Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2008 Issue

Gene Baade Offers More Books on the West

Baade208

Catalogue 208 from Gene W. Baade.


By Michael Stillman

Gene W. Baade Books on the West
has issued Catalogue 208, a brief collection of items from their stock. This is a group of works ranging from a few decades ago to the days when the Old West was still new. Baade offers an interesting group of titles, both readable and collectible, and few will break the bank. There are many intriguing books for those fascinated with the West in the days before it was won. Now, here are a few.

Item 5 is the first complete edition of the other Audubon's travels of the mid-19th century: Audubon's Western Journal. 1849-1850 Being the MS. Record of a Trip... John Woodhouse Audubon was the son of the famous ornithologist John James, and helped his father enormously with the publishing of his books. John Woodhouse reduced many of his father's illustrations for the octavo edition of his "Birds of America," the edition that was financially successful. The son also drew half of the illustrations for his father's "Quadrupeds of America" and continued later publications of his father's works after the latter died. However, he also found time for this trip which took him from New York to Texas, Mexico, and the gold fields of California. This first complete printing of the younger Audubon's trip account was one of the earlier Arthur H. Clark titles, published in Cleveland in 1906. It contains a biographical memoir of the second generation Audubon by his third generation daughter, Maria R. Audubon. Priced at $85.

Who would have thought of this one: The Catholic Church in Utah 1776-1909. Of course Utah is closely associated with a church, but not often the Catholic Church. However, the first Europeans were the Spanish missionaries, there to convert the Indians who roamed the land for centuries. Item 43, by Dean Harris, published in 1909. $110.

Here is a book more tragic than any Shakespearean tragedy. It is the story of Ishi in Two Worlds. Ishi was of what is called the Yahi, a division of the Yana Indian tribe of California's Sacramento Valley. At once perhaps several thousand strong, they were forced out and hunted down by settlers in the 19th century. The Yahi fared the worst. After several attacks, most notably the Three Knolls Massacre of 1865, several dozen of the remaining Yahi were killed, leaving only about 30. At this point, the surviving Yahi took to the mountains, leading a secretive, nomadic existence to avoid slaughter. One by one, they died off, until just one, Ishi, six years old at the time of the massacre, survived. He emerged from hiding near Oroville in 1911, and was taken to the University of California by anthropologists for his own protection. He continued to live there until 1916, when the man known as "the last of the wild Indians," died. Ishi's major contact with the western world was through famed anthropologist Alfred Kroeber of the University, who extensively studied this last man of his kind. Kroeber died in 1960, and the following year his widow published this work. Theodora Kroeber never knew Ishi herself, but had her husband's notes and stories to rely upon. Item 53. $27.50.

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