Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2013 Issue

Early Western Americana from Old West Books

Oldwest36

Books from the Old West.

Old West Books has just released their Catalogue 36 August 2013. It is filled with material from the 19th and early 20th century. Naturally, it relates to the western half of America, which when combined with the date range, equals the “Old West.” These were mostly written by people who lived in the time and place, contemporary accounts by those who experienced the West when it was still new (which is now “old”). Their accounts are always fascinating. Here are a few of them.

Item 34 is General George Armstrong Custer's biographical account of My Life on the Plains or Personal Experiences with Indians. Of course, we all know from hindsight that Custer had some most unpleasant personal experiences with the Indians. However, at the time he published this book – 1874 – things were still, for the most part, going well. Custer was not shy about self-promotion, and wanted the world to know about his exploits fighting in Indian lands. The book may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is entertaining and provides a good look at his years on the plains. Two years later, it all ended quite abruptly. $1,750.

While Custer was fighting the Indians John Wesley Powell was undertaking his own dangerous journey, riding the rapids down the Colorado River to explore a mostly uncharted territory. While the terminus of his journey, the Grand Canyon, had been discovered by non-natives a decade earlier, most of the river route to it was unknown. In 1869, Powell and his men set off on the Green River in Wyoming, following it to its confluence with the Colorado and on to the Grand Canyon. While he wrote a report in 1875, Powell did not get around to publishing a full account until 1895. Item 75 is a first edition of that full account, Canyons of the Colorado By J. W. Powell, PH.D, LL.D, With Many Illustrations. It was published in a small run, believed to be only 100 copies. It includes Powell's personal narrative, ten folded panoramic views of the Grand Canyon, and many other illustrations. $6,500.

Here is an account of another man who served in the West, and various other places as well: Reminiscences of Winfield Scott Hancock. Hancock was named for the long-time military commander Winfield Scott when he was born in 1824. That was a prescient naming, as he would go on to be a military leader as well, serving under Scott during the Mexican War (and during the early days of the Civil War before Scott retired). Hancock had two tours of duty interacting with the Indians in the West, in Missouri before the war, in Dakota after. Much of this book, however, focuses on his service during the Civil War, where Hancock earned great respect for his defenses at Gettysburg. After the war, he was placed in charge of military Reconstruction in New Orleans under President Andrew Johnson. Hancock, like Johnson, was more sympathetic to southerners than most Republicans, promising noninterference with elections and local conduct so long as residents remained peaceful. It made him one of the more popular Union commanders in the South. He was a bit too moderate for President Grant, who transferred Hancock to Dakota after he took office, but his combination as determined Union supporter and Reconstruction moderate made him a logical choice for the Democratic presidential nomination. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Hancock succeeded in obtaining that nomination in 1880, only to lose a close election to James Garfield. Hancock died in 1886, and his reminiscences were published the following year by his wife, Almira Hancock. Item 44. $875.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions