Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2013 Issue

Accounts from the American West from Old West Books

Oldwest35

Books from the Old West.

Old West Books has issued their Catalog 35 of books on the American West. The books mostly cover the days of early discovery, settlement and growth of that large territory west of the Mississippi. The time period is 19th to early 20th century. Many are accounts of people who lived through the time and participated in its notable events. That includes some of the earliest explorers, those who made the arduous journey across the continent before there was public transportation, those who faced Indians, and those who had to deal with toughened gunslingers (or were such themselves). The Old West wasn't an easy place to live, but it didn't lack for excitement. Here are a few of these accounts.

Margaret Frink was one of those who made the long journey west. Her account can be found in Journal of the Adventures of a Party of California Gold-Seekers Under the Guidance of Mr. Ledyard Frink during a Journey across the Plains from Martinsville, Indiana, to Sacramento, California... She traveled in 1850 with her husband and three other men. Mrs. Frink provides a detailed description of the trip, including preparation, gathering supplies, and the first leg, from their home in Indiana to the starting point in Hannibal, Missouri. She even provides background on her husband and herself from before their journey. Their journey took them along the South Platte River, up to South Pass, down the Bear River, and then through the most difficult part, the deserts of Nevada. Eventually, they cross the Sierra Nevada and settle in Sacramento. She concludes by telling of their life in Sacramento and what became of the others who traveled with them. This is a rare book, printed in only 50 copies for family and friends. Offered is a presentation copy, and it includes a newspaper clipping announcing the death of Ledyard Frink. Item 32. Priced at $3,500.

Here is another woman's account of life in the Old West. Item 24 is Fort Reno Or Picturesque Cheyenne And Arapahoe Army Life. Before the opening of Oklahoma. The author was Mrs. Daniel (Ida Casey) Dyer, daughter of a former governor of Illinois. Her husband had a varied life. He joined the Union army late in the Civil War at the age of 15. He and Ida were married in 1870 but divorced in 1878, only to get remarried a year later. Perhaps that was a sign of a shaky relationship. They had six children, but none lived past the age of three. Daniel spent much of his life in business, hardware and real estate, but served as an Indian Agent in the 1870s, and again in 1884 for the Cheyenne-Arapahoe at Darlington Agency in Indian Territory. He served briefly as the first mayor of Guthrie (Oklahoma) after the Indian Territory was opened for settlement. Ida evidently harbored serious resentment towards Daniel. She felt he treated everyone generously except her, and she used her book to point this out. She never had an evening dress, Mrs. Dyer claimed. “This gentleman of noble and generous impulses to the widows and orphans at large tells this cherished partner of his bosom, in picturesque language, that would make the cold chills run through a graven image, that it was not necessary for money to be squandered on such articles...” This was a relationship with problems. Mr. Dyer reportedly responded by having as many many copies of this book as he could find destroyed. It was published in 1896, and the following year, for the second time, the couple divorced. Mr. Dyer went on to have a very successful business career, including a not so successful mining partnership with Buffalo Bill, donated an enormous collection of Indian artifacts to Kansas City, and died in 1912. Ida did not do as well, fighting a legal battle for the artifacts he gave away, finally achieving a settlement, but died shortly thereafter in 1922. $475.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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