Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2019 Issue

The 19th Century American West from Old West Books

80741597-16e1-4243-9aa2-64759fcdf6c3

The American West in the 19th century.

Old West Books has released their Catalog 46 of Rare, Out of Print Books on the American West. The material here generally covers that period from slightly before the middle of the 19th century to the turn of the century. That is the period when the American West went from an area unknown to all but Native American tribes and a few hardy explorers and trappers/mountain men, to a land taken over by settlers from the East, the Indians consigned to reservations. Some of the books are contemporary to these times, others later histories, but most deal with this specific period. Within this selection, one name is seen far more often than others, and it isn't some gunslinger, lawman, Indian Chief, or entertaining personality like Buffalo Bill. It is that of General George Armstrong Custer. Custer certainly wasn't above self-promotion, and his widow continued to promote his legacy for half a century after he died. Nonetheless, we all remember Custer primarily for the worst day of his life. Here are a few selections from this latest Old West catalogue.

 

This one-sided defeat/massacre of American troops by western Indians would probably be better remembered today were it not superseded by the even worse disaster experienced by Custer and his men. It is known as the Fetterman Massacre, named for Capt. William Fetterman, who exceeded his orders in pursuing Indian tribes who were trying to block off the Bozeman Trail. It was a trail that led to the Montana gold fields, but also territory several tribes called home. His superior, Col. Henry Carrington, built Fort Phil Kearny to protect the trail, but some, evidently Capt. Fetterman among them, felt Carrington was not sufficiently aggressive in protecting it. Perhaps in retrospect, his caution was justified. None of the group who went with Fetterman survived, hence the appellation "massacre." Item 14 is an account of life at the fort and the massacre by Col. Carrington's wife, Frances C. Carrington. The title is My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre (should be "Kearny"), published in 1910. Frances was not married to Col. Carrington at the time of the massacre. His first wife was still living, and the second Mrs. Carrington was married to Col. Grummond, one of those who died with Fetterman. She attempts to set the record straight about her second husband, whose reputation was tarnished by the episode. Priced at $125.

 

Here is a rare book that partly takes place in the West, with appearances from Custer, Buffalo Bill, and various Indian chiefs. The title is His Imperial Highness The Grand Duke Alexis In The United States Of America During the Winter Of 1871-72. It was written by William W. Tucker and published in 1872. Alexis was the fourth son of Alexander II, which meant he would be an important figure in Russia though unlikely to ever ascend to the throne. In the winter of 1871-1872, he was sent to the United States on a goodwill trip. It started in the East, where Alexis met President Grant, briefly to Canada, then to the Midwest, a hunt in the far west, back through New Orleans and on to Florida, before returning home. His western adventure was centered around a buffalo hunt. Buffalo Bill was his host, but others participated, including Custer, Gen. Philip Sheridan, and several Sioux chiefs including Spotted Tail and War Bonnet. It was a luxurious western adventure, gourmet foods, fine carriages, plenty of liquor, and luxurious settings in their tents. However, Alexis did also get to do some hunting, both with Buffalo Bill and one of Spotted Tail's best hunters. From there, Alexis would return via the Mississippi River to New Orleans, accompanied by Gen. Custer. They became good friends for the (short) remainder of Custer's life. This book is very rare as it was privately printed in an edition of 212 copies for Tucker's family and friends who participated in the buffalo hunt. Laid in is a menu from a banquet held in Milwaukee on January 2, 1872, described by Old West as a "very extravagant menu." Item 109. $14,500.

 

Next is a view of Custer's demise by a man associated with the other side, America's natives. Edward Curtis was a photographer, who undertook an enormous photographic mission to the natives in the early 20th century. His large book of photographs is one of the most expensive and highly prized books about the West. However, item 57 is a more recent publication, by James Hutchins, published in 2000: The Papers of Edward S. Curtis Relating to Custer's Last Battle. Curtis interviewed Crow scouts and others during his time in the West, but his accounts were never published in book form prior to this edition. They provide Curtis' view of the famous battle. This is #21 of a signed, leather-bound limited edition of 50 copies. $125.

