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Pingenot Auction, Lot 163

POETIC PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

163. LAMAR, Mirabeau B. Verse Memorials. New York: W. P. Fetridge & Co., 1857. 224 pp., engraved mezzotint portrait of Lamar (Engraved By J[ohn] Sartain, Phila.). Royal 8vo, original blue embossed cloth, gilt-lettered spine, bevelled edges, a.e.g. Binding lightly darkened and worn, lower inner margins of first few signatures stained. Very good—the Dorothy and Clint Josey copy, with their bookplate. Nineteenth-century ink ownership inscription of John M. McCoy, and his bookplate with quotation: "If all the crowns of Europe were placed at my disposal on condition that I should abandon my books and studies, I should spurn the crowns away and stand by the books" (Fenelon). First edition. Library of Congress, Texas Centennial Exhibition 280. Raines, p. 135: "Some sparkling gems, evincing poetic talent. Very scarce." Vandale, Texianameter 99. Webb, Texana, Statehood 10: "After leaving Texas he returned to Georgia and in 1857 was appointed U.S. Minister to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. He published Verse Memorials while he was in Nicaragua." The portrait of Lamar was done by John Sartain (1808-1897), London-born engraver and portraitist, who came to the United States in 1830, locating in Philadelphia. He is said to have created around 1,500 engravings, particularly in context with periodicals, such as Graham’s Magazine, his own Sartain’s Union Magazine, etc. See Mantle Field’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers.
        Pingenot: Includes numerous poems by the ex-President of the Republic of Texas relating to Texas, the Texas Revolution, the Mexican War, etc. Pp. [5]-6 contain an effusive dedication to "Mrs. William L. Cazneau—so favorably known to the public by her pen, as ‘Cora Montgomery,’ and now the wife of one of my best and long-cherished friends....Her name, like that of her husband, is identified with the history of Texas." Jane McManus Cazneau, writer, political activist, adventurer, etc. was an ardent admirer of Lamar and praised him lavishly in her book Texas and Her Presidents (New York, 1845). Lamar gave a large portion of the print run of this book to a Latin American country; consequently, the volume is now quite rare. A rare and highly desirable item of Texana.
($900-1,800)