By Michael Stillman
Just received in our mailbox is Catalogue 807 from Gene W. Baade Books on the West. I've figured the catalogue numbering code to mean August 2007. Baade regularly provides an assortment of interesting and obscure works from America's western states. That means you can anticipate accounts of explorations, gold rushes, gunfighters, cowboys and Indians, and railroads, along with the more mundane issues of the West. Baade offers 150 new items this month, and doesn't expect you to break the bank to buy one. Here are a few of his items.
No western catalogue would be complete without outlaws, and who better to fill this requirement than Jesse James? Item 3 is A.C. Appler's Train and Bank Robbers of the West. A Romantic but Faithful Story of Bloodshed and Plunder, Perpetrated by Frank and Jesse James. This is the first issue of the "new" edition, it combining an 1875 book on the Youngers, with whom the James Brothers "worked" before establishing their own reputation, with the James' story. The edition was published in 1882, the year Jesse was struck down by an assassin. Frank wisely retired from the business. Priced at $250.
Here is a form that was filled too many times -- a Printed Application Form from the Ku Klux Klan. This application is circa 1927, just as membership in the hate group was peaking. It includes many of the type of questions you would expect to find on a fraternal organization's membership form, such as "Gentile or Jew?" and "Do you believe in White supremacy?" Included with the application form is a broadside announcing, K. K. K. Come and Hear the Truth about the Klan. Rev. Burdick, Speaker -- Amherst, N.H. Aug. 11, 1927. Item 85. $225.
This is a book for those who collect poetry or love horses. We really don't know what these poems are about, so we'll let you guess from the title: Mares, Mud, and Manure. A Collection of Poems for Horse Lovers. These must be for people who love horses very much. Item 17, published in 1996, and signed by author Nancy Callery. $35.
Item 12 is an unusual book, The Commandment Breakers of Walla Walla, by Henry Broderick. Broderick was the Warden at the Washington state prison, and sat in on 2,500 hearings before the Parole Board. Evidently he must have heard every excuse in the book, and he writes about them in this 1934 title. This copy contains an inscription from him. $77.50
Item 92 offers a look at Bleeding Kansas from the eyes of a clergyman: In Perils by Mine Own Countrymen Three Years on the Kansas Border by a Clergyman of the Episcopal Church. Author and clergyman John McNamara was strongly opposed to slavery, which is what got him into trouble with his border ruffian countrymen, who tried to impose slavery on the territory despite majority opposition. $85.