Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2013 Issue

America's Natives Featured at Back Of Beyond Books

Backbeyond9

Rare books from Back of Beyond.

Back of Beyond Books has published their Rare Book Catalog #9. This one features selections from their Native Americana collection. America's natives almost always received the short end of the stick. Treaties were usually either unfair from the beginning, or ignored by the American government if they were not. The Indians were regularly described as “savages” by those who took their land, destroyed their sources of food, and looked for any excuse to wage war on them. Not all of the whites behaved in such a manner. We also find works by people who respected America's natives, who tried to preserve their culture and treat them fairly. Sadly, for all the noble efforts, the Indians always ended up on the short end. They were simply outnumbered. Here are some of these works pertaining to the settlement of America and its impact on her natives.

We will start with one of the most important looks at the Plains Indians while still relatively untouched by western influences. This is not a first edition, but that would cost something north of $100,000, probably eliminating most readers from contention. Item 52 is the History of the Indian Tribes of North America by Thomas McKenny and James Hall. Originally published in three volumes 1842-44, this three-volume set was published by John Grant in 1933. It contains 123 full-page color lithographs, mostly from drawings by Charles Bird King, with Hall's text. McKenney, who lost his job as Superintendent of Indian Affairs when President Andrew Jackson took office in 1829, decided he needed to head west and pictorially preserve the remnants of traditional Indian life before it was too late. Most of the plates depict individual Indians. Fortunately, McKenney had these published in book form as all but five of the portraits were lost in the Smithsonian fire in 1865. This 1933 set includes the rare dust jackets. Priced at $1,275.

Another man who undertook a similar mission during the 1830s was George Catlin. Catlin was an artist who went out west to sketch the Indians. He published his drawings in 1844, but Catlin also took his artwork on the road. He traveled around North America and Europe showing his images of what must have appeared to westerners as exotic people. Later on, he also took some Indians with him to Europe to make his show even more compelling to local audiences. Item 12 is Catlin's Adventures of the Ojibbeway and Ioway Indians in England, France, and Belgium, a self-published third edition from 1852. It recounts his travels around Europe with his collection and his Indian representatives. $500.

Financial difficulties forced Catlin to sell his collection in 1852. However, he continued to travel, and visited tribes in South America as well during the 1850s. He wrote about his many adventures among the Indians in a book for children published in 1867: Life Amongst the Indians: A Book for Youth. Those original portraits Catlin was forced to sell ended up being donated to the Smithsonian by the purchaser's widow in 1879, where unlike King's original drawings destroyed in a fire, they survive. Item 13. $150.

One person who fought for Indian rights was Helen Hunt Jackson. She heard Indians speak of their plight and undertook extensive research. She was appalled by such things as land confiscation and forced removal. In 1881, she published this book: A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Governments Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes. Just to make sure her point was heard, Mrs. Jackson sent a copy to every member of Congress. It may have raised some sympathy, but little action. She would have more success in arousing the public a few years later when she wrote a fictional tale of an Indian woman entitled Ramona. Item 42. $125.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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