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Pingenot Auction, Lot 290

290. SMITHWICK, Noah. The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days. Austin: Gammel Book Company, [1900]. [11] 10-354 pp., 8 portraits and plates. 12mo, original blue cloth decorated and lettered in black. One leaf slightly soiled, otherwise, exceptionally fine, bright, and tight.
         First edition. Basic Texas Books 189: "One of the most anecdotal of all the major and minor events of his time [with] a fascinating depiction of social life in Texas when it was a colony and a republic. Smithwick served with the Texas Rangers and lived for a time with the Comanches, learning their language and representing them in making a treaty with the Texans in 1838. He gives us anecdotes available nowhere else on men he knew, such as James Bowie, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, David G. Burnet, Gail Borden...and others. He tells of smuggling, counterfeiting, gambling, drinking, and dancing with a frankness lacking in most other Texas autobiographies. Smithwick came to Texas in 1827."
         Dobie, p. 52: "Best of all books dealing with life in early Texas." Graff 3872. Greene, The Fifty Best Books on Texas, p. 15. Howes S726. Tate, The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Research Bibliography 2112: "His valuable book incorporates much on military service and Indian fighting, including the 1840 Council House Fight and the Battle of Plum Creek. He likewise includes material on the Tonkawa scouts, Comanche customs and language, and treaty negotiations with the Comanches. Researchers have relied heavily upon materials in this highly descriptive book."