 

Here is a look at the far west and more from another general, E. D. Keyes. Keyes served a few years as an aide to Gen. Winfield Scott, who was a general for over 50 years, including 20 as Commanding General of the U. S. Army. The result is we get an insight into the man who was a general from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, where he was commander of all forces in the early stages. Keyes would move on to San Francisco during the Gold Rush and then serve in Indian campaigns in the Pacific territories. His military service concluded with leading troops in several battles during the Civil War. His book is Fifty Years' Observations of Men and Events Civil and Military, published in 1884. Item 74. $250.

 

Many people felt badly about Gen. Custer's fate at Little Big Horn. Here is a document, one page, from the U. S. Senate during the 44th Congress. It is a Resolution of Condolence of the Legislature of Texas in Relation to the Massacre of General G. A. Custer and his Men, dated August 7, 1876. Item 104. $250.

 

This is another such document, in this case from the Secretary of the Interior dated February 21, 1891. It is An Act for the Relief of Mrs. Elizabeth Custer. It increased Custer's widow's pension to $100 per month. Item 94. $250.

 

Old West Books may be reached at 719-260-6030 or oldwestbooks@earthlink.net. Their website is www.oldwestbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE Typed letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Important archives related to the development of fashions for Mrs. Kennedy… $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Detailed ledger of the Kennedy White House years… $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KELLY, GRACE. Four autograph letters to Oleg Cassini. $5,000 to $8,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Group of Kennedy-era original fashion sketches. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE. Autograph letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Fashion sketch titled “Mrs. Kennedy-Palais de Versailles-State Dinner.” $800 to $1,200
    Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini: [CASSINI, OLEG - KENNEDY, JACQUELINE.] Group of approximately 130 original fashion designs… $800 to $1,200.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Book of Hours. Illuminated manuscript, Flanders or northern France, c. 1450. With 12 full-page illuminated miniatures. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Zahrawi, Abu’-Qasim, al- (c. 936-1013). <i>Albucasis chirurgicorum omnium,</i> Strasbourg, 1532. The first comprehensive illustrated treatise on surgery. £3,000 to £5,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Milles, Thomas. <i>The Custumers Alphabet and Primer,</i> 1608. Gilt supralibros of 17th-century English bibliophile Edward Gwynn. £2,000 to £3,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Guillemeau, Jacques. <i>Child-Birth or, the Happy Deliverie of Women,</i> 1st edition in English, 1612. The second midwifery manual printed in English. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Rabisha, William. <i>The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected,</i> 1st edition, 1661. Rare. Five copies in libraries. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Royal binding. <i>An Abridgment of the English Military Discipline,</i> 1678. Contemporary red goatskin gilt by Samuel Mearne for Charles II (1630-1865). £1,500 to £2,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Pallavicino, Ferrante. <i>The Whores Rhetorick,</i> 1st edition in English, 1683. Rare anti-Jesuit satire. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>The Benefit of Farting,</i> 1st London edition, 1722. Teerink 19. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Edwards, George. <i>Natural History of Uncommon Birds</i> [and] <i>Gleanings of Natural History,</i> 7 volumes, 1743-64. Contemporary tree calf, 362 hand-coloured engraved plates. £8,000 to £12,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>The Library and Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey<br>June 26</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Campbell, Patrick. <i>Travels in the Interior Inhabited Parts of North America,</i> 1st edition, 1793. Howes C101; Sabin 10264. Uncut in original boards. £5,000 to £8,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Hearne, Samuel. <i>A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay, to the Northern Ocean,</i> 1st edition, 1795. Sabin 31181. Large-paper copy. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 26:</b> Edgeworth, Maria. <i>The Match Girl, A Novel,</i> 1808. £1,000 to £1,500
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> André Breton, <i>Second manifeste du Surréalisme,</i> Paris, Editions Kra, 1930
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Paul Eluard and Pablo Picasso, <i>La Barre d’appui,</i> Paris, Editions « Cahiers d’Art », 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Hans Bellmer, <i>Die Puppe,</i> Paris, G.L.M., 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Salvador Dali, <i>La femme visible,</i> Paris, Editions Surréalistes, 1930

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions