Copyright 2000- by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
78. FAULKNER, William. The Town. New York: Random House, . 8vo, original tan cloth. Top sheet edge slightly sunned, otherwise very fine in acetate dust wrapper.
First edition, limited edition (#190 of 450 copies, specially
printed and bound, signed by author). Massey 346. Second work in the
authors Southern Gothic trilogy, chronicling the white trash Snopes
79. FERNÁNDEZ Y JIMÉNEZ, José María. Tratado de la arboricultura Cubana y lleva agregada de la Isla de Pinos y Puerto-Rico. Habana: La Fortuna, 1867. 225  iv (ads) pp. 8vo, original green sheep over marbled boards. Binding rubbed, hinges broken, upper blank margin of dedication leaf torn away, text foxed and browned. Uncommon.
First edition. BMC (Gen. Cat.) IX, col. 307. A fascinating Cuban
imprint on the trees of Cuba, Isle of Pines, and Puerto Rico, containing an
encyclopedia of almost seven hundred trees and shrubs found in the islands. Set
out are their common and scientific names, physical descriptions, utilization
of their woods, medicinal and other uses, lore, propagation, conservation, etc.
At the end are tables of applications (medicine, dyes, oils, etc.) with
appropriate trees and shrubs listed, followed by an almanac of arboriculture.
Scarce ethnobotanical source.
FIRST ISSUE TOM JONES
80. FIELDING, Henry. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. London: A. Millar, 1749. 6 vols., 12mo, full contemporary calf. Caps and joints skillfully restored (subsequent minor chipping to a few extremities), some cracking to old calf (mainly confined to spines), moderate binding wear and abrading, Vol. 5 hinges cracked and rear gutter stained. Offsetting to endpapers from gilt morocco book label of bibliographer Barton Currie. Except for mild foxing to a few leaves at front and rear, interior very fine, crisp, and clean, with genuine blanks in Vol. 1 (K12) and Vol. 3 (R12).
First edition, first issue, with errata in Vol. 1 and appropriate
cancels throughout. Amory, Tom Jones Plus and Minus, Harvard
Library Bulletin 25 (1977), pp. 101ff. Cross III:316-17. Grolier English
48. Rothschild 850-51. Sterling 360. The authors masterpiece, considered
by many to be the greatest English novel of the eighteenth century. Upon
my word I think the Oedipus Tyrannus, the Alchymist, and Tom
Jones the three most perfect plots ever planned (Coleridge). (6
Click here for image (167 kb)
81. [FORE-EDGE PAINTINGS]. POPE, Alexander (translator). HOMER. The Iliad [and] The Odyssey.... London: Bensley, et al., 1802. Engraved frontispiece plates. 5 vols., large 8vo, full contemporary calf, stamped in gilt and blind, spines extra gilt with raised bands, a.e.g., by J. Carfrae of Edinburgh. Each volume with a fore-edge painting of a scene from Popes life. The paintings are well-preserved and the colors still rich, but frequent viewing of the paintings has taken its toll on the bindings. Spines, joints and hinges reinforced with tape, hinges broken or cracked, occasional mild foxing to text (mainly confined to preliminary and terminal leaves).
The nicely executed fore-edge paintings are identified in ink on each
front free endpaper: Popes Villa at Twickenham; Stanton Harcourt (Here
Pope Lived); Twickenham; Prior Park Bath (Here Pope Visited Ralph
Allen); Popes House, Plough Court, Lombard Street London. Each
volume bears the bookplate of Ruth and Percival Case. Mr. Case (the
agricultural implement mogul) collected in Chicago in the 1920s and later moved
to a large ranch in Texas. Mr. Case purchased these volumes well before the
modern phase of the fore-edge craze. (5 vols.)
BIRDS EYE VIEW OF FORT WORTH
82. [FORT WORTH]. WELLGE, Henry (after). Perspective Map of Fort Worth, Tex. 1891. Milwaukee: American Publishing Company, 1891. Toned lithographic birds-eye view, hand-colored. 17 x 33-1/8 inches (image); 19-1/2 x 33-1/8 inches (image with title). Some abraded areas and numerous splits to paper (probably due to having been rolled), occasional small voids sympathetically colored (mostly along lower portion of print, only four or so of which affect image; none larger than approximately one-half inch in diameter). Paper browned and occasional small stains. Matted under glass, museum-quality wooden frame.
