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Auction 5: Lots 152-159

 


152. SAWYER, Lorenzo. Way Sketches containing Incidents of Travel across the Plains from St. Joseph to California in 1850, with Letters Describing Life and Conditions in the Gold Region...with Historical Notes Compiled from Rare Sources and an Introduction by Edward Eberstadt. New York: [Kelmscott Press for] Edward Eberstadt, 1926. 125 [1, colophon] pp. (including preliminary blank leaf), frontispiece portrait. Large 8vo, original tan linen over tan boards. A few minor spots to boards and lower corners a bit bumped, endpapers browned. Walter Prescott Webb's copy, with his signature on front endpaper and 2-1/2 pp. typed letter, signed, to Webb from Edward Eberstadt (New York, December 2, 1926) tipped in. See below for content.

First separate edition, limited edition (385 copies). First appeared as a series of articles in the Family Visitor (1850-1851). Cowan, p. 570. Eberstadt 107:349; Modern Narratives of the Plains and the Rockies 423. Graff 3687. Howes S133. Kurutz, Gold Rush 556. Mattes 403. Mintz, The Trail 403. Plains & Rockies IV:191n: "One of the most readable of all the overland accounts of the gold-rush days." Streeter Sale 3228. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 175. Kurutz quotes Eberstadt's prospectus: "Sawyer's journal is one of but two known contemporarily printed accounts of the migration across the plains, and has long been a lost book in plains literature." But despite its importance, as Eberstadt writes in the letter to Webb:

($300-500)

 


153. SMITH, Justin H. The Annexation of Texas. New York: Baker & Taylor, 1911. ix [1] 496 [1, ad] pp. 8vo, original green cloth. A few stains on upper cover, otherwise fine.

First edition. Basic Texas Books 188: "This is the most comprehensive study of the movement to bring Texas into the Union." Griffin 4215: "Based on exhaustive research in American and Texas sources. Conclusion justifies annexation and fails to consider seriously the basic Mexican point of view, emphasizing, rather, the incompetence and irrationality of Mexican official action." Howes S634. Rader 2945.
($100-200)

 



Item 154

 

154. SMITH, S. Compton. Chili con Carne; or, the Camp and the Field. New York: Miller & Curtis, 1857. xvi, 404 [16, ads] pp., engraved frontispiece, 6 plates. 8vo, original blind-stamped green cloth, gilt pictorial spine. Light outer wear and staining, occasional foxing to text.

First edition. Garrett, Mexican-American War, p. 253. Tutorow 3237. Smith, acting surgeon with General Taylor's division in Mexico, includes many medical details of the Mexican-American War not found elsewhere. The first two chapters are in Texas, and early in the book Smith sets the tone: "What cared youthful blood whether the war were a righteous one or not. That was our country's affair—not ours. And, with light hearts and bounding pulses, we left our homes to test the novelties of a first campaign, and embark in quest of wild adventures in that far-famed land" (page 3). Smith gives a balanced judgement on the virtues and defects of the army volunteers, including the Rangers.
($150-250)

 



Item 155

 

155. SOWELL, A. J. Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas.... Facts Gathered from Survivors of Frontier Days. Austin: Jones, 1900. viii, 844 pp., frontispiece, plates. Large 8vo, original red cloth decorated in gilt and black. Front hinge cracked, former owner's name on front pastedown, otherwise fine and bright. Most copies offered are smoke and/or water damaged and in the later red binding, rather than the pre-fire red and black binding.

First edition, first issue, with copyright notice on title verso. Basic Texas Books 193: "The work contains 132 accounts of early pioneers, mostly as told by them directly to Sowell.... Most of the work relates to Indian fights and Texas Rangers. This material is fresh and for the most part not repeated in Brown, Willbarger, or other works." Dobie, pp. 58 & 60. Graff 3909. Howes S797: "Nearly all copies were either destroyed or damaged by fire." Rader 2957. Raines, p. 193. Tate, Indians of Texas 2432.
($600-1,000)

 


156. STAPP, William. The Prisoners of Perote: Containing a Journal Kept by the Author, who was Captured by the Mexicans, at Mier, December 25, 1842, and Released from Perote, May 16, 1844. Philadelphia: Zieber, 1845. 164 [4, ads] pp. 12mo, original green cloth. Head of spine chipped, cloth slightly discolored, interior very fine, with contemporary ownership notation of Charles H. Wessels.

