[HISTORIES]. PRESTON, William. Journal in Mexico, by William Preston of the Fourth Kentucky Regiment of Volunteers, Dating from November 1, 1847 to May 25, 1848. N.p. [Paris]: Privately printed [for Jack Kahane by Lacram-Servant], n.d. [1929 or after]. , 1-40,  pp., inserted leaf at front with caption title: Note on the Career of William Preston. 4to (28.7 x 23.5 cm), original fine binding by Jeanne Buck, full dark green morocco gilt, upper cover with triangular inlays in terracotta and tan morocco, gilt-ruled vertical boarders, 2 vertical inlays in maroon morocco, 10 black calf lozenge inlays, and author’s name and title in gilt lettering; spine with vertical gilt ruling and ten back calf lozenge inlays; green marbled endpapers, inner blind-ruled dentelles, t.e.g. Tips of corners slightly bumped, front hinge open, otherwise a very fine copy of the most amazingly bound Mexican-American War book in existence.
First edition. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 243. Howes P579. Tutorow 3619.
This unusual work was published in Paris by a noted printer in an unstated, but undoubtedly small, printing. It is apparently the only Mexican-American War book in an artist’s fine binding.
Jack Kahane, noted Paris publisher, began printing in 1929 and claimed that his books, “would exist for those...writers, English and American, who had something to say that they could not conveniently say in their own countries” (Published in Paris, p. 353). Kahane is probably best known for publishing works of James Joyce.
A Yale and Harvard graduate, Kentuckian Preston (1816-1887) had a long and distinguished career, including service with the 4th Kentucky Volunteers with the Rank of Lieutenant Colonel, several political offices, and major combat for the Confederacy. It is Preston’s experiences in the Mexican-American War that are the focus of this work. He saw no combat himself and seems to have generally trailed behind the army in a supply train. His comments, nevertheless, are intelligent and interesting. He is one of the few to make observations on Mexican works abandoned after battles.