Reps locates only two copies of this city view (Amon Carter Museum and Library of Congress). The print is a revised version of the 1886 view by Wellge, apparently using the same stone. Reps states that Wellge, the German-born artist who settled in Milwaukee in 1878, ranks with the most prolific of the city view artists of America (p. 213). Prominent on the map is the Texas Spring Palace, one of the most popular gathering places, built in 1889 to promote the city but destroyed by fire in 1890, apparently while this view was in production. Hells Half Acre, which provided saloons and bawdy houses for cowboys and a haven for desperadoes, can be seen.
Fort Worth had undergone...dramatic transformation from a dusty
cow town and trading center of 6,600 persons in 1880 into a thriving city of
23,000 ten years later. The view...shows how by 1891 the railroads that Fort
Worth had worked so hard to obtain less than two decades before now provided
access to the many industrial plants of the city. Their proud plumes of smoke
must have seemed the authentic mark of progress in the days when atmospheric
pollution and an economically healthy community were regarded as almost
synonymous. In the view one can see portions of the 15-mile-long system of
street railways.... Main Street led from the railroad station at the left to
terminate at the handsome new Tarrant County courthouse, occupying the center
of the square from which formerly one could overlook the valley of the Trinity
River. Most of the streets remained unpavedReps, Cities of the
American West, p. 673 & Plate 27; Cities on Stone, Plate 28.
Views and Viewmakers of Urban America 3966.
83. [GALVESTON]. MEXICO (Republic). LAWS (October 17, 1825). [Decree of Congreso general, approved by President Guadalupe Victoria on October 17, 1825, establishing provisionally the port of Galveston, commencing]: El Ciudadano Francisco Molinos del Campo, gobernador del distrito federal. Por la primera Secretaría de Estado...se habilita provisionalmente el Puerto de Galvezton.... Mexico City, October 20, 1825. 1 p., folio broadside on sealed paper. Fine.
Federal District issue of the decree establishing the port of Galveston
as a custom house, indicating that a permanent location will soon be fixed.
Streeter (705n not mentioning this issue) thought that the action of the
Congress was a response to Stephen F. Austins suggestion advocating
Galveston as a port free of duties. The present issue gives a date of October
15, but Streeter indicates October 17.
ONE OF THE EARLIEST USES OF PHOTOENGRAVINGS IN AN AMERICAN BOOK
84. GARCÍA PIMENTEL, Luís. Bound volume containing two monographs and related ephemera: (1) Ensayos fotolitograficos. Mexico: Díaz de Leon, 1877.  21  leaves (consisting almost entirely of photoengraved facsimiles from Mexican incunables). (2) La Introducción fotograbado en Méjico. Mexico: Impresa por el autor, 1877. 6 pp., 2 photoengraved plates, 4 sheets of proofs. With various related ephemera, including: El fotograbado ó fotoelectrotipo y sus aplicaciones a las ciencias históricas. [Mexico, 1881]. 2 pp. Also, 2 original autograph letters of appreciation from the secretary of the Academia Mexicana to García Pimentel thanking him for his contributions, various newspaper articles from 1877 and 1881 referring to García Pimentels work or photoengraving in general. Folio, original green Mexican sheep over black and blue marbled boards. Binding worn and dry, internally fine, except for light age-toning of paper. Authors copy, with his book label.
First editions. Not in Palau. These rare, privately printed
monographs appear to contain the earliest use of photoengravings in a book
in America. The author, the son of legendary Mexican bibliographer
Joaquín García Icazbalceta, collaborated with his father on the
monumental Bibliografía mexicana del siglo XVI (1886), the first
systematic study of the early imprints created in the New World. García
Pimentel, an excellent photographer, introduced photoengraving to Mexico after
researching the subject in Paris, when it was being developed by Firmin Gillot.
The photoengravings in the present work are his early experiments for the
illustrations that would appear in the 1886 Bibliografía mexicana del
siglo XVI. These unique imprints and supporting ephemera may be the only
extant information on a very interesting chapter in the history of book
illustration and book making in America.
EARLY WOODCUTS OF NEW WORLD PLANTS
85. GERARD, John. The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes...Very Much Enlarged and Amended by Thomas Johnson.... London: Adam Islip, Joice Norton, and Richard Whitakers, 1633.  1-30, 29-30, 29-1630 (i.e., 1,634)  [1, blank]  [1, errata] pp., engraved title (by John Payne), 2,821 woodcuts in text (botanical specimens, coral, sponges, etc.). Small, thick folio, old leather over eighteenth-century marbled boards, spine with raised bands, modern gilt-lettered maroon morocco label. First and last blanks not present. Leather back worn and repaired, boards and edges rubbed, occasional soiling (mainly confined to blank margins of a few dozen leaves), D6 missing lower corner (slight loss of text and catchword), about ten tears (mostly confined to lower blank margin), sympathetic endpapers supplied (early twentieth century). A few initials and tail-piece amateurishly colored by John Pitt, whose signature appears at end, dated 1753. Despite the minor flaws, a very respectable copy of a work usually found lacking title or printed leaves. Engraved armorial bookplate of Edward Heron-Allen (1925).