First edition. Agatha, p. 32. Basic Texas Books 197: "This was the first book to appear on the Mier expedition; it is still one of the best.... Descriptions of the march to the Rio Grande, the Battle of Mier, the surrender of the Texans, their imprisonment and attempts to escape, the drawing of the black beans, the removal to Mexico City, and imprisonment in Perote Prison." Fifty Texas Rarities 27. Graff 3949. Howes S891. Raines, p. 194. Streeter 1610. Cited by Streeter as one of the top books for a Texas collection (p. 329). Vandale 167.
($1,000-2,000)

 


157. STIFF, Edward. The Texan Emigrant: Being a Narration of the Adventures of the Author in Texas, and a Description of the Soil, Climate, Productions, Minerals, Towns, Bays, Harbors, Rivers, Institutions, and Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants of that Country; Together with the Principal Incidents of Fifteen Years Revolution in Mexico.... Cincinnati: Conclin, 1840. 367 [1, ad] pp., 2 engraved views (View of Galveston City and Bay and Battle of San Jacinto), engraved folding map with original outline coloring of the Republic of Texas (Texas. Cincinnati Published by George Conclin. Doolittle & Munson Engravers.... 9-1/4 x 11-3/8 inches). 12mo, three-quarter green morocco over green cloth (bound by Bennett). Folding map silked and split at folds and a few old repairs. Mild to moderate foxing to text. With note by Dudley R. Dobie indicating this copy was from the library of "Grandpa Shettles," the legendary Texas book collector, book dealer, bibliographer, Methodist minister, and jack of all trades (New Handbook V:1026-27). Rare, particularly with the map and plates.

First edition. Basic Texas Books 199: "One of the most controversial guide books written by a visitor to early Texas.... Stiff's guide is most useful for the light it sheds on such Texas settlements as Houston, which he states consisted of 382 houses and a population of three thousand, of which only about forty were women. He deprecates the moral character of the citizens, point out that there were 65 places of business, 47 of which were saloons of gambling houses.... Stiff's viewpoint throughout the book is decidedly pro-Mexican. He castigates the Texas Revolution as having been fought by opportunists who 'rebel first and find out the reason afterwards.'" Clark, Old South III:244. Graff 3989. Howes S998. Raines, pp. 195-56. Sibley, Travelers in Texas, p. 221. Streeter 1367: "Here conventional accounts of the physical features of Texas and of its cities and towns are interspersed with gossipy comments on various named individuals and on life in Texas in general, making it quite an entertaining book." Vandale 168.
($2,000-3,000)

 


158. TAYLOR, F. W. The Broad Pennant: or, A Cruise in the United States Flag Ship of the Gulf Squadron, during the Mexican Difficulties; Together with Sketches of the Mexican War.... New York: Leavitt, Trow, 1848. 415 [1] [16, ads] pp., folding lithograph frontispiece (The United States Squadron Landing its Seamen & Marines, at the Brazos de Santiago, May 8, 1846). 12mo, original blind-stamped brown cloth, gilt pictorial spine. Spinal extremities chipped, binding lightly stained, occasional mild foxing, frontispiece creased.

First edition. Eberstadt, Mexican War 857: "One of the few descriptions of the naval operations of the war." Garrett, Mexican-American War, p. 170. Haferkorn, p. 74. Tutorow 3366. Raines (p. 199) cites Taylor's article in Harper's but does not mention the present work. Not in Howes. An account of U.S. Navy operations in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Texas, with interesting material on the day-to-day life of the ordinary seaman. The excellent frontispiece (which is usually lacking) will be listed in Holman & Tyler's forthcoming work on nineteenth-century lithographs of Texas.
($300-500)

 


159. [TERRY'S TEXAS RANGERS]. Claiborne, Jno. M. Muster Roll of Terry's Texas Rangers: With Historical Remarks...Reunion at Galveston, February 20th, 1882. N.p., [1882]. 107 [1] pp. Folio, original three-quarter black sheep over marbled boards. Boards rubbed, first two leaves with minor chips and tears to outer blank margin, last leaf with 2-1/2 x 2 inch piece missing from outer margin (affecting enlistment summary figures of Companies D-I). Signed by R. F. Hall of Austin on preliminary leaf. Laid in is printed circular letter from Claiborne with his portrait, addressed to "My Comrades," Galveston, February 20, 1882. 4 pp. leaflet (printed on pp. [1] and [3], 4to. Exceedingly rare.

Claiborne explains in the accompanying letter that he has compiled the names of all of the regiment as far as he was able, along with each man's rank, place of birth, when enlisted and by whom, residence, and general and specific historical remarks. The roll has blank spaces, and Claiborne solicits additions and corrections from his comrades to update the muster roll for the next reunion. The Eighth Texas Cavalry (New Handbook II:805-06), a group of volunteers assembled by Benjamin Franklin Terry, was mustered into the Confederate army in September 1861. Although Terry was killed at Woodsonville in December, the sobriquet of Terry's Texas Rangers remained. The unit was one of the most effective mounted regiments in its theatre of operations in the Civil War, and it never officially surrendered. As Claiborne says at the end of the Muster Roll: "248 men answered for duty on the day preceding the surrender at Jonesboro; only two men surrendered, the balance thinking that the war would be continued in the Trans-Mississippi Department." See Item 74 herein.
($500-1,000)


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