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SIGNED BY THE FOUNDER OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
1. ALLEN, Augustus Chapman. Autograph letter, signed, to Colonel James Morgan at New Washington, Texas. Houston, March 16, 1842. 2 pp., 4to, integral address, Morgans receipt notes on p. . Lower half of leaf stained.
Important correspondence between two pivotal figures in the Republic of Texas era, both of whom launched ambitious speculative projects and were privy to the most sensitive government intelligence. Allen, with his brother John, founded the city of Houston in 1836 (New Handbook I, p. 108). For more on Morgan, see New Handbook IV, p. 835 and lot 174 herein). A dramatic letter on the alarming Mexican re-invasion of Texas under the command of Rafael Vásquez during the first days of March 1842. Allen announces:
The latest and only news of movements we have is...the intelligence that the Mexicans [have] evacuated San Antonio and left the stores & all private property just as they found it (if this be true), it is certainly a strange movement.... Thank God, the tocsins is heard in time to repel the invaders. The excitement and enthusiasm is great throughout the land. The motto is now to fight until we obtain a recognition of our Independence. Baker, Col. Bee & myself leave tomorrow for the West.
Allen tells Morgan of Santa Annas declaration to Colonel Bee and
General James Hamilton that he will reconquer Texas, and that the Mexican Army
has mustered 10,000 soldiers at San Luis Potosí. During the Texas
Revolution Santa Anna burned Morgans commercial complex at New
Washington; thus, the news of a re-invasion of Texas by Mexican forces would
have been critical intelligence.
2. [APACHE OLLA]. Large Western Apache olla (coiled woven jar made from natural fibers), gracefully formed body with high and wide shoulders, rounded lines from out-flaring neck that continue to narrow, rounded flat base, decorated with triangle-and-diamond designs with Apache crosses. 15 inches tall; 13-1/3 inches in diameter at neck; 51 inches in circumference at the shoulder. Southwestern Arizona?, ca. 1880. Condition very fine (normal settling).
An extremely rare and beautiful specimen with a highly unusual design,
unlike any other that we have examined. Ollas of this type were customarily
used by the Western Apaches in Southeastern Arizona to store and transport food
and other goods. Of all Indian basketry, that of the Apaches has long
been most admired for its craftsmanship and beauty. While women of other tribes
may have been bound by the dictates of tradition, Apache women have
consistently shown a greater degree of individual creativity in their
work (Clara Lee Tanner, Apache Indian Baskets, Tucson: University
of Arizona Press, 1982).
3. AUDUBON, John James. Plumed Partridge, Perdix Plumifera Gould... Thick-legged Partridge, Perdix Neoxenus, Aud.... [London]: Rob[er]t Havell, 1838. Original hand-colored engraved aquatint. Plate mark measures: 12-58 x 21-12 inches; image: 10-7/8 x 19-1/4 inches. Other than a few inconsequential spots, very fine. Under glass, linen mat, black wooden frame (24 x 30 inches). Frame verso: (Notice to framerMargins folded under on print). From the collection of Sally V. Zaiser, the refined framing executed at the venerable firm of John Howell-Books in San Francisco.
A very handsome print from the double elephant folio edition of
Audubons Birds of America, published between 1827 and 1835. At
left is the mountain quail, which ranges from the brushy mountain slopes of the
Pacific states from the Canadian border to northern Baja California, with
intrusions into western Idaho and Montana. At right is the crested bobwhite, a
Central American bird. DAB.
4. AUDUBON, John Woodhouse. The Drawings of John Woodhouse Audubon Illustrating his Adventures through Mexico and California, 1849-1850.... San Francisco: [Grabhorn Press for] The Book Club of California, 1957.  pp., including 34 full-page illustrations (two in color) of Audubons drawings and watercolors made in Mexico and California. Folio, original black cloth over decorated boards, gilt-lettered maroon morocco label. Fine.
First edition, limited edition (400 copies). Cowan, p. 23n.
Grabhorn (1957-1973) 592. Howes 390n. Plains & Rockies IV:208n. Rocq
16660. Audubon (1812-1862), son of the famous naturalist, traveled overland to
California at the height of the Gold Rush, sketching scenes along the route, at
the mines, and in San Francisco. The great majority of his work was lost at sea
in 1857. This volume reproduces all of his known drawings, now in the Southwest
Museum. Hart, Companion to California, p. 22. New Handbook I, p.
SIGNED TWICE BY THE FATHER OF TEXAS
5. AUSTIN, Stephen F. Manuscript bill of sale for property in Austins first colony, in Spanish, signed twice by Austin (top of first page, "Austin" with rubric; at end "Estevan F. Austin" with rubric), written and signed by Samuel May Williams, Secretary of Austin's colony, also signed by Sylvanus Castleman, Alcalde. San Felipe de Austin, October 28, 1824. 2 pp., folio. Creased at old folds and beginning to split at center fold, a few light stains, old tape repairs on verso (at blank margin, affecting only a letter or two).