Second and best edition, revised and enlarged by Thomas Johnson, who corrected Gerards errors and added over one thousand additional woodcuts, improving the accuracy of the illustrations by using Plantins woodcuts (first edition, 1597). Alden, European Americana 633/39. Arber 129-34. Garrison & Morton 1820 (designating this second edition as the most important): The best remembered of all the English herbalists. Hunt 223. Nissen (Botany) 698. Plesch Sale 281: This revision by Thomas Johnson, probably the royalist surgeon, contains a good deal of genuine English botany, and a few of his localities can still be recognized. Pritzel 3282. STC 11751. See Chapter 28 of Anderson.
The best known and most often quoted herbal in the English
language. Its lasting repute is due...to its entertaining Elizabethan
descriptive style, its interspersed anecdotes and comments, its antique
remedies, and its woodcuts (DSB). This famous English herbal is one of
the earliest works to record and describe American plants, and the first to
have an illustration of the potato. Gerard (1545-1612), both a surgeon and a
practical gardener, maintained the gardens of premier Elizabethan statesman,
William Cecil, Lord Burghley, to whom he dedicated his work. Gerards
herbal rendered a great service to the development of English botany and
medicine, and remained in use until well into the following century. W. H.
Hudson described the work thus: Next to the delight of the flowers
themselves, is to me that of listening to the old herbalist discoursing of the
same; and this I would say of no other work on plant lore.... The color of his
style is never overworn, and he is forever fresh and full of variety and
THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS DELINEATED ON A GLOBE
86. [GLOBE]. WACHOB, I. S. (& CO.). [Terrestrial globe labeled]: The Excelsior. Scranton, Pennsylvania, n.d. 6-3/4 inches diameter; 13-5/8 inches overall height. Metal globe covered with printed and colored paper gores, mounted on original one-legged wooden stand, brass meridian, horizon ring (with printed astronomical data), and four supports. Rubbed areas in North Atlantic and at equator. Horizon ring data chipped. Paper slightly darkened and age-toned. Generally very good.
A modest but very pleasing globe, particularly for a Texas collection,
since Texas is shown as a Republic, with Austin (established 1839), Houston,
and Galveston located, and the Rio del Norte as its southern boundary. The
boundaries shown are those before the annexation of Texas and the
Mexican-American War (1840-1845). California is still a part of Mexico, and the
Columbia River is the northern border of Oregon Territory. Wachob published a
catalogue, The Excelsior Globe Manual in 1872. Warner in The
Geography of Heaven and Earth in Rittenhouse: Journal of the
American Scientific Instrument Enterprise (Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 61) states
that only one other Wachob globe is known Manufacturd by Wauchob
Click here for image (235 kb)
87. GOLDSMITH, Oliver. The Vicar of Wakefield. London: Ackermann, 1817. 24 hand-colored aquatint plates by Thomas Rowlandson. 8vo, full navy blue gilt-ruled morocco, spine with raised bands, and gilt-ruled compartments, inner gilt dentelles, t.e.g. by C. J. Sawyer. Upper joint chafed, lower joint cracked (but strong), head of spine lightly chipped, top corners slightly bumped, interior very fine, the plates excellent.
First Rowlandson edition. Prideaux, p. 138. Tooley, English
Books with Coloured Plates 1790-1860 436.
88. [GRABHORN PRESS]. POWELL, H. M. T. The Santa Fe Trail to California 1849-1852. San Francisco: Book Club of California, 1931. xvi, 272 pp., title printed in red and black, frontispiece, 22 drawings (some full page, includes missions), 2 full-page maps, some initials and marginalia in red. Folio, original quarter tan niger over tan cloth (slightly scuffed). Endpapers lightly browned as usual, generally very good.
First edition, limited edition (300 copies). Eberstadt, Modern
Narratives of the Plains and the Rockies 390. Grabhorn (1915-1940) 158.
