Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2013 Issue

Accounts from the American West from Old West Books


Tom Horn was dead by the time his Life was published.

This next book comes with a somewhat odd title: Life of Tom Horn Government Scout and Interpreter Written By Himself Together With His Letters And Statements By His Friends A Vindication. He needed the vindication by his friends as by the time this book was published (1904), Tom's life had come to an end... at the end of a rope. Horn started out as a civilian army scout, participating in the capture of Geronimo. He then moved on to being a deputy sheriff and at times a hired gun. His next round of employment found him working for Pinkertons, but his actions at times pushed the lines of legality. Pinkerton liked the results but not what he did for their reputation. They bid him goodbye. He spent his next years working as a deputy marshal, but also as a private hired gun, primarily for large cattle ranchers. He became implicated in a series of killings on behalf of the cattle ranchers around the time of the Johnson County War, but was acquitted whenever brought to trial. Finally, he was charged with the killing of the 14-year-old son of a small time sheepherder. It was questionable whether he was guilty of this crime, but the jury had no doubt that he was guilty of many others and this was their chance to impose justice. Tom Horn was convicted and hanged. His friends had to write that last chapter. Item 40. $1,750.

If you want the truth about Jesse James, or at least a book about Jesse James that contains the word “truth” in the title, here it is: The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James. The only correct and authorized edition. Giving full particulars of each and every dark and desperate deed in the career of this most noted outlaw of any time or nation. The facts and incidents contained in this volume were dictated to Frank Triplett by Mrs. Jesse James, wife of the bandit, and Mrs. Zeralda Samuel, his mother. Consequently every secret act, every hitherto unknown incident, every crime and every motive is herein disclosed. Truth is more interesting than fiction. Frank Triplett was a fast writer, turning this gem out in just three weeks after James was killed. However, James' mother and wife denied that they participated in the account, although they shared in its royalties, which makes one wonder about their truthfulness too. It may have been they were concerned their statements could be harmful to Jesse's brother Frank, who was heading for trial. Apparently Governor Crittenden didn't like the book either and attempted to have it suppressed. Triplett accused the Governor of participation in James' killing. James death, like the book, dates back to 1882 and yet we are still fascinated with this less than upstanding citizen. Item 86. $2,750.

John Wesley Hardin was another man with a less than sterling reputation. His reputation was for killing people. He may have killed a couple dozen, maybe more, maybe less. Whatever the actual number, it seems he did have an itchy trigger finger, ready to squeeze it at the slightest provocation. Eventually he was captured and sent to prison, being pardoned and released 17 years later. A little over a year after his release, on May 3, 1895, we know Hardin stepped into a bar for a drink in San Antonio. We know this because item 36 is Hardin's bar bill for that night. It is signed by Hardin. We also know that Hardin stopped by a bar on August 19 of that year in El Paso. This we know because that was when and where a constable shot and killed him. $7,500.

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b> Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.

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