A very desirable Texas document, signed twice by Stephen F. Austin, who established the first Anglo-American settlement in Texas (New Handbook I, pp. 294-97; Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography I, p. 45). Also present are the signatures of Samuel May Williams, Austins secretary and right-hand man in the Texas colonization venture (New Handbook VI, p. 998), and Alcalde Sylvanus Castleman, the first of the Old Three Hundred colonists to petition for legal title to land granted by authority of Empresario Austin and Commissioner Bastrop (see Virginia Taylor, The Spanish Archives of the General Land Office of Texas, pp. 37-38; New Handbook I, p. 1,020). Castlemans signature appears on the document at the top right, affirming that the paper on which the document is written is official stamped paper of the second type (Sello 2o). All official papers of Austins Colony were required by law to be written on official stamped (or sealed) paper with the proper printing designated by the Mexican government. As was sometimes the case in the far-flung Mexican colonies of California and Texas, official stamped paper was not to be had, and officials were forced to improvise, using manuscript notations like that signed by Alcalde Castleman. The designation Sello 2o indicates that this copy of the document is a testimonio, the duplicate signed copy given to the owner as a duplicate original. Original official copies were written on paper of the third seal. Thus, the present document is free from any possible government replevin.
The document is a bill of sale wherein Old Three Hundred colonist
William Roberts (New Handbook V, p. 613) in consideration of the sum of
127 pesos, transfers to his son Andrew (New Handbook V, p. 607) title to
the lower half of his 4,428.4-acre land grant lying on the east side of the
Brazos River in present-day Brazoria County. William Roberts received legal
title to his original grant on July 8, 1824, one day after Castleman. The bill
of sale is interesting for showing how quickly some of Austins first
grants began to be carved up, but in this instance, the motivation no doubt was
based on family ties, rather than the more customary animating pursuits
of speculation. The Roberts family was engaged in farming and
stockraising; Andrew bred and raced horses, hiring William B. Travis to legally
represent him in an 1834 dispute concerning a horse race.
6. AUSTIN, Stephen F. Autograph receipt, signed, in English, written entirely in Austins hand. San Felipe de Austin, January 30, 1832. 4-1/8 x 8 inches (irregular), docketing on verso. Creased where formerly folded, browned.
Austin acknowledges receipt of $19.00 toward payment of a note by James
Ross (ca. 1787-1835), one of Austins Old Three Hundred, who served as an
Indian fighter, colonel in the Texas Army, established a stage station on the
Old San Felipe Trail, and founded the town of Fayetteville. New Handbook
V, p. 687.
7. [AUSTIN, STEPHEN F.]. Certified manuscript copy of the last will and testament of Stephen F. Austin (original dated April 19, 1833), codicil (original dated October 8, 1835), and transcript of probate proceedings (1837-1845). Brazoria County, April 12, 1855. Signed by James Masterson on behalf of County Clerk, Thomas G. Masterson. 13 pp., folio. Official red wax and embossed seals. Slightly browned and a few minor tears and marginal wear.
Austin made his original will in 1833, just prior to his departure for Mexico to plead Texas cause to authorities in Mexico City. Apparently, Austin felt concern about his personal safety, a worry substantiated by his subsequent arrest and solitary confinement in the old Inquisition prison in Mexico. Austin states in his will:
I, Stephen Fuller Austin...for the last twelve years engaged in colonizing in Texas, being of sound mind and body and about to depart on a journey to the City of Mexico on a mission to procure to approbation of the National Congress for the admission of Texas into the Mexican Union as a State, and considering the uncertainty of life and the casualties of such a journey, do hereby make, ordain and declare this my Last Will and Testament.
Austin added the codicil on October 8, 1835, at the very moment when war with Mexico ceased to be a disturbing possibility and became, at last, a distressing certainty. On the day that he wrote the codicil, Austin left San Felipe for Gonzales, where he was unanimously elected as the chief military commander of Texas and given the title General. Austin updated his will, making changes such as revocation of his prior bequest to John Austin, who had died in the interim.
A very interesting document for illuminating Austins personal and
financial affairs, clearly showing how the turmoil of Texas move toward
independence affected Austins sense of security. Streeter (225 &
225A) remarks how little is known of Austins estate. We have attempted to
trace Austins original will without success. The original will and
codicil are not listed in the Austin Papers. The original probated copy,
formerly filed under No. 1 of the Probate Records of Brazoria County, is now
missing (see Thomas W. Taylor, Texfake, Austin, 1991, pp. 27ff). The
Center for American History at The University of Texas holds a photostat of a
contemporary copy in the hand of Samuel May Williams (unlike our copy, it does
not contain the subsequent probate proceedings). The Deed Records of Harris
County (Book F, p. 342) contain a much later transcription (touted in 1937 as
Austins will, discovered and published for the first time,
Houston Post, December 26, 1937). That version, which is a much later
manuscript copy of a certified copy, contains some additional material relevant
to the case of James F. Perry and wife vs. William G. Hill and wife,
which is not in our copy. Our copy is the only certified copy of Austins
will that we have been able to locate. Our 1855 certified copy was probably
requested from the Brazoria County Clerk by an attorney for use in one of the
many lawsuits that developed over Austins disputed properties after his
EARLY PROMOTER OF CALIFORNIA & THE SOUTHWEST
8. BALTHASAR, Juan Antonio. Carta...en que dà noticia de la exemplar vida, religiosas virtudes, y apostólicos trabajos del fervoroso Missionero el Venerable P. Francisco Mario Picolo. [Mexico, 1752]. 88 pp. Small 4to, nineteenth-century calf over marbled boards, spine gilt. Light shelf wear, else very fine. The distinguished Domingo Sánchez-Holliday-Doheny copy, with their handsome bookplates.