Howes P525. Magee 101. Mintz, The Trail 592: A very scarce and
sought after overland journal and one of the finest books from the famous
Grabhorn Press. Rittenhouse 471. A classic overland narrative, covering
three years of travel from Illinois to St. Louis to San Diego, and thence up
the coast of California to San Jose, and back to Greenville via the Isthmus.
The author visited many of the mining sites.
SIGNED BY THE BORDEN BROTHERS
89. GRAYSON, Peter W. Contemporary manuscript copy of last will and testament of Grayson, originally written June 9, 1838. 2-1/4 pp., folio, docketing on last page dated November 3, 1843, signed by executors, John P. Borden and Gail Borden. Split at folds, a few chips and small holes (loss of a few letters), browned.
An interesting document, shedding light on the private and business
affairs of Grayson (1788-1838; New Handbook III, pp. 297-98),
aide-de-camp to Stephen F. Austin, attorney, poet, diplomat, cabinet officer,
and presidential contender, who was active during the early Anglo period of
Texas history, signed the Treaty of Velasco, and negotiated for recognition of
Texas by the U.S. in 1836. Grayson leaves the majority of his properties to
relatives, but includes legacies to Dr. Levi Jones, the Borden brothers, and
others. Subject to mental instability, Grayson committed suicide on July 9,
1838, one month after writing his will, allegedly after rejection to a marriage
proposal. He begins: I, Peter W. Grayson of the Republic of Texas,
feeling at the present moment particularly the uncertainty of life....
The document is signed by John P. Borden (1812-1891), San Jacinto veteran and
first Land Commissioner of the Republic; and Gail Borden, Jr. (1801-1874),
pioneer Texas printer (printed the Texas Declaration of Independence),
surveyor, and inventor (invented condensed milk and founded the Borden
Company). The Borden brothers surveyed and laid out the town of Houston. New
Handbook I, pp. 644-46.
90. GREGG, Josiah. Commerce of the Prairies: Or the Journal of a Santa Fé Trader, during Eight Expeditions across the Great Western Prairies, and a Residence of Nearly Nine Years in Northern Mexico. New York: Henry G. Langley, 1844. 320 + 318 pp., 6 engraved plates, 2 maps (one folding: A Map of the Indian Territory, Northern Texas and New Mexico.... 11-1/2 x 14-3/8 inches, cerographed with background underprinted in light green), text illustrations. 2 vols., 12mo, original brown pictorial cloth stamped in gilt and blind. A few nicks, one minor neat repair to spine, and slight shelf wear to binding; short tear at fold of map (no losses); intermittent mild to moderate foxing (less than usual). A very good set of a book difficult to find in collectors condition (we have seen only one other copy meriting that description, the glittering Evans-Howell-Argonaut copy, now in a private collection).
First edition, first issue, with two maps and without the
glossary and index. Dobie, p. 76: One of the classics of bedrock
Americana. Flake 3716. Graff 1659. Howes G401. Plains &
Rockies IV:108:1. Raines, p. 99. Rittenhouse 255: "A cornerstone of all
studies on the Santa Fe Trail." Streeter 1502. Wheat, Mapping the
Transmississippi West 482 & I, p. 186: "A cartographic landmark." OA
cornerstone book of Western Americana, in content, impact, and from a
cartographic perspective. Conveying the impression of a well-populated
region, the map must have whetted the interest of prospective traders on the
trail to New Mexico. Finally, in a concession to geographic reality, Gregg
mapped for the first time the Llano Estacado.... A blend of optimism and
reality, Greggs map was certainly one of the best of the southern plains
before the Mexican War (John L. Allen, Patterns of Promise in
Mapping the North American Plains, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,
1987, p. 51 & Fig. 3.7). (2 vols.)
91. [GURO, Elena (pseud. of Eleonora Genrikhovna von Notenberg)]. Nebesnye Verblyuzhata. [St. Petersburg: Zuravl], 1914. 126 [4, index] [4, ads] pp., including photographic portrait of Guro and 15 lithographed plates after her works (some tipped in), text illustrations. 4to, original white wrappers decorated in salmon and blue. Rear hinge neatly repaired, otherwise very good in original glassine wrapper.
First edition, published posthumously, of Little Camels of the
Sky, Guros third and finest collection of poetry. Markov, p. 14.
