Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2020 Issue

The American West, Civil War, Texas and More from Back of Beyond Books


Catalogue 22 from Back of Beyond Books.

Back of Beyond Books has published their Rare Book Catalogue Vol. XXII Summer 2020. Back of Beyond is mostly a specialist of the American West, the Southwest in particular. However, this is more extensive than their typical catalogue and the selections range far and wide. There are a lot of selections from the eastern edge of the West, Texas, the Civil War, and even a complete set of Captain James Cook's three voyages. Outside of sailing along the Pacific Northwest coast on his third and final voyage, Cook didn't have much connection to the American West, unless you include Hawaii, where he was killed by unhappy locals. These are a few selections from the over 300 being offered by Back of Beyond Books.


We begin with a book that became a guide for many travelers making the journey west on the Oregon Trail. The title is Journal of Travels Over the Rocky Mountains, to the Mouth of the Columbia River, Made During the Years 1845 and 1846... by Joel Palmer, published in 1847. Palmer made the trip twice, the first in 1845 when emigration began to rapidly rise. Oregon's white population doubled that year, from 3,000 to 6,000. Palmer kept detailed notes of his journey, including places where he camped, springs, grassy areas to feed beasts, cut-off roads and such. The result was his account became a guide for later emigrants seeking to make the journey. As such, most copies of Palmer's book have long since disappeared, and many of those remaining show signs of serious use. Item 219 is a first edition, first issue of Palmer's book that shows signs of having received practical use. Priced at $7,500.


This is another travel book that provided tips for those who followed. This one is a little older, and the destination was Texas. The title is A Visit to Texas, Being the Journal of a Traveller Through Those Parts Most Interesting to American Settlers... It was published in 1834, the year before the Texas Revolution. The Traveler/Author's name is unknown, though a few names have been suggested. He bought some land in Brazoria and came to Texas to find out what he had purchased. Brazoria is located southeast of Houston, and unlike its neighbor, hasn't grown all that much since, though it has a long tradition and one of Texas' newest landmarks, a Buc-ees. The book describes Texas' scenery, natural history, and the political situation. This copy is missing the folding map but contains all four plates. Item 278. $2,200.


This is the tale of a settler whose family was supposedly wiped out by Indians. These tales were once common, some being real, some a mix, many pure fiction knowing that whites of this time would easily buy into the premise. The title of this one is Narrative of the Massacre, by the Savages, of the Wife & Children of Thomas Baldwin, Who, since the melancholy period of the destruction of his unfortunate family, has dwelt entirely alone, in a hut of his own construction, secluded from human society, in the extreme western part of the State of Kentucky. It is not clear whether Thomas Baldwin's 1835 book is based on truth or fiction. According to Baldwin, he came to Kentucky at the behest of his friend, Daniel Boone, which turned out not to be good advice. Thomas Field, in his Indian bibliography, says, “Very little of this fugitive chapbook relates to the subject of the massacre by the savages, and that little is worthless; the rest is mere rhapsody and bombast.” Wright Howes, in his Usiana, says, “Perhaps based on some actual incident of border horror in early Kentucky, but unconvincingly and rhapsodically presented.” You'll have to figure this one out for yourself. Item 11. $750.


Next is an account of Wyoming's infamous Johnson County War. It pitted large cattle operators against their small-time competitors, at a time when the open plains were rapidly disappearing. The large cattlemen claimed the small-timers were rustling their cattle, and undoubtedly there was some of that going on. However, it appears that they saw this claim more as a way to put their competitors out of business. They “retaliated” with guns, lynchings, and such behavior. The large operators were powerful, so they had the government and the law on their side. Asa Mercer had come to Wyoming to publish a journal on behalf of the large cattlemen's association, but when he realized what was happening, at great personal risk, he decided to tell the truth. His book is Banditti of the Plains or the Cattlemen's Invasion of Wyoming in 1892 [The Crowning Infamy of the Ages], published in 1894. The big cattlemen were not pleased. They had the book banned and a local court ordered all copies confiscated and destroyed. Fortunately, some copies were secreted away, although for years, the cattlemen and their families would buy up copies that came on the market and had them destroyed. As a result, this is an uncommon book today. Item 193. $3,250.


