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87. DAVIS, W[illiam] W. H. The Spanish Conquest
of New Mexico. Doylestown: Privately published, 1869.
438 pp., steel-engraved frontispiece portrait. Tall 8vo,
original blind-embossed green cloth, gilt title. Minimal
rubbing and extremity wear. Bookplate of former owner. Very
light foxing mostly affecting preliminary leaves, otherwise
a near fine copy.
First edition. Field 406: "His narrative of the prolonged hostilities between the Spaniards and the Indians, the religious rites, methods of warfare, and peculiar ceremonies of the latter, is fresh, vigorous and highly interesting." Graff 1023. Howes D141. Rader 1075. Raines, p. 64-65. Saunders 2488. Pingenot: Davis, who also wrote El Gringo: New Mexico and Her People (New York, 1857), was acting governor of New Mexico in the 1850s and had access to a great deal of previously unexamined original source material, which he relied upon heavily in preparing this hard-to-find history of early New Mexico. The period covered (1527-1703) is rich with stirring events including the wanderings of Cabeza de Vaca, the search for the Seven Cities of Cibola, the expedition of conquest by Coronado, Oñates first permanent colonization in 1591, the Indian rebellion of 1680 and the Spanish re-conquest by Diego de Vargas in 1694. This work is uncommon in any condition, and quite scarce in this near fine condition.