Tarasenkov, p. 117. Several of the poems are considered an important tribute to
the futurist predilection for neologisms, especially those created in the
manner of the language of children. Poet, playwright, and artist Guro
(1877-1933) made an important contribution to the early, impressionistic stage
of Russian futurism. In her work, more than any others, symbolism and
THE RAREST AND MOST COVETED BOOK ON THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
92. HEARTSILL, William W. Fourteen Hundred and 91 Days in the Confederate Army: A Journal Kept by W. W. Heartsill. For Four Years, One Month, and One Day, or Camp Life; Day-by-Day, on the W. P. Lane Rangers. From April 19th, 1861, to May 20th 1865. [Marshall: Privately printed, 1876].  264  pp., 61 original albumen photographs mounted on leaves with printed identifications below each photograph. 8vo, black cloth (skillfully rebound, original sides and backstrip preserved, fresh endpapers). Association copy, with a Heartstill family members signed presentation inscription to another family member on front flyleaf: To Heartsill Banks in memory of Uncle Will, The Author, July 31, 17. Other than occasional very mild foxing, a fine, complete copy of a legendary Texas and Civil War rarity.
First edition. Basic Texas Books 89: The rarest and
most coveted book on the American Civil War. Only one hundred copies were
printed, of which merely a handful have survived.... The journal itself is
historically important.... This four-year record is one of the most vivid and
intimate accounts of Civil War battle-life that has survived. Coulter
224. Harwell, In Tall Cotton 86: This book would be of
considerable interest because of the homespun way in which it was produced,
even if it were devoid of any other virtues. It is, however, a good narrative
in its own rightof the early days of the war in Texas, of operations in
Arkansas and Louisiana, of Heartsills capture and imprisonment in the
North, of his travels through the north to City Point, Virginia, for exchange.
After some time in Richmond he was attached to Braggs army in time to
participate in the Battle of Chickamauga. Then slowly back to Texas through
Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. For a while he guarded Federal prisoners
in Camp Ford at Tyler, Texas. He and his comrades in the W. P. Lane Rangers
were finally disbanded near Navasota May 10, 1865. Howes H380:
Printed by the author, page-by-page, on a hand-press; one of the rarest
journals by a Confederate combatant. Nevins I:102. New Handbook
III, pp. 535-36. Raines, p. 111. Winkler-Friend 3778.
93. HEREDIA, José María de. Les Trophées. Paris: Alphonse Lemerre, 1893.  iv, 218  pp. 12mo, original Cuban binding of crimson sheep over red boards, spine gilt-lettered (and with presentees initials J. D.) and with raised bands (binder Santiago Oliveras stamp on front pastedown). Binding rubbed and worn (particularly at head of spine). Endpapers browned, occasional moderate to mild foxing to text. Very good tropical condition. What makes this copy so special is the authors signed presentation inscription to his cousin, a noted musician of the period: á Jules Dutocq son frerè et ami, J. M. de Heredia. We trace no signed presentation copies of this very rare book, said to have been printed in only 200 copies and sold out within a half hour of its release.
Primera edición in-12° (Palau 113281);
authors first book. Talvart & Place VIII, p. 157:1c. The
bibliographical complexities of this book by the renowned Cuban-born poet are
challenging. An octavo edition came out in at least five states (bearing a date
of 1893, but released December 19, 1892), followed immediately by this
duodecimo edition (released March 17, 1893), with authors corrections to
text and the first appearance of the poem Le Thermodon. Both
editions have been rare since 1893. Heredias father descended from the
conquistadores, and his Norman-French mother traced her lineage to the Vikings.
Born on a coffee plantation in Cuba in 1842, Heredia (d. 1905) was educated in
France, where he spent most of his life, joining the circle that included
Verlaine and Leconte de Lisle. He was the most representative of the
94. [HIDALGO Y COSTILLA, MIGUEL]. Don Francisco Xavier Venegas de Saavedra....Virey, Gobernador y Capitán General de esta N[ueva] E[spaña].... Los inauditos y escandalosos atentados que han cometido y continuan cometiendo el Cura de los Dolores Dr. D. Miguel Hidalgo.... Mexico, September 27, 1810. Double folio bando, printed in two columns on pale blue sealed paper, with viceregal ink rubric and another official manuscript signature. Several wormholes (affecting a few letters, but not readability), creased where formerly folded. An exceedingly rare, important, and fascinating broadside on the Mexican Revolution.