First edition of Balthasars biography of Father Francesco Maria Piccolo, early California missionary and pioneer frontiersman. Barrett 178. Cowan, p. 31. Hill, p. 344. Holliday Sale 40. Howell, California 50:948. Howes B80: One of the earliest California missionaries. Medina, México 4069. Palau 22766. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 124. Jesuit missionary and explorer Piccolo (1658-1729), a native of Palermo, Sicily, arrived in Mexico in 1684 and worked for fifteen years among the Tarahumaras. He became interested in Christianizing the Californias, and assisted with instituting the Pious Fund (see item 45 herein). In 1697 Piccolo and Salvatierra established a mission at Loreto, the first permanent settlement in the Californias. Loreto paved the way for the chain of missions that would gradually push northward, eventually linking the Californias. Based on his experiences in California, Piccolo wrote an important survey of California, Informe del estado de la nueva christianidad de California (1702), generally considered to be the first published account of the first permanent settlement in the Californias (Libros Californianos, Dawson & Howell list, pp. 27-28). Piccolos report inspired his colleague, Eusebio Kino, to pen a similar report on Pimería Alta, and through their work, and that of their companions Ugarte and Salvatierra, they became the first European promoters of California and the Southwest. Father Piccolo worked at various missions among the native Californians for the remainder of his life, except during his period of service as Visitador of the Province of Sonora (1707-1709). In 1716 he made an exploring expedition to the north.
The principal significance of [Piccolo] in the history of the West
Coast is that his arrival in Lower California late in 1697 consolidated the
beach-head established by Juan María Salvatierra earlier in the same
year. Piccolo then helped in the founding of a chain of missions and
settlements at the very time when the financial status of both Spain and Mexico
was most unfavorable for any attempt by the government to explore and colonize
this barren peninsula. When he arrived to assist Salvatierra, he came not as a
tyro but as a veteran of more than thirteen years experience among the
Tarahumaras (Burrus, Kinos Plan for the Development of
Pimería Alta, Arizona & Upper California, Tucson: Arizona
Pioneers Historical Society, 1961, p. 40, n. 13). In addition to the
biography of Piccolo, the present work contains biographies of Fathers Carranco
and Tamarál, massacred in the Native American uprising in 1734 in Baja
9. [BANGS, Samuel (printer)]. TAMAULIPAS (Mexican state). LAWS [Decree No. 31 of Congreso Constitucional, passed January 22, 1828, altering tax regulations. With heading]: Gobernación del Estado de Tamaulipas [printed ornamental bar] Circular.... Ciudad-Victoria, January 22, 1828. 4 pp., folio folder, printed on first 3 pp. Lightly stained, generally very good, with official rubrics.
A good example of Bangs' work from this period, graced with his printed
ornamental bar. Bangs (ca. 1798-1854) was the first printer in Texas, as well
as three Northern Mexican states (New Handbook I, p. 367). Jenkins,
Printer in Three Republics 220 (2 loc.). Spell, Pioneer Printer
194. See lot 50 herein.
RARE POITIERS INCUNABLE
10. BAPTISTA MANTUANUS. Vitam et martirium sancte Catharine virginis martirisque complectens.... [Poitiers]: Jehan [i.e., Jean] Bouyer and Guill[aum]e Bouchet, September 23, 1500. 47 leaves (title leaf, aa2-6, aa8, bb8, cc-ff6, gg8), round gothic type, 23 lines to the page, title with large woodcut armorial device (two angels supporting crowned shield with arms of Poitiers above monogram IGB with scrolls bearing printers names, ox and goat at sides, frame border with French motto), printed marginalia. Bound with three other works: [SULPITIUS VERULANUS, Johannes. De moribus puerorum carmen juvenile. N.p., ca. 1500]. 8 leaves (A8); [RICHARDUS DE VENUSIO. Liber ad Fredericum imperatorem de sponsalibus Paulini et Polle. (possibly Bouyer and Bouchet)]. 25 leaves (A1-3, A6-8, B-C8, D1, D7-8); [VERGILIUS MARO, Publius. Bucolica. N.p., ca. 1500]. 21 leaves (a1-7, b8, c6). 4 works in one vol., 8vo, full modern vellum, leather ties. One (possibly two) leaves missing from Baptista (because the binding is so tight, it is impossible to be certain which leaves may be wanting from the volume). Title with one tear neatly repaired and a few short tears or small chips to blank margins, a small number of inner leaves dog-eared, occasional light stains and foxmarks, but generally in very good condition with extensive contemporary ink notations in Latin. Contemporary coloring in red to horns of ox on device.
The Baptista is an exceedingly rare French imprint from the Poitiers
press of Guillaume Bouchet and Jean Bouyer, recorded only by the British
Library database Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (one location: Grand
Seminaire in Valle dAosta, Italy). Bouyer is generally considered to have
established the first press at Poitiers in 1479. The imprint is not recorded by
Goff or BMC (XVth Cent.), which records fewer than twenty Poitiers imprints
before 1501). The author, also known as Baptista Spagnuoli, was born at Mantua
in 1436 and died in 1516. An outstanding Latin poet and an enthusiast for the
church reform movement, Baptista served as General of the Order of the
Carmelites. His De Patientia (Brescia, 1497) contains one of the
earliest printed references to the discovery of the New World. The type font
and design of the Ricardus is very similar to the Baptista, and it may be Goff
R195. The manuscript notes in Latin need further research.
