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Pingenot Auction, Lot 239

239. OLMSTED, Frederick Law. A Journey Through Texas; or, A Saddle-Trip on the Southwestern Frontier: With a Statistical Appendix. New York: Dix, Edwards & Co.; London: Sampson Low, Son & Co.; Edinburgh: Thos. Constable & Co., 1857. xxxiv, 516 pp., engraved frontispiece and folding map (Map of Part of the State of Texas. Prepared by J. H. Colton & Co. New York; 19 x 22.8 cm; 7-3/8 x 9 inches). 12mo, original brown blind-stamped cloth. Three minor spots to binding and a few signatures carelessly opened, but overall this copy is still very fine (this is a really tough book to find in collector’s condition). The little Colton map of Texas is in excellent condition.
         First edition. Basic Texas Books 157: "The most civilized of all nineteenth-century books on Texas...also the most interesting and the most dependable....Olmsted offers many insights into economic and social life. He gives one of the earliest descriptions of the Texas cattle ranch.... A splendid, enlightening book." Clark, Old South III:481n. Dobie, p. 52. Graff 3097. Greene, The Fifty Best Books on Texas, p. 45: "Perceptive and intelligent reporting...remains good reading." Howes O79. Raines, p. 159: "No better book yet written on travels in Texas."
         Sibley, Travelers in Texas, p. 216. "Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1902), noted landscape architect [who designed Central Park in New York City] and writer of travel books...made extensive tours throughout the South from 1852 to 1857. One of the products of this travel was A Journey through Texas. On his route via Natchitoches down the Old San Antonio Road, through the German settlements, down to the coastal prairie towns, through San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Houston, and Liberty, Olmsted commented on all phases of town and country life in Texas. Olmsted was a fervent opponent of slavery, and his journeys through Texas and the other slave states confirmed his deep-seated antipathy to forced servitude and to the South in general" (The Handbook of Texas Online: Olmsted).