Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2012 Issue

Western Americana from the William Reese Company

Reese287

Western Americana.

The William Reese Company has issued a catalogue of Western Americana. There are few subjects that generate as much interest, and consequently are as highly collectible, as the American West. However, this is not a catalogue filled with cowboys and Indians, gunslingers and lawmen. Sure, they make their appearances, particularly America's natives, but not in the stereotypical way we remember from childhood. These are serious looks at the Old West, from the early explorations by Lewis and Clark and those who followed, to the settlement of that vast land, and the Indian wars which enabled that massive land transfer. We even find Davy Crockett, but he is not Fess Parker in a coonskin cap, but a fighter defending the Alamo, as recounted by one of the few witnesses to survive the final battle. Here, now, are a few selections from Western Americana.

Speaking of the Alamo, most of the few who survived were women and children. One from each of those categories were Susanna Dickinson and her daughter, Angelina. Their husband/father perished in the fight. Apparently, Mexican leader Santa Anna wanted to adopt Angelina, but Mrs. Dickinson declined. There were probably hard feelings. Thirteen years later, a bill was raised in the Texas House to provide aid for the Dickinson women. This plea is contained in the Speech of Guy M. Bryan, Member for Brazoria, on a Joint Resolution for the Relief of the Infant Daughter of Susannah and Almiram Dickinson. Bryan was a nephew of the “father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, and a veteran of the Texas Revolution. Bryan particularly wanted the legislature to raise funds for the education of Angelina, a teenager now in the year of 1849. He calls out for aid to the “christened child of the Alamo, baptised in the blood of a Travis, a Bowie, a Crockett and a Bonham... Give her what she asks, that she might be educated, and become a worthy child of the State!” Neither Bryan's fiery words nor his Texas pedigree made a difference. She was not given what she asked. Bryan's bill passed the House, but died in committee. Perhaps as a result of their stinginess, instead of becoming an educated young woman, Angelina became a drifter, with two failed marriages, and reportedly died in Galveston (or New Orleans) a courtesan. Item 2. Priced at $2,500.

It took several decades for the life of tragedy to unfold for the “child of the Alamo,” but for the men there, it took but a few hours. Item 106 is an autograph letter from James Morgan, which includes a firsthand account of the Battle of the Alamo written less than a month after it happened in 1836. Morgan was a commander in the Texas Revolution, and his letter was written in hopes of securing aid for the Texian army. Morgan was not a witness to the events within the Alamo himself. He would have been killed had he been there. However, he recounts the testimony of a witness, William Travis' slave, Joe, whose life was spared. For once, it was better to be a slave than a master. While the last moments of the famous defenders of the Alamo remain uncertain, it is generally believed that Jim Bowie was ill in bed, and was killed there. According to Joe, he got under the bed, evidently seeking protection, from where he fought to the end using his pistols and famous knife. Davy Crockett, he said, led the defenders as long as he could. “No man could have behaved with more bravery than he did.” Item 106. $75,000.

