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Pingenot Auction, Lot 63


63. CARTER, Robert G. On the Border with Mackenzie or Winning West Texas from the Comanches. Washington: Eynon Printing Company, 1935. xviii, 542 pp., frontispiece portrait. Thick 8vo, original red cloth with gilt title on cover and backstrip. Original owner’s name in ink on front paste-down. Slight edge wear, else a fine, crisp copy, preserved in red cloth slipcase.
        First edition of a great modern military rarity. Basic Texas Books 25: "One of the best sources on the Federal cavalry campaigns against the Indians in the 1870s. Jeff Dykes described it as ‘the most complete account of the Indian wars of the Texas frontier in the seventies.’ John M. Carroll wrote that ‘Carter’s enormously important writings on frontier military history will be recognized as source material for all future historians.’ L. F. Sheffy called it ‘a splendid contribution to the early frontier history of West Texas....It is a story filled with humor and pathos, tragedies and triumphs, hunger and thirst, war and adventure’....[Carter] pulls no punches in this outspoken narrative....This is best exemplified in his vilification of his old enemy, Quanah Parker....Some chapters of the book...were printed as separate pamphlets in 1919-1920, each limited to 100 copies for private distribution to friends [these pamphlets are now very rare and costly]." Campbell, p. 177.
        Decker 48:45: "This important historical work, the original edition of which was issued in a very limited number, has been most elusive since its first publication in 1935." Dykes, Western High Spots ("Western Movement—Its Literature"), p. 18. Howes C195. Rader 611. Tate, The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Research Bibliography 3002: "Perhaps the best first-hand description of Texas military life and campaigns against Comanches and Kiowas during the turbulent 1870s. As a captain in Ranald Mackenzie’s Fourth Cavalry, Carter participated in some of the most important events, and he describes these in great detail. No one researching this phase of Comanche and Kiowa history can afford to overlook this source." Pingenot: Forty years ago, the late J. Marvin Hunter told me that when he met Captain Carter in early 1935, Carter told him he was going to have 500 copies printed. Hunter counted himself lucky to own the copy in his own collection and doubted that more than 200 copies were actually produced. See Jeff Dykes’ foreword to the reprint edition for an interesting account of this book’s publishing history.