11. [BATTLE OF THE ALAMO]. Lot of four colorful Italian posters from Alamo-related films: Three colored art posters from Alamo (the 1966 Italian release of The Last Command, 1955), starring Sterling Hayden (Bowie), Arthur Hunnicut (Crockett), Richard Carlson (Travis), Ernest Borgnine (Houston), and Anna Maria Alberghetti. 78 x 45 inches; 27-1/2 x 14 inches; 54 x 39 inches. One colored photographic poster from La Battaglia de Alamo (the 1961 Italian release of John Waynes 1960 epic The Alamo), starring Wayne (Crockett), Laurence Harvey (Travis), Richard Widmark (Bowie). 19 x 26 inches. Except for light marginal wear, fine.
Uncommon ephemera on the Alamo legend, created for audiences in Italy.
The Italians devise the most artistic iconography for film promotion, and the
present group of posters, with their large format and unusual presentation, are
very desirable. The Last Command has been described as an
elaborate sweeping account of the battle of the Alamo.... All the
historical Alamo set-pieces are here, with Arthur Hunnicut portraying a
refreshingly crude Davy Crockett Maltin (Movie and Video
Guide, 1994 edition, p. 699). Outstanding in The Last Command group
are two enormous and magnificent art renditions: A two-sheet poster with
Houston and Bowie as oversize god-like heroes looming above the Mexican Army,
who gallop full-tilt with their ladders to storm the Alamo; and second, a
classic Last Stand pose, with Bowie fighting hordes of Mexicans.
The flag on the original U.S. poster was altered for the Italian
audienceinstead of a Texas flag, a large U.S. flag flies above the
defenders, anticipating annexation by nine years. Don Graham describes the John
Wayne production thus: The Alamo was the last big Anglo epic about
the thirteen days of glory (Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks
at Texas, p. 48). The poster for the Wayne film shows Travis resolutely
riding into the Alamo to assume his last command. (4 items)
12. [BEAN, ROY?]. AMERICAN SCHOOL, MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY. Original unsigned bust portrait of a brown-haired, well-groomed, robust man in the prime of life, with neatly trimmed mustache and chin whiskers, attired in black coat, white dress shirt, and Western black necktie. Oil on canvas mounted on linen. Oval (approximately 24 x 20 inches). Original ornate gilt frame. Moderate craquelure. Neat repair to an irregular tear (spanning about 8 inches across right to center, in shoulder area); small snag restored (about 1-1/2 x 3/4 inches, below ear, at left center), both expertly overpainted. The skillfully executed restoration work does not appear to be of recent vintage. Provenance: The painting was continuously owned for four or five decades by a Civil War collector who died recently at the age of ninety. The present owner purchased it from the collector's estate and was told by the family that their father had always said the painting was of Judge Roy Bean.
Several authorities have stated that they believe this handsome portrait
could be Roy Bean. Comparison of the distinctive facial features in this
portrait with the few extant photographs of Bean have been compelling in this
attribution. The painting needs further research. The portrait is conjectured
to have been done when Roy (ca. 1825-1903) was living the high life as a dandy
in California after the Mexican-American War. After Roy and his brother Sam
(1819-1903, later Sheriff of Doña Ana) got into a shooting scrape in
Chihuahua, Roy sought refuge with his older brother, Joshua (ca. 1818-1852),
the last alcalde and the first Anglo mayor of San Diego, as well as major
general of the state militia. We checked with the San Diego Historical Society
and other sources and scholars in San Diego and California; we learned that
apparently there are no extant portraits of Joshua, who as mayor of San Diego
might reasonably have been the subject of a fine oil painting. After Joshua was
murdered in 1852, Roy took over as proprietor of the Headquarters Saloon in San
Gabriel. Roys checkered existence took him to New Mexico, Arizona, and
Texas, and in 1882 he finally landed at Langtry, where he became an icon of
American folklore, The Law West of the Pecos. New Handbook
I, pp. 437-38. Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography I, pp. 79-80
(Roy), pp. 78-79 (Joshua), p. 80 (Sam).
Click here for image (223 kb)
13. BEECHEY, F. W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait, to Co-operate with the Polar Expeditions: Performed in His Majesty's Ship Blossom.... 1825, 26, 27, 28.... London: Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley, 1831. xxi  392; vii  -742 pp., 3 copper-engraved maps (including 2 large and folding), 23 plates (19 engraved, 4 lithographed) after art work by Richard Brydges Beechey and William Smyth. 2 vols. in one, 4to, old marbled boards, neatly rebacked and recornered in calf. Fragile boards rubbed, some spotting and browning to text, but a good copy, with nineteenth-century ink ownership inscription. This copy does not have the publisher's one-leaf ad at end of vol. 2 (not mentioned by most bibliographers).
First edition, the preferred quarto edition, with an appendix
that did not appear in the subsequent octavo edition of the same year, and the
higher quality plates. Cowan, p. 14-15. Ferguson, Australia 1418. Hill, p. 19:
"One of the most valuable of modern voyages." Howell, California 50:16:
"Beechey's account includes details on the Bounty mutiny taken from the
narrative of John Adams the last surviving mutineer on Pitcairn Island....
Beechey's party was commissioned to rendezvous with Captain Franklin, who was
proceeding westward along the northern coast of Canada in an attempt to find
the Northwest Passage. The two groups came within 150 miles of one another,
almost completing the survey of the coastline." Howes B309. Judd 16.
Lada-Mocarski 95 (this edition not cited): Much of importance on Alaska."
Zamorano 80: "Beechey arrived in San Francisco on November 7,
1826....and tells of the sad state of affairs of both mission and presidio....
He described the treatment of mission Indians.... He also visited Monterey....
One plate relates to California, showing Californians throwing the lasso."
14. BIBLE IN CHEROKEE. GENESIS. Genesis, or the First Book of Moses. Translated into the Cherokee Language. Park Hill, Oklahoma: Mission Press, 1856. 173 pp., title in English and Cherokee, text in Cherokee characters. 24mo, unbound gatherings, as issued. Lower blank margins of last few leaves abraded, else fine.
First edition of Genesis in Cherokee. Book of a Thousand
Tongues 215. Foreman, pp. 7-8. Gilcrease-Hargrett, p. 51. Sequoyahs
(ca. 1760-1843) development of the Cherokee syllabary stands as one of the
great achievements. Although unlettered, Sequoyah, a Native American genius,
felt that if he could make things fast on paper, it would be like
catching a wild animal and taming it. Creating symbols from many sources,
he devised a syllabary of 86 characters to represent every sound in the
Cherokee language. Although he first met with resistance, the Tribal Council
adopted his system in the early 1820s, and within months thousands of Cherokees
were able to read and write their own language. Thrapp, Encyclopedia of
Frontier Biography III, pp. 1286-87.
15. [BINDING]. [DODGSON, Charles L.]. Alices Adventures in Wonderland [&] Through the Looking Glass.... London: Macmillan, 1927. Illustrations by Tenniel. 2 vols., 12mo, three-quarter smooth green calf over floral boards, spines extra-gilt, raised bands, gilt-lettered burgundy spine labels, gilt-tooled pictorial Alice motifs on spines, a.e.g., by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. Other than light outer wear (especially at edges), very fine and bright copies in appealing bindings.
Reprints of the 1896 edition of Alice (authors final
version) and the 1897 edition of Looking Glass. (2 vols.)
16. [BINDING]. MALORY, Thomas. Le Morte Darthur.... London:
Jonathan Cape & the Medici Society, Ltd., . xliv, 529 pp., colored
plates by W. Russell Flint. 8vo, full tan morocco, gilt-stamped illustration of
knight on horseback on upper cover, gilt spine with raised bands and
gilt-tooled pictorial motifs relating to the Arthurian legend, inner gilt
dentelles, a.e.g., by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Fine in a handsome
CAPTURE OF THE JULIUS CAESAR PRISONER-OF-WAR DIARY
17. BOLING, B. B. Lot of three items about Bolings capture while on board the U.S. schooner Julius Caesar, bound for Brazoria and freighted with provisions for the Texian Army valued at $30,000: (1) Manuscript journal written by Boling narrating events April 9 to April 22, 1837, after being captured off the coast of Galveston on April 12. Written from prison at Matamoros, April 21-22, 1837. 7 pp. (plus calendar on last page), 12mo, in pencil on ruled paper. Very lightly written, first page difficult to read, creased where folded to pocket-size. (2) Manuscript petition, signed by Boling, to the Congress of the Republic of Texas, recapping his experiences and seeking compensation for Texas land certificates he claims his Mexican captors confiscated. [Texas, 1838]. 2 pp., folio. (3) Autograph letter, signed, from J. D. Kirkpatrick, addressed to Boling in Matagorda. Kenner Bay Prairie, June 28, 1837. 3 pp., 8vo. Bolings friend humorously congratulates him on his release, commencing: I hear you hav recovered and escaped Old Nick this time. An excellent complementary group, documenting a little-known episode of Republic history.
Boling describes in quaint English and curious spelling his prisoner-of-war adventures. After the Julius Caesar sailed from Boston to New Orleans and was on its way to Texas, the Mexican warship General Terán seized her off the coast of Galveston. The Mexicans imprisoned the passengers and crews of both the Julius Caesar and the Texas Navy schooner-of-war Independence at Matamoros. Boling notes in part:
The 12th about [7?] oclock the Mexican brig General Teran was sean off a bout a mile...she made sail...for the shooner and was soon in musket shot of us when she fired a signal gun...Boker [Dr. Shields Booker, New Handbook I, pp. 639-40] thought that they ware not confined and the marines never kept thare guns in thare handson the 14th Booker, Capt. [E. W.?] Moore and myself cald a meeting with the pasingers that remained on the schooner. On the 16th we landed at the rio Bravo 35 miles from Matamoris but ware put upstares in a small room22 of us guarded by about 30 solders...no thing for to eate four days.... After we arrived in Mat. we ware marched through the town and then to the calabos...I coud not describe my fealings wel at that timeI loked round at my companions and thar countinaces look as mine feltThat we ware domed to drag out miserable life in prisen....
