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Pingenot Auction, Lot 280

280. SANTLEBEN, August. A Texas Pioneer: Early Staging and Overland Freighting Days on the Frontiers of Texas and Mexico. New York & Washington: Neale Publishing Company, 1910. 321 pp. 8vo, original gilt-lettered lavender cloth. Binding slightly discolored, otherwise very fine, with bookplate and signature of noted Texas collector Albert Steves, dated at San Antonio in 1910. Author’s mimeographed promotional sheet tipped in at back. Preserved in a black cloth slipcase. The books published by Neale are notorious for being found in poor condition and nibbled by bugs. The Pingenot copy is the best copy that we have examined.
         First edition. Basic Texas Books 181: "Most important account of stage coach and freight service in Texas." Campbell, p. 99: "Very rare. But there is nothing better in its field. The author freighted on the Chihuahua Trail. The book contains some items on Big Foot Wallace’s Indian Fighting." Dobie, p. 79. Dobie, Big Bend Bibliography, p. 19. Graff 3676. Howes S104. Krick 441: "A Texas classic of considerable scarcity." Tate, The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Research Bibliography 2426. Santleben came to Texas from Germany in 1845 and settled in Castro’s colony. At age fourteen he became the youngest Pony Express rider in the U.S., and in 1867 formed the first stage run between Mexico and Texas.
         Pingenot: No other writer sketches in such vivid detail an account of staging and freighting on the frontiers of Texas and northern Mexico. Santleben combines a wealth of information concerning the encounters and vicissitudes on the trail with a ready recollection of numerous individuals with whom he came in contact. One of the most fascinating books dealing with Southwest Texas and the northern Mexican frontier between the Civil War and the 1890s.