pedestrian document lies in its connection to New Mexico Territory. This would make a nice addition to a New Mexico collection of presidential autographs.

Beautiful Set of Oliver Wendell Holmes' Collected Works—Association Copy

Item 23 - detail

23. HOLMES, Oliver Wendell (1809-1894). Life and Letters.... [and] The Works.... Boston & New York: Houghton, Mifflin, [1896]. 15 vols., complete (numerous photogravure plates, some duplicate proof plates in color), 8vo, original three-quarter crimson levant morocco, spines gilt with raised bands, t.e.g. Association copy, Vol. 1 signed in ink by author's son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and dated June 5, 1926. Tipped in is an autograph letter, signed, by Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.) to Joseph B. Boyd, dated November 5, 1838, containing what Holmes describes as "a little occasional poem which has not seen and is not likely to see the light" (1 p., 4to, integral address and red ink circular postal mark for Boston on verso). Book plate of William Bartholomay on front free endpaper of each volume. Very fine, bright set with extra plates.

"Artists' Edition" (#266 of 750 copies), with the extra plates. BAL 9214. The author's son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., served as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and is considered the shining light in the history of the Supreme Court.

24. HOLMES, Oliver Wendell, Jr. (1841-1935). Autograph letter, signed, to William Bartholomay, Jr., Esq., written on printed stationery of the Supreme Court of the United States. Washington, D. C., June 6, 1926, 1 p., 12mo. Very fine.

The writer, the celebrated Supreme Court Justice, refers to his father’s published writings (see preceding entry) and how he signed the first volume of the preceding set ("The first volume of my father's writings was received yesterday and I wrote my name on a flyleaf"). We believe it would best if this letter and the preceding set could be kept together.

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Rare Texas Land Scrip—An Early Houston Imprint, Signed by Sam Houston

25. HOUSTON, Samuel (1793-1863). Printed land scrip completed in manuscript, signed by Sam Houston as President of the Republic of Texas and Asa Brigham (see 10 herein) as acting Secretary of the Treasury, commencing: Republic of Texas. Land Scrip. No._ 640 Acres of Land.... Houston: Telegraph Press, [1837]. Folio broadside with typographical ornamented border. Creased where formerly folded, uniform light browning and some pale waterstaining (confined to lower blank margin). With Sam Houston's exceptionally fine and large flourishing "I am Houston" signature. Framed and under glass. Rare.

A superb Republic of Texas imprint, and a great item for a Houston collection, being a very early Houston imprint, signed by its namesake, Sam Houston, and referring to one of the founders of Houston, John K. Allen. This imprint was printed on the Telegraph Press in Houston in the year the town was founded (for background on the beginning of printing in Houston, see Streeter's article on Texas newspapers in Appendix A following the first part of his bibliography on Texas). The text appoints John K. Allen (New Handbook I:111) as lawful agent for the Republic of Texas to oversee the fulfillment of obligations related to the land scrip. Allen and his brother, Augustus C. Allen, rendered valuable aid to Texas during the Revolution and afterwards by raising loans on Texas lands and expediting financial backing for the struggling Texans. The present land scrip is an example of such efforts.

This handsome imprint was preceded by an earlier variant (see Criswell 36B; not mentioning the present issue). The earlier form was dated 1836; designated 320 rather than 640 acres; appointed Thomas Toby of New Orleans as agent rather than John K. Allen; and was printed at Columbia rather than Houston (undoubtedly there are other differences for the purchaser to discover). A splendid piece in every respect.
($4,000-6,000) $6,325.00

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26. HOUSTON, Samuel (1793-1863). Autograph letter, signed, to W. M. Fulton in Lakeland, New York. Washington D.C., January 18, 1859. 2 pp., 8vo. Small void filled at lower right corner (only a few letters are affected).

