Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2018 Issue

Indians and the West from the George S. MacManus Company

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Indians & The West.

The George S. MacManus Company has issued Part II of their catalogue of Indians & The West. Part II explains why all author names begin with letters from M-Z. It contains 260 items about the Old West, but there isn't much of the Cowboys and Indians type of stuff, nor wild west gunslingers. Rather, what we find is much very important material concerning the development of America west of the Mississippi, occasionally on the east side in earlier days when the "West" began much closer to the Atlantic. This is the West underneath the veneer of Buffalo Bill and Hollywood. These are a few selections from this catalogue.

 

The treatment of America's natives by the expanding young nation on its way to achieving its "Manifest Destiny" has long been a blot on its history. The forcing of eastern Indians west, the constant taking of land and herding into smaller and smaller reservations, all the while blaming them for what was done, is a sad part of our past. However, it was not always meant to be that way. The nation's founders did not plan this. Item 550 is the first federal law regulating interaction with the natives, a very rare copy of the 1790 action Congress of the United States... An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes. It requires that anyone involved in commercial activities with the Indians be licensed by the Federal Government. Those who aren't licensed will forfeit all goods sold or obtained through their trade. The sale of Indian lands could only be done through the authority of the Federal Government. It provided for the punishment of anyone who committed crimes against the Indians. Of particular note, because it would be violated so often later on, it provides for the punishment of anyone who went onto Indian lands and "there commit any crime upon, or trespass against, the person or property of any peaceable and friendly Indian or Indians." The founders had high ideals, but as settlers, gold-seekers, and others discovered the riches of Indian lands, those ideals and laws were often ignored. Priced at $20,000.

 

So, who were America's human inhabitants before the Indians? The answer, of course, is earlier "Indians," their ancestors. However, Josiah Priest had a different theory, described in his 1833 book, American Antiquities, and Discoveries in the West: Being an Exhibition of the Evidence that an Ancient Population of Partially Civilized Nations, Differing Entirely from Those of the Present Indians, Peopled America Many Centuries before the Discovery by Columbus. According to Wikipedia, Priest is known as "one of the creators of pseudoscientific and pseudohistoric literature." He was not trained in archaeology or similar subjects, but that did not stop him from examining ancient sites, notably Indian burial mounds, and combining his conclusions with his biblical interpretations to determine America's ancient history. Basically, his starting point was racist, that the earlier civilizations were too advanced to have been built by the "savages" who then inhabited the land. So, he concluded they must have been descendants of Noah or the the Lost Tribes of Israel. Read this book to understand the thinking of his time, not American antiquity. Item 437. $300.

 

One of the earliest to envision the project that opened the West, the transcontinental railroad, was Asa Whitney. Whitney was a New York merchant who went to China to trade. Rather than opening the West, Whitney was more interested in opening China trade. He believed a railroad to the Pacific would make trade with China and Asia much more efficient than the long journey around the southern tip of South America. After returning from China in 1844, he set about devising a plan. Here is his first, Memorial of A. Whitney, Praying a Grant of Public Land to Enable Him to Construct a Railroad from Lake Michigan to the Pacific Ocean, published in 1846. Note that date. The Transcontinental Railroad, finally completed in 1869, ended in San Francisco, but in 1846, California was still part of Mexico. His map shows the railroad crossing through Iowa and over South Pass in Wyoming, but then disappearing. Evidently, he was still struggling with finding an appropriate terminus, though it would have to be somewhere in the Oregon territory. Congress never gave Whitney the land to construct his railroad, but his proposal provided inspiration to others who would go on to construct the transcontinental railroad two decades later. Item 578. $350.

 

By the 1850s, there was far more attention directed toward planning a Pacific Railroad. Item 445 is a massive report, Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. It consists of 12 volumes, published from 1855-1860. The project was under the direction of Jefferson Davis, but not in his role as Confederate President, but his earlier position as U. S. Secretary of War. The surveying was conducted in 1854-55, and it provided an enormous increase in knowledge of the American West, its geology, geography, topology, and natural history. It also contains the best mapping of the West up to its time. Along with its maps, there are numerous lithographic plates, some colored. $10,000.

 

These people certainly could have used a Pacific Railroad, if only it had been built when Asa Whitney was proposing his. Item 350 is History of the Donner Party. A Tragedy of the Sierras. This account by Charles McGlashan was published in 1879, but the Donner Party attempted to cross the Sierra Mountains to the California coast in 1846. According to Reese, "Probably no feat of endurance in the West has so seized the popular imagination." There were other terrible journeys, but the starvation in the high mountains, and the turn to cannibalism by those who survived, is why this story is still well-known today. McGlashan was the editor of the newspaper in Truckee, the closest town, which enabled him to gather many records of the event three decades earlier, putting together "the most trustworthy account of the journey." McGlashan was also able to interview many of the survivors still around at the time. $2,500.

 

The George S. MacManus Co. may be reached at 610-520-7273 or books@macmanus-rarebooks.com. Their website is www.macmanus-rarebooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €

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