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>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 1. Albertus Magnus, De Natura Locorum, 2nd edn, 1515. £3000 to £4000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 22. George Cooke, Scenery of the East India Islands, 1811-13. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 23. J.M. Crozet, Nouveau vouage a la Mer du Sud, 1st edn, 1783. £4000 to £6000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 27. J.P.J.Du Bois, Vies des Gouverneurs Generaux, 1st edn, 1763. £1200 to £1800.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 28. Wm Ellis, Authentic Narrative...Captain Cook, 1st edn, 1782. £2500 to £3500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 31. Thomas Forrest, Voyage to New Guinea, 1st edn, 1779. £1500 to £2000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 32. Forster & Forster, Voyage round the World, 1st edn, 1777-78. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 38. Gianetti, Elogy of Captain James Cook, 1st edn, 1785. £2500 to £3500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 46. Otto von Kotzebue, Entdeckungs Reise, 1st edn, 1821. £3500 to £4500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 52. Alejandro Malaspina, Viaje politico-scientifico, 1st edn, 1885. £2000 to £3000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 60. Sydney Parkinson, Journal of Voyage to the South Seas, large paper, 1773. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 64. Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage round the World, 1st edn, 1789. £4000 to £6000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript<br>Online Auction 8-15 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Elizabeth I. Early letter signed, to Edward North, First Baron North 1560. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Catherine II. Empress of Russia Letter signed to Prince Grigori Aleksandrovich [Potemkin] 1784. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Nelson. Autograph letter signed, to Captains of Egyptian Club, 3 August 1798. £12,000 to £18,000,
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript<br>Online Auction 8-15 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Charles Darwin. Photograph signed, c.1871 by Oscar Gustave Rejlander. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> T.E. Lawrence. Autograph letter signed, to Major Littleton, 14 October 1918. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Napoleon. Letter signed, ordering General Desaix to sail to Malta, prior to the Egyptian Expedition, 1798. £2,000 to £3,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ptolomaeus (Claudius). <i>Cosmographia,</i> first edition, Vicenza, Hermann Liechtenstein, 13 September 1475. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Schoener (Johann). <i>Opera mathematica,</i> 3 parts in 1, first edition,The Honeyman copy in contemporary binding, Nuremberg, J. Montanus and U. Neuber, 1551. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Lucian of Samosata. <i>Dialogoi, editio princeps,</i> with fine illuminated title-page, Florence, Lorenzo de Alopa, 1496. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Pian (Jean Baptiste de). [Architectural Alphabet], 26 chromolithographs by Leopold Muller after Pian, Vienna, 1842-44. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Rogers (Bruce).- Holy Bible (The)..., one of 200 copies on handmade paper, designed by Bruce Rogers, bound in modern crimson morocco, gilt, Oxford, 1935. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Jenner (Edward). <i>An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae…,</i> first edition, Printed for the Author, by Sampson Low, 1798. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Voyages.- Cook (Capt. James).- Parkinson (Sydney). <i>A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's Ship the Endeavour,</i> second edition, Charles Dilly...& James Phillips, 1784. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Clemens (Samuel Langhorne)] "Mark Twain". <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> first edition, first state, New York, Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Voight (Hans Henning)], "Alastair". Herod, for 'Salome: Drame en un Acte', original drawing in red & black ink over pencil, [c.1922]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> James (M.R.) <i>Ghost Stories of an Antiquary,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to A.C. Benson, 1904. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Remarque (Erich Maria). <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1929. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ashendene Press.- More (Sir Thomas). <i>A Fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke...Utopia,</i> one of 100 copies, bound in black goatskin by J.Franklin Mowery, Ashendene Press, 1906. £3,000 to £4,000.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> O'Fihely, Maurice Abp. <i>Questiones subtilissme Scoti in metaphysicam Aristotelis</i>, Venice (Octavianus Scoti) 20th November 1497. 8,000 to 12,000 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Pococke (Richard). <i>A Description of the East and some other Countries,</i> 3 vols. in 2, L. (W. Bowyer) 1743. 2,250 to 3,500 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Keogh (John). <i>Botanalogia Universalis Hibernica, or A General Irish Herbal Calculated for this Kingdom, giving an account of the Herbs, Scrubs…</i>, Corke (George Harrison) 1735. 1,000 to 1,500 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Perry (Charles). <i>A View of the Levant particularly of Constantinople, Syria, Egypt and Greece,</i> L. (T. Woodward) 1743. 800 to 1,200 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Shaw (Thomas). <i>Travels, or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant,</i>, Oxford (The Theatre) 1738. 600 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (Nicholas) Bishop of Ferns] Attributed, <i>Recit Exact et Fidele de la Vente et Partage du Roiaume d'Irlande Fait Sous Charles II…,</i> Milan (Chez Charles Joseph Quinto) 1724. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (V. Rev.Dr. Nicholas, Bp of Ferns.)] <i>The Unkinde Desertor of Loyall Men and True Frinds,</i> 12mo, n.p. 1676. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>Plays and Controversies,</i>, N.Y. (The MacMillan Company) 1924, Signed Limited Edn. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Barrie (J.M.) & Thomson (Hugh) illus. <i>Quality Street, a Comedy in Four Acts,</i> L. (Hodder and Stoughton) 1901, Limited Edition, signed by the artist. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Molyneaux (William). <i>The Case of Ireland's being bound by Acts of Parliament in England Stated,</i> [London 1719]. 200 to 300 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Johnston's (W. & A.) Map of South Africa, to illustrate the Military Operations 1900. 100 to 150 €
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>N.C. Wyeth, <i>The Black Arrow,</i> oil on canvas, for the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1916. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Laurent de Brunhoff, mixed media color study for <i>Babar’s World Tour,</i> 2005. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Hilary Knight, <i>Eloise with Valentine,</i> watercolor, ink & pencil, 2015. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Howard Pyle, <i>It was a Comrade from His Own Regiment,</i> oil on canvas, for <i>Harper’s Monthly Magazine,</i> 1909. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Coby Whitmore, <i>‘Poor baby! You want me so much,’ she said,</i> acrylic, for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1968. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Al Hirschfeld, <i>Charley’s Aunt,</i> pen & ink, for the Broadway revival, <i>The New York Times,</i> 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Erté, <i>Décor de Laideronnette,</i> gouache set design for third movement of <i>Mother Goose,</i> 1949. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Vince McIndoe, <i>Villainous Last Supper, DC Comics,</i> oil on canvas, 2016. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Arthur Getz, <i>Rooftop Party,</i> casein tempera, cover illustration for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1970. $2,000 to $3,000.

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