Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2007 Issue

"Oklahoma!" from Gene Baade Books on the West

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"Oklahoma!" from Gene Baade.


By Michael Stillman

Gene W. Baade Books on the West
has issued their most extensive catalogue yet: "Oklahoma!" No, this is not a Rogers and Hammerstein musical. Rather, it is a textual. Offered are over 400 items pertaining to the Sooner State, or Oklahoma Territory, or Indian Territory, depending on how far back you wish to go. Baade describes this printing as "...my most ambitious catalogue to date, and one close to my heart..." That may sound odd for a Washington State bookseller, but Baade is an Oklahoma native, having grown up on a farm in the "Cheokee Strip" (a strip of land along the state's northern border once belonging to the Cherokees). He notes that while not everyone may agree with an old broadside that "Oklahoma is the richest healthful section of North America," it indisputably "was a 'Country' that spawned a broad history and a rich literature." Here are some samples of that broad history and rich literature.

Oklahoma has had its share of colorful characters. Here is one. "Catch 'em Alive" "Jack" Abernathy must have been the greatest of all wolf hunters. His nickname explains what he did, but Abernathy didn't use traps. No, he caught 'em with his bare hands. Abernathy, who according to his friend Teddy Roosevelt, was just about the greatest horseman alive, would chase the critters relentlessly on his horse until they tired. He would then jump from the saddle, grab hold of the wolf's jaw, and wire his mouth shut. This story reached a disbelieving President Roosevelt, who traveled to Oklahoma in 1905 to see for himself, and participate in a wolf hunt with Jack. It was said that Roosevelt was the only man who could keep up in the saddle with Abernathy, but he couldn't catch wolves. Item 1 is Jack's story: In Camp with Theodore Roosevelt or the Life of John R. (Jack) Abernathy, published in 1933. Priced at $200. Item 2 is a revised version of his story, Catch 'Em Alive Jack, published in 1936, and inscribed by Abernathy. $275.

"Catch 'em Alive" wasn't the only famous member of the Abernathy family. In fact, his sons may have been even better known than he. Their story is recounted in The Remarkable Ride of the Abernathy Boys, by Robert B. Jackson, published in 1967. Louis, age 10, and Temple, age 6, presented their father with an unusual request in 1910. They said they would like to ride on horseback from Oklahoma to New York, by themselves, to greet former President Roosevelt on his return from an African safari. Evidently, Jack was a permissive father, because he said "yes." There was a lot of publicity as the boys rode east, attracting large crowds of well-wishers, even welcoming bands along the way, but it was still quite remarkable for kids of their age. However, it was not a first, as the boys had ridden alone from Oklahoma to Santa Fe the year before, when they were not yet quite so mature. They returned by car (evidently age requirements for driving an automobile were much lower then), "Temp" was said to be barely able to reach the pedals. Three years later, the boys were at it again, when they took on a $10,000 challenge to ride horseback from New York to San Francisco in 60 days. They lost, finishing in 62. Item 197. $45.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <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
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    <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
  • <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.
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    <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.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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