Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2009 Issue

Western America from Old West Books


Rare books from the Old West.

By Michael Stillman

Old West Books has issued Catalog 26 of Rare, Out of Print Books on the American West. Old West features materials from the aforementioned time and place, with a section on the larger-than-in-life General Custer, and one on everything else western. This is a land that has intrigued Americans and many non-Americans as well since the time it was first explored. Old West offers a catalogue full of books that will take you back to those early days when the horse was the mode of transportation, and a six-gun did your talking. Let's go back.

Item 66 is a Letter from the Secretary of War Transmitting in Response to Resolution of February 11, 1887 Correspondence with General Miles Relative to the Surrender of Geronimo. Geronimo was an Apache warrior, one of the last to hold out against the encroachments of the United States and Mexico. The Apache had held out for centuries, first against the Spanish, later the Americans. To the settlers, they were brutal killers, but they held onto their homeland longer than most Indians. Eventually, they were too far outnumbered, and Geronimo and his remaining warriors surrendered to General Miles in 1886. This item is the official report of the surrender prepared for the Senate. Priced at $625.

Item 56 is a biography of one of the "mountain men" of the 18th century: Uncle Dick Wootten. The Pioneer Frontiersman Of The Rocky Mountain Range, by Howard Conard, published in 1890 (during Wootten's lifetime). Wootten was born in Virginia, raised in Kentucky, and in his early 20s headed out west. He started as a trapper, but this was just as the interest in and value of furs was collapsing. He turned to scouting, buffalo hunting, and serving as a guide. He hauled freight for the government along the Santa Fe Trail, and then in 1866, at the age of 50, he obtained the right to build a toll road across Raton Pass in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado. In 1878, Wootten sold his road to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, which completed rail service over the old Santa Fe Trail the following year. He secured a lifetime stream of payments from the railroad that allowed him to comfortably live out his years in his home on Raton Pass. $500.

It was one of the more spectacular trials the nation had seen. It would have been even more spectacular had the defendant's younger brother been the one on trial, but since Jesse James had been convicted without trial at the barrel of a gun, Frank had to serve as a stand-in. Item 104 is The Trial of Frank James for Murder... by George Miller, Jr., published in 1898. After Jesse was shot in the back by a former comrade seeking reward money, Frank concluded his life was at great risk. He turned himself in to Missouri's Governor, who agreed not to extradite James to Minnesota where he faced murder charges. Instead, he was tried for a separate murder in Missouri, where the James brothers were still something of folk heroes. This book provides the evidence and key testimony and arguments at trial. James was acquitted, despite the evidence, and went on to live a reasonably respectable, law-abiding life for his remaining 33 years. $525.

Fifty years later another set of outlaws roamed the plains, though they rode automobiles instead of horses. Item 70 is The Story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker As Told by Bonnie's Mother Emma Parker, and Clyde's Sister, Nell Barrow Cowan. Bonnie and Clyde's family reminiscences was published in 1934. That was shortly after the untimely deaths of Ms. Parker and Mr. Barrow. This book covers the two from childhood to their time on the run to their deaths in a hail of gunfire. It is not exactly an objective look at their "careers," but does give great insight about them from the families' point of view. This copy has been signed by Fay Dunaway and Warren Beatty, who played Bonnie and Clyde in the noted movie of that name in 1967. $1,350.

Item 63 is the Life and Adventures of Billy Dixon Of Adobe Walls, Texas Panhandle... by Olive K. Dixon (his widow) published in 1914. Dixon served as an army scout, hunted buffalo for the railroads, and was involved in a couple of notable Indian fights, at Adobe Walls and Buffalo Wallow. Buffalo hunting by settlers was threatening the food supply and way of life of the Comanche and Kiowa Indians. They responded with attacks. The settlers managed to defend the Adobe Walls trading post, and the next day, with the Indians encamped on a ridge, Billy Dixon fired "the shot of the century." He picked off an Indian from almost a mile away, discouraging further attacks. However, it was later at the Battle of Buffalo Wallow, where all of the defenders were injured, that Dixon became a rare civilian winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. $975.

Old West Books may be reached at 719-260-6030 or oldwestbooks@earthlink.net. Their website is www.oldwestbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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