Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2006 Issue

Western Americana from Arthur H. Clark

Clark927

Catalogue 927 from the Arthur H. Clark Company.


By Michael Stillman

We just received the latest catalogue from The Arthur H. Clark Company. This is number 927 for this century-old bookseller from Spokane, Washington. Clark specializes in Americana, the west in particular, and is well-known and respected for publishing as well as selling books. This month they offer one new title, On The Way To Somewhere Else. This book is filled with accounts from lesser-known European travelers of the 19th century into the West, particularly the Mormon settlements. Unlike most Americans who took a very negative view of the Mormons, Europeans were more open-minded when encountering their customs. Speaking of their most controversial custom, an Italian Count records Prophet and future Church President John Taylor saying in 1853 "we don't think polygamy can last for long." Others who give their accounts include an outraged Catholic priest, a German prince, a liberated Frenchwoman and a French convert. This intriguing book is now available for $39.50.

There is also a selection of half-priced books in this collection, so this could be an excellent time for bargain hunters to get acquainted with Clark's catalogues. Here are a few of the books offered for sale within its pages.

Jedediah Smith was a pioneer among mountain men. He was a trapper and explorer who traveled to more places than any of the other mountain men of the era, the 1820s. He was the first American to enter California from the east, somehow crossing the Mojave Desert and living to tell of it. He was also the first to cross the barren Great Basin of Nevada and Utah, still some of the most uninhabited territory of the lower 48. Yet another first was his trip up through central California and Oregon. Smith would survive a mauling by a bear, several Indian attacks which cost the lives of many companions, hunger and thirst, and all the deprivations of his chosen lifestyle. His luck ran out in 1831, when, at the age of just 32, he was killed by Comanches. His body was never found. Item 108 is Jedediah Smith: Trader and Trail Breaker, a 1936 biography of this trailblazer by Maurice Sullivan. $150.

Here is another story about travels into the wilderness: Travels and Adventures in Canada and Indian Territories, between the years 1760 and 1776. Author Alexander Henry was a trader in Canada, who was granted exclusive trading rights on Lake Superior in 1765. He lived with the Indians and participated in numerous ventures, one of which evolved into the legendary Northwest Company. Unlike Smith, Henry managed to avoid the extreme risks, and went on to live a long and prosperous life, and also unlike Smith, got to complete the story of his adventures. Item 136, published in 1809. $1,250.

Captain James H. Simpson carved out a route from Utah to California in 1859 fairly close to one that Smith had first pioneered. Rather than following the Humboldt River, it worked its way down from Salt Lake City through central Nevada, cutting around 250 miles off the trip. Those looking for off-the-main-road adventures in Utah can still follow the old Pony Express Trail, pass Simpson Springs Station in the Simpson Mountains, and see fairly empty territory that doesn't look that different from when Simpson traversed it. His report, published by the Government Printing Office in Washington, is Report on Explorations across the Great Basin of the Territory of Utah for a direct wagon-route from Camp Floyd to Genoa, in Carson Valley, in 1859. Oddly, the book wasn't printed until 1876, the Civil War intervening before it could be published. Item 261. $850.

Item 288 is the story of Buffalo Jones, by his friend and admirer, legendary western writer Zane Grey. Jones made his name hunting buffalo to feed railroad workers and others, but once realizing the herds were fast disappearing, would be a leader in attempts to preserve the species. He would reintroduce several herds, and even tried to breed a cross with cattle, which he called "cattalo," but they were unable to reproduce. Grey's book about Jones is called The Last of the Plainsmen. Item 288 is a copy of this 1908 book, and one that comes with an inscription from "Buffalo Jones," the "Last of the Plainsmen." $940.

Here is a detailed source for presidential papers from the first century of United States history. It is A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents...published in 1897. It is filled with official messages, proclamations, and addresses of presidents from Washington to Cleveland. Containing 20 volumes, this set is great for historical research or looking erudite and impressive on your shelves. Item 20, compiled by James D. Richardson. $195.

The Arthur H. Clark Company may be found online at www.ahclark.com or called at 800-842-9286.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <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>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000

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