Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2019 Issue

The American West from Old West Books

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Catalog 47 from the Old West.

Old West Books has released their Catalog 47 of Rare, Out of Print Books on the American West. Old West describes their specialties as "the American West, Custer, the Fur Trade, Overland Travel, the Cattle Industry, and the Civil War." After a couple of particularly Custer-centric collections, Old West notes that "this catalog is a bit more diverse than the past few as it contains other things besides Custer." That does not mean that the Indians' favorite Indian fighter is not to be found. There are several Gen. George Armstrong Custer selections, including one by his long-widowed wife, but there is also much else to be found. Here are a few examples.

 

We begin with a look at the Apaches from one of the first whites to speak their language. John C. Cremony was something of a character. Born in Massachusetts, he went to sea, then returned to sign up with the Massachusetts Volunteers in 1846 to serve in the Mexican War. Evidently, his time at sea must have taken around since he became a Spanish translator, not a language commonly spoken in Massachusetts at the time. After the war, he served with the U.S. Boundary Commission, again as a Spanish interpreter. However, he also learned the Apache language, publishing the first glossary of their language for the U. S. Army. From there he went to California, but returned to the Southwest with the California Volunteer Cavalry. His language fluency enabled Cremony to diffuse tensions at times between the Army and the Apache, though he had a few run-ins of his own. In 1869, he published an account of his times with the Apaches - Life Among the Apaches. Cremony's experiences enabled him to describe the Apache better than most whites, though he is not known as the most meticulous of historians, tending at times toward aggrandizement. The Frontier Biography, quoting John W. Teal who served under Cremony in New Mexico, said "I do not believe any thing he says except when he says he wants whiskey." This copy has been inscribed by Cremony "To the scholar Poet and gentleman Charles Warren Stoddard from his sincere friend, the author, John C. Cremony June 18th 1870." Stoddard was a poet and travel writer and, like Cremony, a newspaperman in California in the 1870s. Item 12. Priced at $1,250.

 

Here is another book about America's natives, The Story of the Indian by George Bird Grinnell, published in 1895. Grinnell was a very different person from Cremony, a meticulous scholar, and one can presume his work to be more accurate if not as colorful. Grinnell was a naturalist, anthropologist and conservationist. He traveled around the West in his various roles. In his conservationist role, along with being a friend of Theodore Roosevelt, he did much to preserve the land and its species. He was involved with the establishment of Glacier National Park and was a major figure in pulling the American Buffalo back from the brink of extinction. He also spent much time with the Plains Indians, studying their culture, religion, recreation, wars, hunting, etc. Item 40. $850.

 

Next we turn to some outlaws, Quantrill and the Border Wars, by William Elsey Connelley, published in 1910. William Quantrill was a Confederate guerrilla leader in Missouri during the Civil War. At one point, he had several hundred followers, and they were not the nicest of people. Their most notable attack came across the Missouri border in the Union stronghold of Lawrence, Kansas. They burned down the town and killed 150 men and boys. The Union responded by burning though several Missouri counties bordering Kansas. The brutality of Quantrill's Raiders became an embarrassment to the Confederacy, even if their effectiveness was admired. They next headed to Texas to fight as irregulars on behalf of the Confederacy. However, Quantrill lost control of his men as they broke into several groups. Quantrill would head to Kentucky with a few still loyal followers and there he was killed in one of the last battles of the Civil War (a month after Lee surrendered). While Quantrill went off to his final reward or whatever, some of the men who followed him learned well and applied their education to just plain criminal activity. Jesse and Frank James cut their teeth with Quantrill, as did Cole Younger and "Bloody Bill" Anderson, who, like Quantrill, did not survive the war. Item 10. $475.

 

Speaking of the James Brothers, they went on to rob banks and trains and become the best-known outlaws of their generation. Eventually, the law began closing in. Frank took off east for safety, Jesse attempted to keep his gang going, but a recent addition was only there to collect the reward. He shot and killed Jesse. That was in 1882, and later that year, Frank surrendered to the Missouri Governor, putting his guns on a table and saying he was tired of always looking over his shoulder. The Governor agreed not to send him to Minnesota, where the gang had killed several people, but he was tried on a couple of other murders. George Miller, Jr., provides an account of his trial, The Trial of Frank James for Murder, published in 1898. It includes all the testimony and attorneys' pleas as well as a history of the James Gang. Frank was acquitted and lived a mostly uneventful life for several more decades. Item 69. $275.

 

Here is a book about another extra-legal organization, though supposedly on the side of law, unlike Quantrill's Raiders. Nonetheless, their reputation was something less than pure. The book is Two Evil Isms Pinkertonism and Anarchism by a Cowboy Detective Who Knows, As He Spent Twenty-two Years in the Inner Circle of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, published in 1915. The "cowboy detective" author was Charles Siringo. Siringo was a cowboy, a writer, and then a detective working for Pinkerton's, the legendary private detective agency. At times, that meant infiltrating unions on behalf of business clients of Pinkerton's. He became less pleased with these missions in time, sympathizing with the workers trying to get a fair deal from greedy employers, but he continued to convince himself that they were anarchists as a justification. This is how anarchism became the dual evil with "Pinkertonism." After retiring from Pinkerton, he wrote a book about his time there, but Pinkerton managed to hold up publication for two years and forced the removal of their name from it. They contended it violated the confidentiality agreement Siringo had signed. That led Siringo to write this scathing book, of which Pinkerton convinced a court to seize all the copies and destroy them. Fortunately, some had already been shipped out west, which is why though the book is rare, copies can still be found. Item 102. $3,000.

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Dubliners,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1914. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> The Beatles.- Baker (Geoffrey.) 3 Autograph Letters and 1 Autograph Card signed to Ann Gosnell, addtionally sgn’d by George Harrison, John Lennon, Cynthia Lennon and others, 1968. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Pilgrim Press.- Dod (John). <i>A plaine and familiar exposition of the tenne commandements ...,</i> [Leiden], [William Brewster], 1617. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Automaton Chess Player & Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H., printer). “The Famous Chess-Player, No.14, St.James's-Street, next Brooks's,” broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", [1784]. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Clemens (Samuel Langhorne). <i>Life on the Mississippi,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Arctic Sledge Flag.- Fulford (Reginald Baldwin). Sledge flag... HMS Discovery, 1875. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first edition, first printing, 1997. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Piranesi (Giovanni Battista). <i>Le Antichità Romane,</i> 4 vol., 1756. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal, called). <i>Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores,</i> 3 parts in 1, Richard Ford's copy, Venice, Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1751. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Atlases.- Speed (John). <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> bound with <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine,</i> 1631-27. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Anatomical illustration.- Aselli (Gaspare). <i>De lactibus sive lacteis venis... dissertatio,</i> first edition, Milan, Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627. £20,000 to £30,000
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 8vo, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible, Italian.- Malermi Bible, woodcut illustrations, folio, Lazaro de Soardi & Bernardino Benali, Venice,1517. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Germany.- Homann (Johann Baptist). <i>Atlas von Deutschland,</i> engraved half title, hand coloured, 87 double page engraved maps, [folio, Erben, Nuremberg, 1753]. £8,000 to £10,000
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> [Mirk (John)].- <i>Liber festivalis et Quatuor sermons</i> [bound with], [Le Roy (Pierre)] <i>A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie,</i> first edition in English, Widdow Orwin for Thomas Man, 1595, 8vo. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Antoninus Florentinus (Saint Archbishop of Florence). <i>Confessionale: Defecerunt…,</i> 8vo, Pietro Quarengi, Venice, 15 February 1499. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Jesuit Letters.- [Froes (Father Luigi) & et al.)] Avvisi del Giapone de gli anni 1582, 1583, 1584…, 1586 [bound with] Avvisi della Cina et Giapone…, FIRST EDITIONS, Rome. £1,000 to £1,500
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Plutarch & Probus (Aemilius). <i>Plutarchi Cheronei et Aemilii Probi Illustrium,</i> folio, Nicolas de Pratis for Jean-Petit, Paris, 1521. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible.- English. <i>The Byble in Englyshe of the Largest and Greatest volume,</i> elaborate woodcut border, text vignettes, folio, 1541. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fore-edge Painting.- Lord George Byron, The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale, bound with 10 other titles, 4 plates marked 'Proof.', 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Manson (John). Twelve by Sixteen Papers of John Mason, a collection of 50 sheets of paper, some watermarked, 12 x 16”, c.1978. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Dr. No,</i> FIRST EDITION, original boards, dust-jacket, 8vo, 1958. £700 to £900
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Eliot (T.S.) <i>Four Quartets,</i> NUMBER 121 of 290 COPIES, signed by author, 1960. £400 to £600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <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.

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