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Pingenot Auction, Lot 317


317. WILBARGER, J. W. Indian Depredations in Texas. Reliable Accounts of Battles, Wars, Adventures, Foray, Murders, Massacres, etc., etc., Together with Biographical Sketches of Many of the Most Noted Indian Fighters and Frontiersmen of Texas. Austin: Hutchings Printing House, 1889. [2, portrait, printed on recto] xii [2] 672 pp., numerous wood-engraved illustrations and portraits (attributed to O. Henry). Thick 8vo, original brown pictorial cloth stamped in gilt and black. Binding with some flecking, a few minor spots to interior, much nicer condition than usually found. Blank flyleaf at front with Texas bookplate of James Duryee Stevenson of San Antonio, dated April 23, 1889.
         First edition (a second edition appeared in 1890, and this first edition is difficult to locate). Basic Texas Books 218: "This is the most thorough compilation of accounts of Indian warfare in Texas in the nineteenth century. J. Frank Dobie says it `stands unique among pioneer chronicles’....Wilbarger came to Texas from Kentucky in 1837....One remarkable feature in the book is that the 34 woodcuts in the text signed T. J. Owen were actually done by William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry." Howes W407: "Most complete of the early compilations." Rader 3653. Raines, p. 219. Tate, The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Research Bibliography 2450: "One of the most unusual and frequently cited books in Texas history. Wilbarger was scalped by Comanches and had good reason to hold a personal grudge. The book is comprised of a series of biographical vignettes about other pioneers who fell victim to Texas Indians or who fought against them."
         Pingenot: This work was popular from the date of issue, and most copies were literally read to pieces. It is also avidly sought by O. Henry collectors because the illustrations are attributed to him. A rare book seldom offered for sale.