Item 66 is a rare example of the variety of book commonly known as an “Indian captivity:” A Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Horn, and Her Two Children, with Mrs. Harris, by the Camanche Indians, after They had Murdered Their Husbands and Travelling Companions; with a Brief Account of The Manners and Customs of that Nation of Savages... For starters, their manners must not have been very good, killing your guests not being polite behavior. The Horns were Britishers, emigrating first to New York, and then joining the Beale expedition in 1833 to settle lands along the Rio Grande at Delores, Texas. Unfortunately, Delores was not a fun place to live, and the Comanches added an element of danger to the other miseries of the place. In 1836, the Horns and others decided to leave, but with Mexican troops on the move as a result of the Texas Revolution, and Comanches prowling the area, escape was difficult. The group was surprised by the Indians, Mr. Horn and other men killed, and the rest of the family and Mrs. Harris taken off as captives. Mrs. Horn would be separated from her children, whom she would never see again, and was ransomed by traders in New Mexico in 1837. Her health damaged and unable to secure the release of her children, she traveled to Missouri, where she was interviewed for this book by its author, E.A. House. The book was published in 1839, also the year Mrs. Horn died. $16,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 131. After Karl Bodmer (1809-1983) Pehriska-Ruhpa Aquatint. $1500-$2500
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 212. Catlin Snow Show Dance Hand Tinted Lithograph No. 14. $1000-$2000.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 213: Hurlimann After Bodner Saukie Fox Indians Aquatint. $500-$1000.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 226: After Karl Bodmer. Dance of the Mandan Indians Aquatint. $1000-$1500.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 281: Karl Bodmer (1809-1983) Massika and Wakusasse Hand. $750-$1500.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 244: After Catlin Nah-To-Toh Pa Lithograph, Plus Another. $300-$600.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 305: History...Indian Tribes N. America, McKenney & Hall, 3. $3000-$5000.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 316: Catlin, George, "North American Indians," 1841, 2 Vols. $500-$1000.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 284: Catlin, George, "North American Indians," 1926, 2 Vols. $200-$300.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 285: Coleson, Miss Ann, "Among the<br>Sioux Indians!" 1864. $500-$1000.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 289: Heard, L.V.D., Sioux War and Massacres, 1865, First. $400-$800.
    <b>Dirk Soulis April 30:</b> Lot 288: Life of Life of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak or Black Hawk, 1834. $400-$800.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. <i>A superb collection of manuscripts signed by Lincoln and relics related to Lincoln’s death</i>. Washington, 1864-1865
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Rare Relic of the Underground Railroad (1857). <i>$500 Reward Ran away ...</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> CARTER, SUSANNAH. <i>The Frugal Housewife,</i> (1772) the second American cookbook, plates by Paul Revere.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SCHIRRA, WALTER M.. Icon of the American Space Program. <i>A Complete Set of Schirra’s Flight Log Books (1947-69).</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A fine pair of daguerreotypes, one a black nurse holding a white baby, the other the white parents. Maryland, c. 1853.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Internet. (COMPUTERS.) CERF, VINTON & KAHN, ROBERT. <i>"A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication" in IEEE Transactions on Communications.</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Anne & Margot Frank's copy of <i>Grimm's Fairy Tales</i>, in which Anne wrote her own and Margot's name, circa 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Albert Einstein, group of 4 letters Signed to Helmut L. Bradt regarding Bradt's emigration to the U.S., one bearing Nazi censor ink stamps, 1939-40. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of items from Ludwig Bemelmans to producer Mary K. Frank, concerning <i>The Street <br>Where the Heart Lies</i>, 1959-62. <br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Archive of correspondence to<br>Edwin A. Van Valkenburg from President Theodore Roosevelt and members of his family, 1913-21. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Oscar Wilde, manuscript notes panning a book on book collecting, circa 1886. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>John Hancock, partly-printed document Signed as Governor of Massachusetts, Boston, 1781.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Franz Liszt, Autograph Letter<br>Signed to Carl Gille, Rome, 1869. $4,00 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b> Joseph Conrad, photograph Signed and dated, 1918. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 5:</b><br>Two Guns White Calf, photograph postcard Signed with his pictogram, 1929. $800 to $1,200.
  • Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts, 8 June 2016, New York
    Bonhams June 8: ARISTOTLE.<br>384-322 B.C.E. De animalibus <br>US$ 300,000-500,000.
  • Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 18. Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $14000-$17000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 20. Pitt, <i>Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula</i>, 1680. Est. $9500-$11000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 65. Ortelius, <i>Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio</i>, 1571. <br>Est. $6000-$7000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 84. Bailleul, <i>L'Amerique Divisee en Ses Principales Parties</i>, 1752.<br>Est. $19000-$22000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 99. Sayer & Bennett, <i>The American Military Pocket Atlas</i>, 1776. <br>Est. $10000-$12000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 269. Reid, <i>Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia</i>, 1796. <br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 291. Carleton, <i>Map of Massachusetts Proper</i>, 1801. Est. $12000-$14000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 378. Keulen, <i>Pas Kaart vande Noord Oost Kust van Cuba en d'Oost Kust van Florida</i>, 1695. Est. $3250-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 651. Ptolemy/Fries, <i>Tabula Superioris Indiae & Tartariae Maioris</i>, 1541.<br>Est. $3000-$4000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 688. Wit, <i>Nova Africa Descriptio</i>, 1660.<br>Est. $2750-$3500
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 706. Ortelius, <i>Maris Pacifici</i>, 1589.<br>Est. $8000-$9000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 727. Audubon, <i>Least Stormy-Petrel</i>, 1836. Est. $1400-$1700
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 741. Bordone, <i>Isolario</i>, 1547.<br>Est. $16000-$19000
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 747. Teesdale, <i>A New General Atlas of the World</i>, 1835. Est. $2000-$2750
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 752. Colton, <i>Colton's Atlas of the World Volume I and II</i>, 1856.<br>Est. $2500-$3250
    Old World Auctions (May 4): Lot 760. Prevost, <i>Histoire Generale des Voyages ... Tome Quatorzieme</i>, 1757. <br>Est. $2400-$3000

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