The Julius Caesar incident was a diplomatic can of worms,
particularly after some impulsive Texian congressmen urged the Republic of
Texas to liberate the captive ships and their crews and passengers
(see Sam Houstons message of May 31, 1837, To The Texas Congress,
Vetoing the Resolution to Send Armed Vessels to Matamoras, Writings of
Sam Houston I, pp. 108-11). It seems clear that Boling speculated in land,
because in his petition he tells of buying land certificates from Texian
soldiers. (3 items)
SIGNED BY DANIEL BOONE
18. BOONE, Daniel. Manuscript receipt, signed. [Kentucky], March 2, 1787. 3-1/2 x 7-7/8 inches. Witnessed by Samuel Demarast, who apparently penned the text of the receipt. Mounted on old cloth. Creased where formerly folded; chipped and small tear at right margin (affecting two letters).
A good, strong signature by Daniel Boone (1734-1820), frontiersman, Indian fighter, and a popular icon of early U.S. history. Boone was working as a surveyor in the Ohio River Valley at the time that this receipt was written.
March the 2-1787. Whereas thare was a sartin instrument of Righting given by Samuel Banta to Squir Boon dated November the 24-1786 Consarning a parsel of Land and it not being now at hand this shall be a Recept in full against it from me. Daniel Boone - witness Samuel Demarast.
UNPUBLISHED ORIGINAL ART ON THE AMERICAN SCENE TEXAS, CALIFORNIA & THE WEST
19. BREWERTON, George Douglas. Album of 100 mounted original silverpoint, pen, ink and watercolor finished sketches (three additional finished sketches and four studies in pencil laid in), each measures approximately 2-1/4 x 3-3/8 inches, mounted two to the page in an oblong 8vo album of contemporary blind-stamped red morocco, gauffered edges, clasps. Each sketch in the album is identified by Brewerton in ink, indicating location of the scene; most have a year written in ink as well. Artists signed and dated inscription on title, One Hundred Sketches by G. Douglas Brewerton. Christmas 1860. Port Jervis. N. York, also signed by the artists father, "Major Henry Brewerton," on second leaf. Very fine, the superb sketches excellent.
A remarkable collection of unpublished original artwork, recently discovered and acquired from Brewerton's descendants. The album, previously unknown to scholars of Western and Texas art, presents opportunities for research and publication (Ron Tyler and William H. Goetzmann have expressed interest in working on a publication of the volume).
Brewerton (1827-1901), artist, writer, soldier, and explorer, son of General Henry Brewerton, a distinguished army engineer and Superintendent of West Point, was a young soldier of nineteen when, as a Second Lieutenant, he joined Colonel Jonathan Stephensons regiment of California Volunteers in 1846 and sailed from New York to California around the Horn, arriving in San Francisco in March 1847. In January, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutters Mill, and an able soldier was required to carry the startling news east, along with other military dispatches. Brewerton was chosen for the job, which was an arduous one. He sailed from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where he met Kit Carson, the legendary scout and explorer who was to serve as his guide across the desert and Indian Country. From Los Angeles they set out with their small party on May 4, 1848, bound for Independence, Missouri, via Santa Fe. This significant journey became known as "Brewertons Ride," which he later described in a series of three narratives published in Harpers Monthly: (1) A Ride with Kit Carson (December 1853); (2) Incidents of Travel in New Mexico (April 1854); (3) In the Buffalo Country (September 1862). The three articles later appeared in book form as Overland with Kit Carson (New York: Coward-McCann, 1930).
Brewerton kept no diary of the trip, and the sketches and notes he made were lost while crossing the Colorado River. He therefore wrote and sketched entirely from his memory, which was prodigious, and his narrative sparkles with details, as do his sketches. Felled by illness after reaching Santa Fe, Brewerton was forced to remain there while Carson went ahead to Independence; Brewerton followed soon thereafter and joined his regiment in Mississippi. He remained in the army until 1852, after which he became a journalist. He was sent by the New York Herald to Kansas in 1854 to report on the Border wars, about which he published a book in 1856, The War in Kansas. During the Civil War, Brewerton wrote several military manuals, and after the war he devoted the rest of his life to painting landscapes, many of which were based on his prior travels.
This significant sketchbook records many of Brewertons images of his momentous trip of 1848. There are several scenes of California, including one specifically of Los Angeles, making it one of very few views of the city from this period. The view is similar to the one illustrated in Harpers and shows a one-story adobe building with several figures in the foreground. Of Los Angeles Brewerton wrote: "The Pueblo of Los Angeles has a population of several hundred souls; and boasts a church, a padre, and three or four American shops; the streets are narrow, and the houses generally not over one story high, built of adobes, the roofs flat and covered with a composition of gravel mixed with a sort of mineral pitch.... In most respects, the town differs but little from other Mexican villages." There are very few views of California extant from this period, as "accurate and artistic contemporary drawings of scenes from the time of the American conquest to the Gold Rush are not common. There were few persons in California, during those years, who had the training or inclination to make a record, with pencil or brush, of what they saw" (Willard O. Waters, California 1847-1852, Huntington Library, 1956).
In addition to the California scenes, there are eight views of Texas, two of New Mexico, thirteen of the Rocky Mountains, four of the Great American Desert, and views in New England, New York, and South America. The choice views of Texas are a particularly rare form of documentation; very little art work of Texas by trained artists in the nineteenth century is extant. The sketches resemble those published in Harpers, although, for obvious reasons, the original sketches are more detailed and highly finished. The sketches are finely finished and skillfully drawn. Brewerton was an inventive and talented artist; he developed a new painting medium during the 1860s in which he combined pastels with oil, and this versatility and mastery of medium is evident in the sketches which combine silverpoint, ink, and watercolor. The four loose silverpoint sketches are instructive of Brewertons technique. He most likely made a silverpoint sketch, then finished and highlighted it with ink and watercolor. The drawings in the album are rendered on a thick, glossy, coated paper which imparts to the sketches a luminous quality.
