Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2019 Issue

Rare Books from the American West from Old West Books

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Rare books from the American West.

Old West Books recently issued Catalog 48 of Rare, Out of Print Books on the American West. You will find some of the familiar names, like Buffalo Bill and Jesse James, but there is lots from obscure people, ranchers, settlers, soldiers, regular people who tamed the land. And then there is poor Gen. Custer who remains a famed western character all because of the worst day of his life. Here are a few specific titles you will find.

 

We begin with a man who is himself obscure, but rode with some of the most notorious names in the West, Jesse and Frank James, the Younger Brothers, "Bloody" Bill Anderson and William Quantrill's Raiders. James Cummins came from Clay County in western Missouri, the front line between Confederate sympathizing Missourians and Kansas free soilers. He chose the Confederate side and rode with Quantrill's terroristic raiders. He then joined up with the Confederate Army, but when the war ended, he, like the James Brothers, transitioned to a gang of ordinary outlaws. He robbed trains and banks with the James-Younger gang until it was forced to disband, then headed to Montana with a new identity to lead a respectable life. No one knew who he really was. Perhaps that was just as well as some suspected he was involved in the plot to kill Jesse James since his sister, Artella, married Robert Ford, James' killer. He later returned to Clay County, but by then, he was immune from arrest as no one would testify against him. He lived until 1929, his last years in a Confederate home where he was known as a storyteller, the last survivor of the James-Younger gang. Item 25 is Jim Cummins The Guerilla, published in 1908. Cummins' account is extremely rare, Old West knowing of only two other copies, both in the same collection. Priced at $6,750.

 

Here is another autobiography of someone who cut his teeth with Quantrill's Raiders and would certainly have known Mr. Cummins. Item 80 is The Story of Cole Younger by Himself Being an Autobiography of the Missouri Guerrilla Captain and Outlaw, His Capture and Prison Life... published in 1903. The stories of the James and Younger Brothers weren't all that great after their outlaw days were over. Jesse James was murdered, John Younger killed by Pinkertons, Bob Younger died in prison, Jim Younger killed himself a year after release from prison unable to cope. Only Frank James, who was acquitted, and Cole Younger, who spent many years in jail, ever got to live out normal lives. Younger robbed banks, stages, trains, wherever there was money. It all went awry in 1876 when an attempted robbery of a bank in Minnesota resulted in a hail of gunfire. The James Brothers escaped, but the Youngers did not, captured after a shootout with a posse. The Youngers were sentenced to life in prison, but the two surviving brothers were freed in 1901. Like Frank James, Cole reformed, and for a while, went on tour in a wild west show with Frank James. This is his story and this book is also very rare. $5,750.

 

We all know what happened to Gen. Custer and his men, but did you ever think about what happened to his animals? They suffered too, though not quite as spectacularly as his men. The story of Comanche, the "lone survivor" of the Custer massacre, is well known. Comanche was a horse. While having just one survivor is not much better than none, it wasn't quite so bad. Several of their other horses also survived but were captured by the Indians. Comanche was left behind because he was in rough shape, thereby being found by the cavalry. Item 118 is Marching with Custer, a Day-by-Day Evaluation of Uses, Abuses, and Condition of the Animals on the Ill Fated Expedition of 1876 by Elwood Nye and Carroll Friswold. This is a 1964 limited edition book published by the Arthur H. Clark Co. $650.

 

Here is one of those tales by someone whose name you don't know, but her experiences were probably more harrowing than those of some of the outlaws. Emma Shepard Hill was just 14 years old when her family made the journey by wagon from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Denver. The year was 1864, and if they had been patient a few more years they could have taken the train. As it was, 1864 was a bad year. The Indians were desperate, searching for food, trying to hold on to the remnants of their land. The trip was spent in terrible fear. Passing soldiers warned them of killings of immigrants on the trail both ahead of and behind them. Dead cattle, abandoned wagons, an occasional body littered the route. At times they could see Indians in the distance, and frequently had to pass through deep ravines where they were sitting ducks. Somehow, they lucked out and made it to Denver. Miss Hill's book is titled A Dangerous Crossing and What Happened On The Other Side. The first part tells of the dangerous journey, the second is a diary of her new life in Empire City, Colorado. Item 40 is a copy of the very rare first edition, published in 1914. $2,750.

 

This is a book of poems, but one with a Custer connection. The title is Poems and Verses, by Mary Mapes Dodge. It's safe of say Gen. George Armstrong Custer never read these since the book is dated 1904 and Little Bighorm occurred in 1876. However, his incredibly loyal wife lived on, and on and on. She outlived him by over half a century, until 1933, 57 years after her husband's last stand. Evidently, Ms. Dodge was friendly with Elizabeth Custer, as she has inscribed her book "To dear Libbie Custer With much love from M.M.D." Then there is a second inscription. This one reads, "From Aunt Libbie to May Custer Elmer 14 Clark St. Bklyn." May Custer Elmer was George and Elizabeth's niece, specifically, the daughter of George's brother Nevin Custer. Elizabeth Custer lived in Brooklyn during her later years, far from the West of her younger days with George. May also lived there and did much to look after her aging aunt in her later days. May was with her when she died. Item 29. $675.

 

If Elizabeth Custer ended up heading east, Buffalo Bill headed even farther in that direction. Bill spent about a decade as a western guide and scout, which he then parlayed into a long career as a showman, bringing his exaggerated look at western life to the east. However, he discovered that not only did eastern Americans suck up this caricature of the West, Europeans loved it too. He not only took his show on the road, he took it over the sea. Item 36 is Four Years in Europe with Buffalo Bill. A Descriptive Narrative of the Big American Show's Tour in Foreign Lands, published in 1908. The author of this account of the 1903-1906 Wild West tour was Charles Eldridge Griffin. Griffin, like Bill, was a bit of a character himself. He had performed in circuses doing all sort of acts, magician, sword-swallower, ventriloquist, fire-eater and so on. He must have been a perfect fit for the show. $325.

