The Spalding Collection of Western Americana from Randall House
Here is the story of Texas' attempt to assert its rights to the more distant territories it claimed. It was a disaster, though Texas did not give up these claims until forced to as a prerequisite for statehood. Item 103 is George Wilkins Kendall's Narrative of the Texas Santa Fe Expedition, published in 1844. In 1841, a contingent of merchants and military guards set out from Austin for Santa Fe, expecting to convince the locals to join the Republic of Texas. They never got that far. The mission was intercepted by a much larger force of Mexican soldiers. The Texans had little choice but to surrender, whereupon they were marched 2,000 miles to prison in Mexico City. U.S. diplomats managed to get them released the following year. Author Kendall was one of those held in prison in Mexico. $1,750.
Item 151 is a major piece for both California and Mormon collections. The work is Fruits of Mormonism; or, a Fair and Candid Statement of Facts Illustrative of Mormon Principles, Mormon Policy, and Mormon Character, By More Than Forty Eye-Witnesses, compiled by Nelson Slater. Slater crossed the plains in 1850 with a group of immigrants seeking California gold. However, bad weather forced them to wait out the winter in the Salt Lake Valley. Evidently, their interactions with the Mormons were not pleasant. On reaching California, the group decided to publish this item as a warning to others from the East planning to journey to California or Oregon via Salt Lake. They accused the Mormons of everything from murder to abuse, discrimination, harassment, excessive taxes, treason, thievery and trickery. The immigrants also called on Congress to abolish the Utah Territorial Government and replace it with a military government. Along with being an important Mormon item, this 1851 publication is an exceptional California piece, being the first, and apparently only book printed in historic Coloma, the place where gold was first discovered in the state (at Sutter's Mill). Additionally, it was the first book offered for copyright in California. Along with being very important, this book is extremely rare. As far back as the Huntington duplicate sale of 1923, it was described as "EXCESSIVELY RARE, and highly important as an early California and Mormon title." $40,000.
You may reach Randall House at 805-963-1909 or Pia@RandallHouseRareBooks.com. The website is www.RandallHouseRareBooks.com.