Brewerton probably presented this sketchbook as a Christmas gift to his father in 1860, including scenes from all his travels from 1847 until 1860. Apart from his paintings and published drawings, this sketchbook is the only documentation of "Brewertons Ride," and records scenes that soon passed into memory, history, and legend. Included among the one hundred sketches are:
Complete inventory of drawings available upon request.
Click here for additional images (this is a large file)
A NOTORIOUSLY RARE OUTLAW BOOK
20. BRIDWELL, J. W. The Life and Adventures of Robert McKimie, Alias Little Reddy, from Texas: The Dare-Devil Desperado of the Black Hills Region, Chief of the Murderous Gang of Treasure Coach Robbers. Also, a Full Account of the Robberies Committed by Him and His Gang in Highland, Pike and Ross Counties; With Particulars of Detective Norris Adventures while Effecting the Capture of the Members of the Gang. Compiled from Authentic Sources. Hillsboro: Hillsboro Gazette Office, 1878. 56 pp., portraits. 8vo, original stiff yellow pictorial wrappers (with a chilling portrait of McKimie), sewn. Wrappers with mild soiling and with a few small spots, a few minor chips and very short tears to blank margins of fragile wraps; the inside leaves nothing to be desired, very clean and fine. Notoriously rare.
First edition. Adams, One-Fifty 18: Exceedingly
rare.... I know of but three copies of this book, one of which I once
owned. Howes B765. Jennewein, Black Hills Booktrails 101:
McKimie was a member of the Bevans-Blackburn gang which made a living by
robbing the Cheyenne-Deadwood stage coach, and he probably participated along
with Sam Bass and Joel Collins in the 1877 holdup in which Johnny Slaughter was
killed.... The tale is harum-scarum, with jail-breaks, fake telegrams and women
accomplices. Among the créme de la créme of the wicked
Click here for image (219 kb)
21. BRYAN, William. Autograph letter, signed, to I[ra] R[andolph] Lewis, at Matagorda. New Orleans, October 2, 1841. 2 pp., 4to, integral address and docket on verso of p. . Postal mark: red oval transit marking with SHIP and red ms. rate 125, ms. note Via Sch[ooner] Henry. Fine.
William Bryan, who was influential in the formation of the Republic of Texas (New Handbook I, pp. 792-93), was serving as Consul for the Republic of Texas in New Orleans when he wrote this letter to Lewis (New Handbook IV, p. 179), his close friend and fellow staunch supporter of the Texas Revolution and Republic. Bryan was one of that group of U.S. citizens who clandestinely supported the Texan cause, and his financial and diplomatic aid was pivotal. A good letter filled with insider information, including notice of receipt of a letter from Col. Bee reporting on the efforts of General James Hamilton (New Handbook III, pp. 428-29) to obtain a loan in Europe to keep the struggling Republic afloat:
Gen. Hamilton does not expect to have the other side until about the 3d or 19th of October, he is still most sanguine of the loan but desires that no publication should be made; all will be well, depend on it. With the loan, though, he has had a hard time. Although a loan may be obtained, I am of your opinion, the terms will be so unfavorable, that our Republic will profit nothing from it.
Bryan also advises Lewis on business matters, consignment of cotton
(Will you be so kind as to use your influence with your neighboring
Planters to obtain for Bryan Austin & Co. the consignment of their
cotton), death of Colonel Torrey in a duel, and personal matters. Bryan,
like James Treat (see lots 174 and 179 herein ), was one of those extremely
important friends to Texas, whose life and activities remain shrouded in
COMMANDER BURLESON RELINQUISHES COMMAND OF HIS VOLUNTEERS
22. BURLESON, Edward. Letter, signed, to Gen. A. Summerville (i.e., Alexander Somervell). Headquarters, San Antonio, March 18, 1842. 1 p., 4to, ms. note (Coppy of Orders). Creased where formerly folded, slightly foxed. A rare signature by a leading soldier-statesman of the Texas Revolution and Republic; secretarial signatures are more frequently encountered.
By this order Burleson (1798-1851) reluctantly relinquishes command of his volunteer forces to General Somervell at the time of the alarming 1842 Mexican reinvasion of Texas. During the first week of March 1842, Vásquez, with 700 men, took San Antonio without a fight, raised the Mexican flag, and declared Mexican laws back in force in Texas (New Handbook VI, p. 713). President Houston, fearing the consequences of an army of hot-headed volunteers pursuing Vásquez across the Rio Grande, sent Somervell to take control of Burlesons volunteers. Although couched in formal military language, Burleson obviously was not at all happy with obeying Sam Houstons orders. Burleson stoically reports to Somerville:
I hereby notify you that the forces now in the field at this place are placed under your command & they will await your order; the troops are without organization & their numbers are not precisely known. I have the hon. to be your Obt. Srvt.
Immediately afterwards, Burleson made his famous speech in front of the
Alamo, stating: Though Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat, the Alamo
had none. Burleson came to Texas in 1830, served as commander of the
Texas forces at the Siege of Bexar, and was second in command to Sam Houston at
the Battle of San Jacinto. From July to December 1836 he was colonel of the
frontier rangers (predecessor to the Texas Rangers). In 1838 Burleson laid out
the town of Waterloo (later Austin). Burleson served as Vice President during
Houstons second administration and became leader of the anti-Houston
forces. New Handbook V, pp. 837-38; Dixon & Kemp, The Heroes of
San Jacinto, pp. 125-26.
BURLESONS VOLUNTEERS VOTE TO REINSTATE HIM!
23. [BURLESON, EDWARD]. MOORE, John Henry. Autograph letter, signed, to Edward Burleson. Headquarters 1st Reg[imen]t, 1st Brigade, Texas Volunteers, March 20, 1842. 1 p., 4to, integral address on p. . Creased where formerly folded, else fine.
This Republic of Texas military letter is a fine companion piece to Burlesons letter of March 18, 1842 (see preceding). Moore wrote this letter while commanding two companies of volunteers raised to repel Vásquez forces. Two days after Burleson relinquished his command of the volunteer forces in San Antonio, Moore informs him:
You have been unanimously chosen by the Volunteers in the Regiment under my Command as Brigadier General of the two Regiments now in the field to operate against Mexican Army on their march to invade the countryThe result was received with great enthusiasm by the troops.
We have read of many motivations for emigrating to Texas, but
Moores stimulus may be unique (allegedly, in 1818 Moore ran away from
college in Tennessee to avoid studying Latin). One of Austins Old Three
Hundred, Moore (1800-1880) was one of the first Anglo settlers on the Colorado
River, took up stockraising, established a plantation, is said to have designed
the Gonzales Come and Take It banner, repeatedly raised troops of
volunteers for frontier defense, and in 1861 enrolled in Company F of
Terrys Texas Rangers. For details on Moores 1839 fights with the
Comanches, see Webb, The Texas Rangers (Chapter 3) and New
Handbook IV, p. 821.
BURLESON ORDERS JOHN COFFEE HAYS TO SPY ON THE MEXICANS
24. BURLESON, Edward. Letter with secretarial signature, to Capt. John Coffee (Jack) Hays, Com[man]d[er] of Spies. Headquarters [near San Antonio], March 30, 1842. 1-1/4 pp., 4to. Left blank margin uneven, otherwise very fine. Burlesons letters are more frequently found with secretarial signatures, as here, rather than actually signed, as above (see item 22 above).
An excellent letter on Texas Ranger activities during the Vásquez re-invasion of Texas in 1842. Burleson orders Texas Ranger extraordinary John Coffee Hays to spy on Mexican military movements between San Antonio and the Rio Grande:
Information was received here on yesterday of the approach of a large invading force on this side of the Rio Grande in different divisions.... I have interrogated in the minutest manner the men you arrested and the statements which they severally give agree and are quite to the reverse of the information which I allude to above. It is necessary now that we have accurate information. You will therefore dispatch in all haste several of your best mounts and most efficient men as far as the Presidio road as possible with any degree of safety and report to me as early as practicable the result of your observations. It is needless to say that I expect very much from your accuracy and vigilance.
See Webb, The Texas Rangers, pp. 72-73). See item 22 herein for
background on Burlesons activities at this time. Hays became the
prototypical Texas Ranger officer, and he and his cohortsJohn S. (Rip)
Ford, Ben McCulloch, and Samuel H. Walkerestablished the ranger
tradition. Hays joined the Texas Rangers in the formative years of their role
as citizen soldiers. His rangers gained a reputation as mounted troops with
revolvers and individually styled uniforms, who marched and fought with a
noticeable lack of military discipline. This rough-and-ready image of an
irregular force left its imprint on the chronicles of ranger history.... In the
three-way struggle of Anglo colonists, Hispanic settlers, and Indians, Hays
proved to be an able leader and fearless fighter...who gained the respect of
the rank and file of the Texas Rangers. Yet his staturefive feet nine
incheshis fair complexion, and his mild manners did not match the looks
and actions of the legendary ranger in later popular culture (New
Handbook III, p. 519). After service in the Mexican-American War that
furthered the Ranger mystique, Hays cut a wide swath through the West and
California, serving as Sheriff of San Francisco County (1850-51) and helping
found the city of Oakland (Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography I,
25. BURNET, David G. Engraved bond completed in manuscript, signed by Burnet on February 1, 1841, as President of the Republic of Texas, text commencing: Government Bond, payable to the holder... Republic of Texas Promises to Pay to [Charles DeMorse].... New Orleans: Endicott & Clark . Vignette of an Indian warrior at center; man plowing at left; five point star at bottom. All coupons present; cross cancel. Fine, also signed by Treasurer John G. Chalmers and bondholder Charles DeMorse.
Republic of Texas $500 bond at 8% interest. Criswell 40B (II, p. 285).
Burnet (1788-1870) served as President of the Republic twice: Ad Interim
President (March 17-October 22, 1836), and Acting President in 1841, during
Lamars illness (New Handbook I, pp. 848-49). Bondholder DeMorse
(1816-1887), the father of Texas journalism, came to Texas in 1835, was first
mayor of Clarksville, established a newspaper (The Northern Standard) in
1842, organized the Democratic Party in Texas, and led the movement urging
Texans to accept the results of the Civil War (New Handbook II, pp.
591-92). See also lot 73 herein.
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