Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2009 Issue

New and On Sale Americana from Clark Rare Books

Clark940

New acquisitions and sale items from Clark Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman


Clark Rare Books has issued its 940th catalogue, New Acquisitions and Inventory Clearance Sale. As the title suggests, this is a two-part catalogue. The first 80 items are all new to Clark's inventory, and there are some very special works in the field of rare Americana in this section. The remaining 200-plus items are ones Clark has catalogued before, but as they try to free up a bit more shelf space for incoming books, they have reduced the price on these by 30%. There are items here priced as low as $5, so take 30% off of that and you will find books that are not going to break your bank. However, for this review, we will focus on the new material, including some very important books.

Item 39 is the first insider's look at the most famous of all American expeditions, that of Lewis and Clark to the new lands obtained through the Louisiana Purchase. Though the journey ran from 1804-1806, the captains did not publish their official account until 1814. Several others jumped the gun and published earlier, but the first book published by a participant in the journey came out in 1807. The author was Patrick Gass, an enlisted man who was promoted to an officer during the journey. Though not as thorough a report as the official version years later, it was the first account of Lewis and Clark's visit to this new territory by an eyewitness. The book is titled A Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, under the Command of Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clark...During the Years 1804, 1805 & 1806. Priced at $15,400.

Item 1 is the first American edition of a major American work, Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson originally wrote the book to provide an account of the colony-now-state to a foreigner and published it in Paris in 1782. After a second edition in London, the first American was published in Philadelphia in 1788. It was the only book-length publication by Jefferson during his lifetime. $7,695.

Item 19 is an account of the deepest inland exploration of the American continent by an Englishman prior to the Revolution. Jonathan Carver set out to find a water passage across the continent in 1766. It brought him up through the Great Lakes to the head of the Mississippi, the old Northwest. That was as far as he got, though he speculated, correctly, on a great range of mountains from which rivers flowed to both seas. His book tells much about forts and Indian tribes he encountered along the way. The book is Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768, and this is a 1779 second edition, published a year after the first. $2,850.

Item 3 is a look at Picturesque Canada, the country as it was and is, edited by George Munro Grant. Actually, you can leave off the "as it is" part now since this book was published in 1882. It contains over 500 wood engravings of scenes, activities, and places in 19th century Canada. $275.

Item 15 is George Armstrong Custer's My Life on the Plains. Of course, Custer is better known for his death on the plains, but before he made his unsuccessful last stand, he participated in various military campaigns in the West. This is an 1874 first edition that contains the 1874 signature of Joseph Warren Keifer, who served with Custer in the Civil War and went on to be a congressman from Ohio. $1,475.

Captains George Dixon and Nathaniel Portlock both served on Cook's last voyage, which took them to America's Northwest coast. A few years later, they commanded their own expedition, and while also unsuccessful in finding a Northwest Passage, they did participate in opening the fur trade and expanded the mapping and knowledge of the coast. They each wrote accounts of their voyage on returning. Item 20 is Dixon's account, A Voyage Round the World; But More Particularly to the North-West Coast of America: Performed in 1785...1788... published in 1789. $5,200.

You may reach Clark Rare Books at 405-307-0088 or info@clarkrarebooks.com.

You will find many of Clark's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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