First printing. Medina, Mexico 10532. This is the first
condemnation of Hidalgo (1753-1811), the Father of the Mexican
Revolution, by the civil government. Eleven days after the Grito de
Dolores, when the rebel forces had taken and pillaged Celaya, Viceroy Venegas
issued this scathing broadside condemning the uprising and setting a price of
ten thousand pesos on the heads of the rebel leaders. Among the litany of grave
charges leveled against the firebrand are fomenting revolution, sedition,
robbing and sacking homes and churches, murder, mutilation, and a shocking
array of revolutionary crimes. In the sentence condemning Hidalgo of sacrilege
for appropriating the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe to use as his rebel
standard, in contemporary ink someone has inserted the word mas
between the words la hipocresía impudente. Three days
earlier the bishop-elect of Michoacán excommunicated Hidalgo.
95. [HIDALGO Y COSTILLA, MIGUEL]. Don Francisco Xavier Venegas de Saavedra... Virey, Gobernador y Capitán General de esta N[ueva] E[spaña].... Entre los infames medios de que se ha valido el pérfido Cura Hidalgo para corromper la imperturbable fidelidad de los naturales des esta Reyno.... Mexico, January 19, 1811. Double folio bando, printed on pale blue sealed paper. Signed with viceregal ink rubric and another official manuscript signature. Four tiny wormholes (affecting only part of one letter), otherwise exceptionally fine.
First printing of an important publication in the drama of
Spains loss of Mexico. Medina, Mexico 10677. Viceroy Venegas
denounces Hidalgo, whom he refers to as a "monstrous rebel," accusing him of
corrupting the natives and deliberately making trouble for Spain in the New
World at the same time that the "interloper Joseph Bonaparte" is taking over in
Spain. The Viceroy threatens charges of high treason against anyone who
supports or advocates any of Hidalgos incendiary, libelous defamations.
An excellent companion piece for preceding.
96. [HOUSTON, TEXAS]. Art Work of Houston, Texas.... Chicago: The Gravure Illustration Company, 1904. 10 parts (of 12, lacking parts 2 and 5), containing 96 photogravures on 63 leaves (gravure images range in size from approximately 7-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches to 4-3/8 x 6-7/8 inches). Folio, original dark green gilt-decorated paper wrappers. A few minor nicks to wrappers, but text and plates exceptionally fine, original tissue guards present. Original green cloth portfolio (broken and stained).
A very rare, early illustrated book about Houston, with accompanying
text containing interesting data and promotional material on the history and
commerce of Houston. The rich gravures offer an invaluable record of a Houston
that has vanished, with views of a pristine Buffalo Bayou, stately homes and
mansions (John H. Kirby, A. P. Root, W. S. Hunt, John S. Stewart, Mrs. Bettie
Bryan, H. B. Rice, et al.), public buildings and business establishments
(Carnegie Library, City Hall, Houston Post Building, Binz Building
(birds-eye view), Grand Central Depot, St. Joseph Infirmary, churches,
schools, waterworks, pseudo-Gothic jail), City Park, Westmoreland Park, massive
bales of cotton waiting to be shipped at the railroad, harvesting scenes on the
H.& T.C.Ry., residences on Harrisburg Road, in Highland Park and the
Heights, and several views of Texas Avenue and Main Street. Seeing trees, open
spaces, and stately Victorian homes on Houstons Main Street makes this
native Houstonian realize how much has been lost in less than a century.
WITH A SMALL BUT EARLY MANUSCRIPT MAP OF DOWNTOWN HOUSTON
97. [HOUSTON, TEXAS]. BAKER, Moseley, Cornelius W. Buckley, Francis R. Lubbock, James Wells,et al. Group of three original documents (two manuscripts and printed subpoena completed in manuscript, signed by Lubbock, summoning the appearance of Augustus C. Allen, founder of Houston, and Henry R. Allen), relating to litigation over disputed ownership of land in present downtown Houston extending south-southwest from its center; one page includes a small manuscript map of the area of present-day inner Houston showing the disputed parcel of land, the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou, and part of Braes Bayou (3-3/4 x 2 inches). The documents are signed by pioneer Houstonians, most notably future Texas Confederate governor Francis R. Lubbock (signed twice by the twenty-six-year old District Clerk of Harris County; New Handbook IV, p. 319), Moseley Baker, Cornelius W. Buckley, James Wells, and others. Houston, Texas, November 29 & 30, 1841, & December 20, 1842. 5 pp., 4to & 12mo. Fine.
An interesting group of papers documenting two classic pastimes of Houstoniansreal estate speculation and litigation. The manuscripts relate to a law suit over the league of land first granted to John S. Moore, but later acquired by Isaac Batterson. The present suit was between two pioneer Houston women, Amelia Batterson (alias Harrold) and Obedience Fort Smith (New Handbook V, p. 1,107), who apparently had overlapping claims. Present in the manuscripts is James Wells testimony tracing the dispute back to February 1838 and an alleged compromise between James S. Holman (who also acted as agent for the Allen brothers) and Isaac Batterson and Benjamin Fort Smith (husband and son, respectively, of Obedience Fort Smith). Wells states, rather insidiously, that Isaac Batterson was sober when the compromise was made. The plot thickens, and the papers reveal that Amelia Batterson was also contesting Moseley Bakers ownership claim to lands that she alleged were part of her league. The affidavits of Wells, who was present at the 1838 survey, and George Bringhurst, who performed the 1841 survey, give an interesting and highly technical picture of the difficulties involved in locating and surveying ambiguous parcels and how those problems could result in clouded titles.
It is not difficult to surmise why this particular league of land might
fall into such complex dispute. The dust had not settled at the Battle of San
Jacinto before speculators like Augustus C. Allen launched their plans of
empire. Recognizing the strategic possibilities inherent in developing an
inland port at the head of Buffalo Bayou, the Allen brothers founded the city
of Houston on August 30, 1836. These speculations by the Allen brothers,
Moseley Baker, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and others were fueled all the
more by the formation of their next ambitious venture, the Texas Railroad,
Navigation, and Banking Companythe first Texas corporation, the first
Texas railroad company (and one of the first chartered grants for a railroad
west of the Mississippi), and the first Texas banking institution (New
Handbook VI, p. 392 & Streeter 180-182). The disputed land lay slightly
south of what eventually became the terminus for all of the railroads coming
into Houston; the I&GN now runs through the league, described in these 1841
papers as a bucolic, timbered prairie, with a persimmon grove, crossed by Braes
Bayou. The one-league parcel (4,428-acres) now constitutes some of the prime
real estate in the world: a strip about a mile and a third wide just south of
the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou extending south-southwest
about seven and a half miles, including downtown Houston, the area just south
of the Ship Channel, Hermann Park, and part of the Medical Center. (3
DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS SIGNED BY SAM HOUSTON
98. HOUSTON, Samuel. Printed land grant completed in manuscript, signed, commencing: The State of Tennessee No.  To All to whom These Presents shall come; Greeting....[James D. Wyly]....is Granted....a Certain Tract of Land...in [Greenville].... Nashville, Tennessee, February 6, 1828. Folio broadside with seal and woodcut (oxen and plow). Browned, fragile, creased where formerly foldedneeds conservation.
Signed by Houston as Governor of Tennessee (1827-1829), shortly before
his enigmatic separation from Eliza Allen and departure to live with the
99. HOUSTON, Samuel. Lithographed land grant completed in manuscript, signed by Sam Houston, and Land Commissioner Thomas W. Ward, commencing: [No. 51] IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS [No. 51] To all to whom these Presents shall come: Know Ye [Sam Houston] President of the Republic Aforesaid.... Greene Lithogr. 53, Magazine Street, N. Orleans Bancroft Stationer New Orleans. One thousand eight hundred and thirty___ [in manuscript: Austin, March 4, 1842]. Large, oblong folio (9 x 15-5/8 inches). Ornate borders with inset lettering: REPUBLIC OF TEXAS (left) GENERAL LAND OFFICE (right); pictorial vignettes at top on each side (herd of cattle and man with horse-drawn plow). Loss of a few printed words at old folds (archivally filled), lightly waterstained (signatures a bit faint). In a beautiful old wooden frame.
A handsome Republic of Texas land grant to Parry W. Humphreys Lot 59,
Division D of the Government Tract adjoining the City of Austin. Humphreys
later was editor of the newspaper, Texas Sentinel.
100. HOUSTON, Samuel & Stephen T. Slater. Document signed. Washington[-on-the-Brazos], September 17, 1844. 1 p., folio, written on upper third of sheet. Manuscript docketing on verso. Very fine, with Houstons large signature and rubric; also signed by Indian agent Slater.
Slaters submission of expenses incurred on road and in
Washington as bearer of express from Tah-woc-cano Creek to the President, and
returning $10 on Indians business. On August 6, 1844, President Houston
appointed Slater as agent to various tribes of Indians residing on the
frontier. Slaters mission was to encourage adherence to the terms of the
treaty of peace between the Republic of Texas and all of the Texas tribes
except the Wichita and Commanche (concluded on September 29, 1843, and ratified
early in 1844). See The Writings of Sam Houston (IV, pp. 358-59) for
Houstons instructions to Slater regarding his commission.
101. HOUSTON, Samuel. Autograph letter, signed, to Master William C. Langdon, signed at Washington City, July 12, 1847, complying with a request. 1 p., 12mo. Very fine, with large, flourishing I Am Houston signature. Frame.
Letters written by men of stature to young people often have a warmth
and humanity not found in their normal correspondence. Here Houston complies
with the request of Master Langdon, responding: Dear Youth, It will
afford me pleasure to take two copies of your historical cards. Thine truly,
102. HOUSTON, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, to Thomas William Ward in Austin. Washington, June 1, 1848. 4 pp., 4to, plus third leaf with file notation and brief synopsis written in Wards hand. Browned, some splitting at folds, and old paper reinforcements.
Houston wrote this letter while serving as U.S. Senator from Texas, and
it is addressed to Thomas Ward, who was very active in early Texas affairs
(New Handbook VI, pp. 820-21). Houston tells Ward that he wants the
money owed to him transmitted by safe hands to his wife in Texas.
Assuring Ward of his trust, Houston comments: If you, Colonel, had been
less honest, you would have had fewer enemies. He refers to fellow Texan
Senator, Thomas Rusk as a great man, and a noble fellow. Houston
praises Wards contributions to Texas, stating that Wards merits
have been useful to Texas and saved her millions of woes and of money!!!!
Had a Borden been in your situation I am satisfied that Texas would have been a
great loser, and badly corrupted. He ends with a hurried postscript
informing Ward of the birth of his third child, A fine babe
(Margaret Lea, born April 13, 1848). Despite the seeming warmth of this letter,
other correspondence by Houston reveals that he actually distrusted Ward. In an
endorsement to a letter dated June 20, 1847, Houston calls Ward a Damned
scoundrel and declares: I pay my debts, and if he has not learned
yet, he shall do so.
103. HOUSTON, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, to General William Larimer. Steamer Ben Franklin, March 11, 1851. 2 pp., 4to. Very fine, with Houstons typical large four-inch I am Houston flourishing signature. File copy of Larimers letter to Houston included.
Houston, who was so frequently in his cups as a young man that his
Cherokee brothers christened him Big Drunk, responds favorably to
General Larimers request to speak at a temperance meeting in Pittsburgh
if it should be in my power to render the slightest aid to the Holy cause
of Temperance! Its beneficial effects upon mankind cannot be too highly
appreciated, nor its influence too ardently cherished by the friends of
humanity.... A postscript note regarding confidentiality is written and
signed on verso. A propensity to imbibe was one of the demons that Houston
struggled with intermittently, and his political enemies knew how to use his
weakness to their own advantage. Through the loving, yet determined,
perseverance of his last wife, Margaret Lea (married 1840), Houston managed to
reign in his appetite most of the time. During the year that Houston wrote this
letter, he made speeches at temperance societies and took a national stand on
temperance. When for a brief time, it seemed that the Temperance Alliance might
evolve into a political party, Houston was suggested as a presidential
candidate for the proposed party. Houston was serving as Texas Senator to the
U.S. when he wrote this letter.
104. [HOUSTON, SAMUEL]. Election Ticket. For Governor, Sam Houston, H. R. Runnels.... [Crockett?, Texas, 1857]. Election ballot printed on ruled paper. 1 p., folio. Contemporary manuscript docketing on verso. Very fine.
Rare ballot from the only election that Sam Houston ever lost. Not in
Winkler. In May 1857 the state Democratic party held its first convention
at which a gubernatorial candidate was nominated. Leading Democrats, angered by
Sam Houstons votes in the United States Senate and his seeming
endorsement of the American (Know-Nothing) party in 1856, wished to prevent
Houstons election as governor. Because of his support of Southern
positions and his party loyalty, Runnels received the nomination on the eighth
ballot. Shortly thereafter, Houston announced his candidacy as an independent
Democrat, saying that the issues were Houston and Anti-Houston.
Runnels was a poor public speaker and made few appearances, but the
partys candidate for lieutenant governor, Francis R. Lubbock, campaigned
actively. Houston also campaigned vigorously, but had no party machinery and
little support from Texas newspapers. Runnels won by a vote of 38,552 to 23,628
and thus became the only person ever to defeat Sam Houston in an election
(New Handbook V, p. 715). The candidates on this ballot for State Senate
were from Houston County, the county seat of which is Crockett.
|Back to Home Page||Back to Auction 4 Contents||Top of this Page|