Item 288 is a photoprint of 25 members of the Mercur Fire Department. If you aren't familiar with Mercur, Utah, you need not feel ignorant. The place has been gone for a century. However, it was a large town on July 4, 1897, as witnessed by the large number of firemen in the department on that date. At its peak, it had 5,000 residents. Mercur was a gold mining town, located in Tooele County, southwest of Salt Lake City. Perhaps the firemen weren't quite as good as they needed to be. In 1902, almost the entire city burned to the ground. The citizens rebuilt it. Maybe they shouldn't have. A decade later, the mines closed, and the residents quickly left. Within a few years, no one was left, and the town dismantled. Almost nothing was left. Item 288. $175.


Back Of Beyond Books may be reached at 435-259-5154 or email andy@backofbeyondbooks.com. Their website is www.backofbeyondbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>October Sale<br>October 10, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> LA HARPE, Jean-Baptiste Benard de. 'CARTE NOUVELLE DE LA PARTIE DE L'OUEST DE LA LOUISIANNE'. $800,000 to $1,200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> AUDUBON, John James. Great Blue Heron, Plate 211. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> REDOUTE, Pierre-Joseph. Watercolor for plate 456: Bromella ananas (Cultivated Pineapple). $450,000 to $550,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> COOK, Captain James. <i>A set of the three voyages comprising...</i> London: 1773-1785. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Oct. 10:</b> KEY, Adrien Thomaszoon. Abraham Ortelius. Oil on Panel. $400,000 to $450,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Fine Literature<br>September 30</b>
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> WHITMAN, WALT. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First Edition. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> MILNE, A.A. and SHEPARD, E.H. <i>Now We Are Six.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> NABOKOV, VLADIMIR. <i>Lolita.</i> First American Edition. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Fine Literature<br>September 30</b>
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> RAND, AYN. <i>Atlas Shrugged.</i> $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> STEINBECK, JOHN. <i>To a God Unknown.</i> First Edition. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Doyle, Fine Literature:</b> WELLS, H.G. <i>The Works of H.G. Wells.</i> $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>We Invite You to Consign!<br>Rare Books, Autographs & Maps</b>
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> DARWIN, Charles Robert. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.</i> London: W. Clowes and Sons for John Murray, 1859. [With] autograph note signed. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> [FINE PRESS & LIVRE D'ARTISTE]. -- [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works ... now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward. <i>Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph.</i> [London: Privately Printed], 1926. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies…</i> London, Printed for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, R. Chiswell, and R. Bentley, 1685. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America…</i> [1839-] 1840-1844. -- AUDUBON, John James and John BACHMAN. <i>The Quadrupeds of North America.</i> 1849-1854. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> OGILBY, John, trans. [MONTANUS, Arnoldus]. <i>America: being the latest, and most Accurate Description of the New World…</i> London: Printed by the Author, 1671. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> HOBBES, Thomas. <i>Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill.</i> London: printed for Andrew Crooke, 1651. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> BLACKWELL, Elizabeth. <i>A Curious Herbal, containing Five Hundred Cuts of the most useful Plant which are now used in the Practice of Physick…</i> London: John Nourse, 1739. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> MILTON, John. <i>Paradise Lost.</i> London: Printed by S. Simmons ... to be sold by T. Helder, 1669. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Selections from the Library of<br>Gerald and Barbara Weiner<br>Live and Online<br>October 8, 2020 / 10am CT</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> MALCOLM X. Typed letter signed ("Malcolm X"), to Alex Haley. Cairo, Egypt, 18 September 1964. " 1 page, 8vo. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. Autograph letter signed (“JRRT”). To George Sayer, Oxford, 7 August 1952. 2 pages, 8vo, creased; morocco folding case. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Oct. 8:</b> WRIGHT, Frank Lloyd. Autograph manuscript signed ("Frank Lloyd Wright"), entitled "To the Countryside." N.p. [Taliesin?], [June 1926]. 2 pages, 4to, creased. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Paul George Lawler, <i>San Francisco – Hawaii Overnight,</i> 1939. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Around the World, <i>North German Lloyd,</i> designer unknown, circa 1910. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Michael Rudolf Wening, <i>Siam,</i> circa 1920s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Sigismunds Vidbergs, <i>Spend Your Holidays at the Wonderful Seaside of Riga,</i> circa 1925. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Jean Dupas, <i>“Where is this Bower Beside the Silver Thames?”</i> 1930. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Charles-Léonce Brossé, <i>Meeting d’Aviation, Nice,</i> 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> John Held Jr., <i>Nantucket,</i> 1925. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Seaverns W. Hilton, <i>Lewis and Clark, Northern Pacific,</i> 1920. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 15:</b> Fred Powis, <i>Jasper, Canadian National Railways.</i> $2,000 to $3,000.

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