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Pingenot Auction, Lot 140



140. HOUSTOUN, Matilda C. Texas and the Gulf of Mexico; or Yachting in the New World, or Yachting in the New World. London: John Murray, 1844. viii, 314 + viii, 360 pp., 10 lithographed and wood-engraved plates, including city views of Galveston, Houston, and Havana, portraits of Sam Houston and Santa Anna, etc. 2 vols., 8vo, publisher’s original plain mauve wrappers, original dark green gilt-lettered cloth backstrips. An exceptionally fine copy of this work, the plates and text wonderfully fresh. Preserved in a maroon cloth slipcase.
        First edition. Basic Texas Books 97: "This sprightly account was written by a wealthy English lady who visited Texas in 1842 in her husband’s private yacht. Her view of the Texans is surprisingly free of snobbery, although she viewed them with the same paternalism that the English of her day viewed all non-Englishmen. Moreover, she had that rare gift of intellect and character that enabled her to perceive the idiosyncrasies of the Texans without the bitterness and mockery of Dickens or Mrs. Trollope. Her narrative is so light and breezy that it is easy to shrug it off as superficial; in fact, she gives us some exceptional insights into Texas of the 1840s." Clark III:182. Howes H693. Raines, p. 230. Streeter 1506: "Mrs. Houstoun, accompanied by her husband, Captain Houstoun of the 10th Hussars, sailed from England...on their yacht the Dolphin in September, 1843, and after stops at the Azores, Barbados, Jamaica and New Orleans, entered Galveston Harbor....This is a pleasant and quite readable account of life at Galveston, with an excursion to the ‘up country’ of a wealthy English couple in the winter of 1843-1844." Winegarten, Texas Women’s History Project Bibliography, p. 221.
        The Texas lithographs are included in Holman and Tyler’s preliminary research on nineteenth-century Texas lithographs. They are beautifully executed by the excellent English firm of Day and Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen. The "Alpine" Houston view, while apocryphal, may well be the first published view of the city, and served as the prototype for several later views showing the city in the midst of mountains.
(2 vols.)