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Gonnelli:</b> Books & Graphics 26th – 27th – 28th May 2020.
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> May 27th, Travel and exploration.
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> May 27th, Musical books, autographs & printed music.
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> May 26th, A collection of Piranesi’s etchings. € 50 to € 16000.
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> May 28th, Books from XV to XX Century.
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> May 28th, Hansel and Gretel and other stories by the brothers Grimm illustrated by Kay Nielsen. € 1000.
    <b>Gonnelli:</b> May 28th, Artists’ books from Dalì, Marini & others.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>June 23, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [SUPREME COURT JUSTICES]. A very extensive collection of 203 letters, documents and signatures. A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES, JOHN JAY THROUGH WILLIAM REHNQUIST. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> ZATTA, Antonio. <i>Atlante Novissimo.</i> Venice: Antonio Zatta, 1775-1785. ONE OF THE FINEST WORLD ATLASES issued in Italy in the 18th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [CHICAGO HISTORY] -- [COLUMBUS, Christopher]. Monumental historiated and embroidered panel of the MADE FOR THE 1893 COLUMBIAN EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>June 23, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [MONASTERY HILL BINDING]. AINSWORTH, William Harrison. <i>Historical Romances.</i> Philadelphia, n.d. A fine early exhibition binding by the Monastery Hill Bindery. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM]. New York: Tiber Press, [1960]. 4 volumes. LIMITED EDITION, number 119 of 200 COPIES, EACH SIGNED BY THE POET AND ARTIST. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> GRATIANUS, the Canonist. <i>Decretum.</i> Venedig: Petrus de Plasiis, 25 January 1483. Second quarto edition. FIRST PAGE ILLUMINATED BY A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>June 23, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [ABOLITIONISTS]. <i>William Lloyd Garrison. The Story of his Life.</i> New York, 1885. ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS FROM SEVERAL NOTABLE ABOLITIONISTS neatly bound in throughout. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> ANSON, George. <i>A Voyage round the World, In the Years 1740... 1744.</i> London: John and Paul Knapton for the author, 1748. FIRST EDITION. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> Blank railroad ledger, "Compagnie des Chemins de fer de l'Ouest" (spine title). N.p., 1909. A MONUMENTAL 20th-CENTURY ART NOUVEAU BINDING. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>June 23, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [MINIATURE ROOM] -- [FLEMING, John (1910-1987)]. Miniature of his 57th Street Library and Gallery. JOHN F. FLEMING'S BARONIAL 57TH STREET GALLERY. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE BINDING]. CHESTERTON, G.K. <i>Five Types: A Book of Essays.</i> London, 1910. LIMITED EDITION, number 3 of 30 copies on vellum SIGNED BY GEORGE SUTCLIFFE. $400 to $500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Jun. 23:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. <i>When Adam Delved and Eve Span....</i> [Ancoats Brotherhood, 1894-5]. LIMITED EDITION, one of 250 copies printed. $500 to $700.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States, pamphlet, 1862. Sold May 7 for $11,875.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. Sold May 7 for $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> E. Simms Campbell, A Night-Club Map of Harlem, in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. Sold May 7 for $27,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. Sold May 7 for $17,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. Sold May 7 for $5,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> The Black Panther: Black Community News Service, 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. Sold May 7 for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike, silver print, 1968. Sold May 7 for $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> March For Freedom Now!, poster for a protest on the 1960 Republican Convention. Sold May 7 for $17,500.
  • <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
    <center><b>ABAA Virtual Book Fair</b><br>Join your favorite booksellers<br>June 4-7, 2020
  • <b>Koller International Auctions: Books [and] Manuscripts & Autographs. June 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> INCUNABULA -Fridolin, Stephan. <i>Schatzbehalter.</i> With 96 (including 5 repeated) full-page text woodcuts. Nürnberg, 1491.<br>€ 39 470 / 57 020
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> Kokoschka, Oskar. <i>Die Träumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys).</i> With 11 original lithographs. Vienne, 1908.<br>€ 35 090 / 52 630
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> Third Bessarion Master (active in Lombard in the third quarter of the 15th century). Leaf from a gradual, 1455-60.<br>€ 21 930 / 30 700
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> Picasso, Pablo - Delgado, José alias Pepe Illo. <i>La Tauromaquia o arte de torear.</i> With 26 original aquatints and 1 original etching by Picasso.<br>€ 21 930 / 35 090
    <b>Koller International Auctions: Books [and] Manuscripts & Autographs. June 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> Linschoten, Jan Huygen van. <i>Itinerario, Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien…</i> Amsterdam, 1595.<br>€ 17 540 / 26 320
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> CHILDREN’S BOOKS - Meggendorfer, Lothar. <i>Nah und Fern. Ein Tierbilderbuch zum Ziehen.</i> With 8 coloured, lithographed plates.<br>€ 530 / 790
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> DANSE MACABRE - Bille, Edmond. <i>Une Danse macabre.</i> With 20 coloured woodcuts. Lausanne, 1919. Large folio.<br>€ 610 / 880
    <b>Koller, Jun. 15:</b> Dexel, Walter. A collection of 7 invitation cards from the Kunstverein Jena, each typographically designed by W. Dexel. Jena, 1924-1928. Each 10.5 x 14.8 cm.<br>€ 530 / 790

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