Houston, writing during his last year as U.S. Senator from Texas, sympathetically responds to a constituent's request for assistance and a possible pension for his mother. In an aside Houston comments: "In March next my term will be out and I will not return." Houston suggests Governor Floyd or Mr. Caskey as persons who might be in a position to help. It is interesting to compare Houston's flamboyant signature on the preceding land scrip with this much later signature. Though Houston's signature is still extravagant, one can see a bit of shakiness in the old war horse's writing, and even more severe storms were yet to come.
($1,500-3,000) $1,725.00

Item 27, detail

27. JONES, Anson (1798-1858). Printed Republic of Texas Treasury Warrant, completed in manuscript, signed by Anson Jones as Secretary of State, Charles Mason as Auditor, and James B. Shaw as Comptroller. Washington-on-the-Brazos, November 7, 1844. Fine.

This treasury warrant has more than passing interest because it relates to Republic of Texas printing, being in the amount of $100.00 for "printing the laws and journals of the 8th Congress." Anson Jones (New Handbook II:976-77), physician, public official, and last president of the Republic of Texas, was Secretary of State under Sam Houston at the time this warrant was issued. Jones was elected President of the Republic of Texas in September of 1844 and took office about one month after he signed this warrant.
($200-400) $373.75

"The Very Best American Battle Scenes in Existence"—Bennett

28. KENDALL, George W. & Carl Nebel. The War between the United States and Mexico Illustrated, Embracing Pictorial Drawings of all the Principal Conflicts by Carl Nebel...with a Description of each Battle. New York & Philadelphia: Appleton, 1851. [4] 52 pp., lithographed map: Map of the Operations of the American Army in the Valley of Mexico in August and September 1847 (text, large folio, original red cloth backstrip over cream printed wrappers) + 12 hand-finished colored lithographic plates (large folio, original three-quarter red cloth over marbled boards, original cloth ties). Text wrappers slightly chipped and browned; portfolio covers slightly rubbed; occasional mild foxing to text. The incredible plates are very fine and bright, with only occasional mild foxing (for the most part entirely confined to blank margins). Each of the plates has been professionally de-acidified and stabilized. Overall, a fine set.

First edition. Bennett, American Nineteenth Century Color Plate Books, p. 65: "The very best American battle scenes in existence." Garrett, Mexican-American War, p. 31. Haferkorn, p. 47. Holman & Tyler, Texas Lithographs of the Nineteenth Century: "An extraordinary portfolio...Palo Alto being the only Texas scene.... Probably the finest lithographic view of Texas produced in the nineteenth century." Howes K76. Peters, America on Stone, p. 295. Tyler, The Mexican War, a Lithographic Record, p. 11: "Magnificently produced portfolio by...the first modern war correspondent"; p. 18: "Of all the Mexican War lithographs, perhaps the dozen by Kendall and Nebel are the most popular, as well as the most accurate."
($15,000-25,000) $17,250.00

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29. LAMAR, Mirabeau B. (1798-1859). Engraved Republic of Texas bond completed in manuscript, signed by Lamar on October 1, 1840, as President of the Republic of Texas. Text commences: Government Bond, Payable to Holder.... The Republic of Texas Promises to Pay to [Charles DeMorse].... New Orleans: Endicott & Clark, [1840]. Vignette of Vulcan at his forge at center, cattle at left, bull at upper right, steamship with Texas flag at lower right, and five point star at bottom. All coupons present; triangular clip cancel. Three small tears repaired at upper margin, else fine.

Republic of Texas $100 bond at 8% interest, issued under the Act of February 5, 1840. Also signed by bondholder Charles DeMorse. Criswell 40A. New Handbook II:591-92
($100-200) $345.00

30. LAMAR, Mirabeau B. (1798-1859). Engraved Republic of Texas bond completed in manuscript, signed by Lamar on January 1, 1841, as President of the Republic of Texas. Text commences: Government Bond, Payable to Holder Receivable for All Government Dues.... The Republic of Texas promises to pay to [Charles DeMorse] Stock Commissioner or Order Five Hundred Dollars.... New Orleans: Endicott & Clark, [1840]. Vignette of Native American at center, man with oxen plowing field at left, and five-point star at bottom. All coupons present; clip cancels, short tear to one fold.

Republic of Texas $500 bond at 8% interest, issued under the Act of February 5, 1840. Also signed by bondholder Charles DeMorse. Criswell 40B.
($100-200) $517.50

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