Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2008 Issue

Adventures from the American West from Old West Books

Old west22

Catalog 22 from Old West Books.


By Michael Stillman

Old West Books has issued its Catalog 22 July 2008 of rare, out of print books on the American West. This is an exciting catalogue, for not only is it filled with many collectible pieces, I think every one of them must be an interesting read. These are the stories of people who explored and settled the Old West, and at times engaged in a few altercations with their firearms. Some of them weren't able to always make effective use of those arms, such as General Custer, but these are people who lived exciting lives, and occasionally, thrilling (if unpleasant) deaths. The Old West fascinates us because it was such a spectacular and different world. These adventures of the 19th century are still electrifying to relive today. Now here's your chance.

Frank Grouard, like many of the names in this catalogue, is not a celebrated one, but his life was far more interesting than that of most of today's celebrities. Grouard was the son of a Mormon missionary who ran away from home and was captured by Indians at the age of 19. Captured as opposed to killed because supposedly Sitting Bull saved his life and adopted him as a brother. Evidently, Grouard did not feel the same about Sitting Bull as after seven years with the Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, he escaped, and became an Army scout under General George Crook, helping track down the Indians. He was in the area when Custer made his last stand, and reportedly "intercepted" smoke signal communications that Custer had been defeated, which his superiors did not believe. He is also said to have been the first non-Indian to see the Custer battlefield. Grouard is held responsible by some for the eventual death of his one-time comrade Crazy Horse. According to this theory, after the latter's surrender, Grouard, acting as interpreter, supposedly deliberately misinterpreted Crazy Horse's words to make him sound hostile to whites. His arrest was ordered, and Crazy Horse died in a scuffle which followed. Others hold this theory very unlikely. Grouard's life would bring him in contact with many more important events and personalities, including the final Indian defeat at Wounded Knee. His story is recounted in Life and Adventures of Frank Grouard, by Joe De Barthe. This would not include the final chapter of his life as the book was published in 1894, and Grouard lived until 1905. Item 241. Priced at $775.

Hugh Lenox Scott was not a witness to Custer's demise, but he knew much about it and Custer's Seventh Cavalry. Scott graduated from West Point in June 1876, which was when Custer met his fate. He was so moved by it that he asked to join up with the Seventh Cavalry, where he met many of the soldiers who served with Custer. Along with their stories, he recounts his own from the campaigns in the years which followed. His book, Some Memories of a Soldier, was published in 1928. Item 46b. $725.

A very long, though non-military career, is recounted in Seventy Years on the Frontier. Alexander Majors crossed the plains in a wagon, rode briefly for the Pony Express, and once hired Buffalo Bill to carry dispatches between wagon trains. He was obviously quite an elderly man when his biography was published in 1893. This copy is inscribed by Majors to his grandson. Item 73. $650.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle: Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson. Online only auction Aug 3-14</b>
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>The Sportsman's Portfolio of American Field Sports.</i> 1855. Est: $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Bishop's Birds. Etchings of Water-Fowl and Upland Game Birds.</i> 1936. Est: $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hunting Big Game in Far Northwest British Columbia</i>. 1904. Est: $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Mananaland. Adventuring with Camera and Rifle Through California in Mexico.</i> 1929. Est: $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle: Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson. Online only auction Aug 3-14</b>
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Grand Canyon Trails.</i> 1924. Est: $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>A Sporting Trip through Abyssinia. A Narrative of a nine months’ journey..</i> 1902. Est: $200 to $300
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hunting in Tanzania [...in Zimbabwe; ...the Sudan; ...in Botswana; ...in Ethiopia; ...in Zambia; ...in South Africa; ...in Kenya]</i>. 1991-2000. Est: $800 to $1200
    <b>Doyle, Online only auction Aug 3-14:</b> <i>Hounds and Hunting through the Ages ... with an Introduction by the Earl of Lonsdale</i>. 1928. Est: $600 to $900
  • <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:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000

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