1. ADAMS, Ramon F. The Old-Time Cowhand. New York: Macmillan Company, 1961. , x, 354 pp., text illustrations by Nick Eggenhofer. 8vo, original maize pictorial buckram, t.e.g. Very fine in publisher’s slipcase.
First edition, limited edition (#338 of 350 copies, signed by Adams and Eggenhofer). Adams, Guns 12: “Has a chapter on cattle rustlers and one on outlaws.” Dykes, Fifty Great Western Illustrators (Eggenhofer 18). Mohr, The Range Country 619: “The cowboy in fact and fiction; encyclopedic labor of love.” Smith S2519. Of the comments found in the trade, that of Jeffrey Thomas is most wry: “Adams's fondness for writing in range dialect can be vexing at length, but he certainly knew his subject. Indispensable.” ($150-300)
2. APPLEGATE, Jesse & Jesse A[pplegate] Applegate. A Day with the Cow Column in 1843...[and] Recollections of My Boyhood.... Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by Joseph Schafer.... Chicago: [Designed by William A. Kittredge, Lakeside Press for] The Caxton Club, 1934. xvii, [1 blank], 207,  pp., pictorial title printed and red and black. 8vo, original grey pictorial cloth decorated and lettered in red, top edge tinted red. Superb condition.
First edition thus, limited edition (300 copies). The first account (by Jesse Applegate), A Day with the Cow Column, first appeared in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society (Portland, December 1900). Adams, Herd 108: “Scarce.” Howes A294: “Account of the great Oregon migration of 1843. Applegate established the southern route to Oregon.” Merrill, Aristocrats of the Cow Country, p. 15. Mattes, Platte River Road Narratives 72n. Mintz, The Trail 11: “Jesse Sr. was famous as the originator of the Applegate Trail into Oregon.” One Hundred Head Cut Out of the Jeff Dykes Herd 67. Smith 263.
This book gives a firsthand account of one of the great, early trail drives into the Oregon country. During the 1843 “Great Migration,” about a thousand pioneers congregated at Independence, Missouri, for the trek over the Oregon Trail. In addition to their hundreds of oxen for pulling wagons, they also had a large herd of cows and other loose stock. Because the stock impeded progress, the party divided into two parts. The wagons were organized into one train and moved ahead. The remaining pioneers herded the stock into Oregon in what they called “the cow column.” Jesse Applegate served as captain of this ambitious, early trail drive, bringing the stock all the way to the Willamette Valley. ($200-400)
3. [ATLAS]. GARCÍA CUBAS, Antonio. Atlas metódico para la enseñanza de la geografía de la República Mexicana. Formado y dedicado a la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística. Mexico: Sandoval y Vázquez, Impresores, 1874. 54 pp., 17 leaves of plates containing 33 uncolored, unattributed lithograph maps of Mexico (state maps, a few thematic), some folded. [Bound with another work]: CORTAMBERT, [Pierre François] E[ugène]. Petit atlas de géographie moderne dressé sous la direction de E. Cortambert. Paris: Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie, n.d. [ca. 1852].  pp., 12 hand-colored folded lithograph maps. 4to, contemporary brown leather over green embossed paper-covered boards, supralibros on upper cover (inlay of blue paper gilt-lettered M.R.M.), small modern typewritten label (69) taped to spine, edges hand-inked in hachure design. Green paper on covers moderately rubbed and with some chipping, corners bumped, second work with moderate waterstaining to first few leaves, interior very fine. “1875” stamped on front free endpaper, embossed stamp of Juan N. Méndez, with his signature in ink on title. Méndez (1820–1894), professional soldier and politician, fought against the French (see Dicc. Porrúa). In an interesting Mexican binding, with contemporary ink note on pastedown, stating the book was bound April 24, 1875, signed by Donaciano Arreaga.
First work: First edition. Palau 98728. Porrúa (1949) 6924. This Mexican atlas includes a separate map for each state and territory of Mexico, along with thematic maps, such as education, hydrography, and mining. The accompanying text pages include statistical and geographical descriptions of each area. The map of Baja California locates pearl fisheries. García y Cubas, a giant of Mexican geography and cartography, is known as “el fundador de nuestra geografía como ciencia” (Dicc. Porrúa). The second work is an attractive, restrained example of the type of atlas issued by the French geographic firm of Cortambert; of the twelve maps, three are of France. ($500-1,000)
4. BACLE, Cesár Hipólito. Colección general de las marcas del ganado de la provincia de Buenos-Aires. Buenos Aires: Editorial Monserrat, 1975. , 134,  pp., 15 folding leaves of brands, first leaf with illustration of round-up and branding on the pampas. Folio, original unbound signatures in original leather folder. Fine in publisher’s slipcase.
Limited edition (500 copies), facsimile of the original edition (1830) of an exceedingly rare brand book, a cornerstone book for the cattle industry in Latin America, and an important, early milestone in the history of Argentine printing and lithography. Cf. Palau 56523 (citing first edition). The 1830 edition was lithographed by Bacle, who with Italian Carlos Risso introduced lithography to Argentina. Supposedly, the original book took five years to produce and secured Bacle’s fame in Argentine printing. The book illustrates and lists brands, names of ranches, locations, owners, dates of recording, etc. Accompanying the facsimile is a scholarly essay by Isodoro J. Ruiz Moreno. ($250-500)
5. BATES, Ed[mund] F[rank]. History and Reminiscences of Denton County. Denton: McNitzky Printing Company, . xi, , 412 pp., frontispiece portrait, 2 photographic panoramas on one folding plate, numerous photographic illustrations (mostly portraits). 8vo, original gilt-lettered black cloth. Publisher’s original prospectus laid in. Lower hinge cracked (but strong), occasional foxing, otherwise a fine copy of a rare book.
First edition of the first reliable history of Denton County, Texas. Adams, Guns 168: “Contains a chapter on Sam Bass, telling of his life in Denton, Texas, his start in crime, his career, and his death.” Adams, Herd 222. Adams, One-Fifty 6. CBC 1328. Dykes, Rare Western Outlaw Books, p. 15. Dobie, p. 50: “A sample of much folk life found in county histories.” Howes B234. Rader 296. In addition to being an excellent and very scarce county history, this book contains a good account of early ranching and cattle drives in Denton County. “In the early days Denton County had but little to sell, except horses and cattle, which were driven overland to market in the North and East from three to eight hundred miles away.... To be a cowboy, in deed and truth, meant something more than a fairy tale” (pp. 167–168). The photographic panoramas are a valuable historical record. ($300-600)
6. BECKER, Robert H. Diseños of California Ranchos Maps of Thirty-Seven Land Grants [1822–1846] from the Records of the United States District Court, San Francisco. San Francisco: [Grabhorn Press for] The Book Club of California, 1964. xxii,  pp., 37 maps of ranchos (24 folding, 27 in color). Folio, original yellow, orange, and beige patterned boards, tan linen backstrip, lettered in orange on spine. Very fine. Plain white dust wrapper present but soiled.
First edition, limited edition (400 copies). Grabhorn (1957–1963) 648. Howell 50, California 1293: “A fascinating and beautiful volume on the ranchos of Mexican California, with facsimile reproductions of 37 of the diseños (sketch-maps) prepared for use in determining grants of land. A remarkable and historically important study of a unique aspect of California’s pastoral heritage—before the momentous changes brought by the American occupation, the Gold Rush, and the railroad.” Reese, Six Score 9n. ($250-500)
7. BELL, James G. A Log of the Texas-California Cattle Trail, 1854.... Edited by J. Evetts Haley. [Austin], 1932. 78,  pp. 8vo, original stiff blue printed wrappers. Light wear and some staining to wraps, occasional light foxing to text, generally a very good copy, with presentation inscription signed by editor J. Evetts Haley.” An elusive imprint on the cattle industry.
First separate edition, limited edition (100 copies). The narrative first appeared in three parts in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (35–36, January-July 1932). Adams, Herd 235. Edwards, Enduring Desert, p. 26: “It is not generally known that for a period approximating 20 years, and beginning—perhaps—in 1853, Texas cattlemen drove large herds of cattle over the desert to the California markets.... Of all phases...of our Colorado Desert history...this segment having to do with the trail herd era has received least attention.... The young Bell...was employed by a Mr. John James, owner of one of the many vast overland herds that reached their peak of prominence in the year 1854. Their trail followed the route of Kearny and Cooke (1846–47), and they entered California over the Yuma Ferry.... A fairly good description is given in this article of Warner’s Ranch, Santa Isabella, the Indians at Warner’s and so on.” Graff 242. Howes B326. Rader 328.
Robinson (1967) 119: “At a time when the Longhorn furnished his own transportation to market, a tenderfoot joined a cattle drive of 1,500 dangerous and uncertain miles, setting down fresh and precise details in his diary.” Robinson (1978) 5. Wallace, Arizona History VII:15. Handbook of Texas Online: James G. Bell: “James G. Bell...was born in Tennessee in 1832. The family moved to Indianola, Texas, in 1852.... In 1854 Bell decided to join in driving a herd of cattle to California.... Rather than write letters back to his family, Bell kept a diary of his experiences and observations, a chronicle of a little-known trail to the West. He joined his brother, Edward C. Bell, in California and died there in 1867.” ($300-600)
With Large Map Showing Ranches on the Texas-Mexico Border
8. [BORDERLANDS]. MEXICO. COMISIÓN DE LA PESQUISIDORA DE LA FRONTERA DEL NORDESTE. Reports of the Committee of Investigation Sent in 1873 by the Mexican Government to the Frontier of Texas. Translated from the Official Edition Made in Mexico. New York: Baker & Goodwin, Printers, 1875. viii, –443, [1 blank] pp. (p. 296 numbered 96; penultimate leaf used as free endpaper; final leaf used as pastedown), 3 folding lithograph maps with original color outlining or shading [see below]. 8vo, original brown cloth spine over beige printed wrappers. Fragile wrappers with moderate soiling and chipping to blank margins, interior very fine. Maps with mild offsetting and a few tears (no losses), otherwise very fine. Ex-library: ink-stamped deaccession notice of Wesleyan University Library dated 1935 inside upper wrapper, their old, engraved bookplate on lower wrap.
A Map Of The Indian Territory Northern Texas And New Mexico Showing the Great Western Prairies by Josiah Gregg [below neat line]: Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1844 by Sidney E. Morse and Samuel Breese in the Clerks Office of the Southern District of New York. 31.2 x 38 cm. Original maize shading.
Copiado del Mapa de S Mc. L. Staples, en 1828; del Mapa de Nigra de San Martin en quanto á las distancias respectivas, y de la carta general de la República Mexicana de García Cubas; y segun los informes fidedignos de personas que conoscen el terreno, especialmente la parte mas al norte á la derecha del Rio Bravo.... Dibujado y extractado de los documeutos y datos dichos, por F. L. Mier—Monterey, Diciembre de 1873. 39.3 x 25.8 cm. Original outline coloring and shading.
Mapa del Rio Grande desde su desembocadura en el golfo hasta San Vicente, Presidio Antíguo. Mandado formar por el primer miembro de la Comisión Pesquisidora de la Frontera del Norte, conforme á las noticias recojidas en el Expediente 4o., Señalándose los ranchos qu hay por ambas orillas del Rio Grande, y los pueblos que la Comisión ha visitado anotándose éstos con la línea roja...Monterey Diciembre 173 M. J. Martinez. 80.4 x 72 cm. Original outline shading with routes shown in red.
First American edition and first edition in English of one of the most important borderlands reports (published the same year in Mexico, in Spanish). This report has been compared to the Pichardo treatise for its importance to Texas and borderlands history. Adams, Guns 1108. Adams, Herd 558 & 2264. Day, Maps of Texas, p. 87. Decker 37:340. Graff 2765. Eberstadt 122:97 (no mention of maps). Howes I32 (see also T143). Palau 119576–8. Tate, The Indians of Texas 2469.
The chronic social and political unrest that existed along the Mexican northern borderlands had long been a source of controversy between Mexico and the United States. Charges were traded back and forth that Texans dressed as Native Americans were plundering Mexican settlements and that raiders from Mexico were stealing large numbers of cattle from Texas ranches. These problems grew so severe that they resulted in official accusations exchanged between the two governments. In one case, for example, the United States government made claims against Mexico for nearly 150,000 head of rustled cattle. On the other hand, Mexico accused the United States of failing to control its Native American population and perhaps of even encouraging them to raid into Mexico. The sad fate of the village of Mier, for example, which was raided by Native Americans twenty times in just a short while, is laid firmly at the feet of the United States because they will not control their own Native American populations. Such cases are multiplied here. On a darker, more conspiratorial note, the Mexican commission implies that these situations are encouraged by Americans who still harbor hopes of conquering Mexico itself.
After the United States sent a commission to Texas to investigate its side of the case, the Mexican government formed a similar commission, who gathered evidence from their own countrymen. If nothing else demonstrates the extent of their work, the large map of the Rio Grande Valley here is a testament to their wide-ranging investigation. That commission’s reports were published between 1874 and 1877 in Mexico City and Monterey (see Howes I32–33). This publication is a translation of some of those reports, which vindicated the Mexican side, of course. Interestingly, this report was also sponsored by Mexico’s friends, as the “Preface” makes clear, declaring in part: “It proves that the complaints of the Texans are groundless...” (p. [iii]). The two reports of which this work is a translation are those dated Monterey, May 15, 1873, and Monterey, December 7, 1873. Ironically, the problems covered here were eventually resolved by the gradual spread of law and order in Texas itself, which reduced cattle rustling, and by the eventual conquering by the United States of its own Native American population.
This report can be found from time to time, but seldom with the important maps, particularly the superb large-scale folding map, which delineates in the Rio Grande from its mouth to the Big Bend region, with portions of Texas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas. This exceedingly rare map is among the most important maps for Texas and borderlands history in the nineteenth century. The incredible detail includes Mexican and American ranches along the Rio Grande, states, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, roads, forts, lakes, and landmarks.
The first map is a most unusual printing of the landmark cerographic map found in Gregg’s classic Commerce of the Prairies, with an added legend in Spanish. M. J. Martínez created the second map, which delineates the routes of raiding parties in the Coahuila and Nuevo Leon region. Martínez chose his cartographical sources well, relying on the landmark Mexico map by Antonio Garcia Cubas (the father of scientific geography in Mexico) and a little known manuscript map by Stephen McLellan Staples (see Streeter 726, 735 & 1120A). Staples (1800–1832) graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, and was active in the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the 1820s. Streeter owned Staples’ manuscript map (“A Map of Northern Part of Mexico including Exter and Wilson’s Grant...by S. McL. Staples, A. M. Surveyor General of Chihuahua”). Staples received a concession from the state of Chihuahua in 1828 to navigate the Rio Grande by steam or horse powered vessels. Staples also wrote Gramatica completa de la lengua inglesa, para uso de los españoles (Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1825) and dedicated this work to Simon Bolivar. ($1,200-2,400)
Mutual Recriminations About Borderland Troubles
9. [BORDERLANDS]. MEXICO. SECRETARÍA DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES. Memoranda y notas relativas cambiadas entre el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y el Ministerio Plenipotenciario de los Estados-Unidos. Mexico: Imprenta del Gobierno, 1877. 45, [1 blank] pp. (text in English and Spanish). 8vo, original green printed wrappers, stitched. Front wrap with small tear at lower blank margin (no loss), irregular dime-sized hole on lower wrapper affecting last two leaves (costing no text), otherwise fine. A rare, official adjunct to the Borderland troubles of the 1870s.
First edition. Not in standard sources. One of the documents in the long running dispute between Mexico and the United States concerning cross border raids resulting in the loss of life and property. The chronic social and political unrest that existed along the Mexican northern borderlands had long been a source of controversy between Mexico and the United States. Charges were traded back and forth that Texans dressed as Native Americans were plundering Mexican settlements and that raiders from Mexico were stealing large numbers of cattle from Texas ranches. These problems grew so severe that they resulted in official accusations exchanged between the two governments, as is the case here. The culmination of this process were the reports of the Comisión Pesquisidora de la Frontera del Norte, which accused the United States of actually perpetrating atrocities against Mexicans.
After the United States sent a commission to Texas to investigate its side of the case, the Mexican government formed a similar commission, who gathered evidence from their own countrymen. That commission’s reports were published between 1874 and 1877 in Mexico City and Monterey (see Howes I32–33). Ironically, the problems covered here were eventually resolved by the gradual spread of law and order in Texas itself, which reduced cattle rustling, and by the eventual conquering by the United States of its own Native American population. ($500-1,000)
Early Tour and Account of the Louisiana Purchase
10. BRACKENRIDGE, H[enri] M[arie].Views of Louisiana; Together with a Journal of a Voyage up the Missouri River, in 1811. Pittsburgh: Printed and Published by Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum, 1814. 304 pp. 8vo, original full tree sheep (later sympathetic red gilt-lettered morocco spine label). Exceptionally fine.
First edition of a basic narrative of early exploration of the trans-Mississippi West. American Imprints (1814) 30979. Bauer 32. Bradford 496. Brinley Sale 4396. Clark, Old South II:136. Graff 379. Holliday 115. Howes B688. Hubach, p. 43. Jones 767. Littell 93. Plains & Rockies IV:12:1: “Describes the expedition to the Yellowstone in 1807." Rader 443. Cf. Raines, p. 30 (1817 edition): “Much light on Texas, then claimed as a part of the Louisiana purchase.” Sabin 7176. Streeter Sale 1776:
“The ‘Views of Louisiana,’ p. –195, are a series of essays on the country included in the Louisiana Purchase, many of which were published in the Louisiana Gazette (later the Missouri Gazette), (St. Louis), in the winter of 1810–1811. These essays are of interest but the book is especially desirable for its ‘Journal of a Voyage up the Missouri River,’ in 1811, p. –268. This is followed by appendices which include a reprinting (p. 297–302) from the Gazette of 13 May 1813, of the account of Hunt’s overland journey to Astoria and back. The ‘Journal’ gives Brackenridge’s account of his accompanying Manuel Lisa, the moving spirit of the Missouri Fur Company, on the latter’s 1811 expedition up the Missouri to the fort of the company located just above the Mandan villages. The party left St. Charles on 2 April, overtook Hunt’s Astorian party, with which Bradbury and Nuttall were traveling, on June 2d near ‘the large Cedar Island, 1200 miles from the mouth of the Missouri,’ (Bradbury in his Travels, Liverpool, 1817, at p. 97, says this was on 3 June), and reached the fort above the Mandan Villages ‘1640 miles from the mouth of the Missouri’ on 26 June. The Hunt party was staying at the Aricara Villages, 200 miles or so down the Missouri. On 17 July, Brackenridge, in charge for Lisa of a consignment of furs, left the Aricara Villages with Bradbury as a traveling companion and after a remarkably quick journey ‘we arrived at St. Louis early in August, having made 1440 miles in little better than fourteen days.’ The ‘Views’ preceding the ‘Journal,’ though mostly descriptive, do give a first-hand account of Manuel Lisa’s operations in the fur trade on the Upper Missouri from 1807 through 1810 (p. 89–93). This includes some account of Colter’s activities for Manuel Lisa, but not an account of his famous escape from the Blackfeet near the Three Forks of the Missouri in 1808, which is told in print for the first-time, at least in a printed book, in Bradbury’s Travels (1817). In 1816, the Journal was reprinted separately with the notation on the title page, ‘Revised and Enlarged by the Author.’ I have indicated most of these additions in pencil on my copy. Though the additions are often merely philosophical observations by Brackenridge, the anecdotes told here for the first time on Manuel Lisa give one an idea of his strength of character and innate ability, and there is considerable new material on the relations between Manuel Lisa and Hunt, and on Lisa’s eagerness to catch up with Hunt before they reached the Aricara Villages. There are revealing side-lights on Bradbury, whose account of the expedition in his Travels in the Interior of America (1817) is even more interesting than Brackenridge’s, and on Thomas Nuttall, whose Journal of Travels into the Arkansa Territory (1821) is also a minor classic.—TWS.”
In addition to many of the noted features of this book, one apparently overlooked description concerns Moses Austin’s lead mine at Mine au Breton, which Brackenridge deems unusual because it is a shaft mine instead of a pit. Brackenridge describes the mine in some detail on pp. 151–152. Brackenridge briefly touches on the boundary question between Mexico and Texas, ironically noting that it could be settled amicably. Brackenridge’s account was a source for Washington Irving’s Astoria. ($1,000-2,000)
11. BRATT, John. Trails of Yesterday. Lincoln, Chicago, & Dallas: The University Publishing Company, 1921. xi, [1 blank], 302 pp., frontispiece portrait (sepia photogravure of author), photographic plates, text illustrations (after pen and ink sketches). 8vo, original blue pictorial cloth stamped in gilt and red, t.e.g. Very fine, unopened, and bright, in original glassine d.j. It would be difficult to find a better copy. This book is not rare, but it is seldom found in condition like this one.
First edition. Adams, Herd 310: “Bratt was a well-known cattleman in the early days.” Campbell, My Favorite 101 Books about the Cattle Industry 9. Dobie, p. 97. Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 12; Fifty Great Western Illustrators (de Yong 6); Western High Spots, p. 27 (“My Ten Most Outstanding Books on the West”). Howes B725. Merrill, Aristocrats of the Cow Country, p. 16. One Hundred Head Cut Out of the Jeff Dykes Herd 84: “Throughout Bratt’s narrative are insights into the ways of camp cooks, levee gangs and other hired hands.” Mattes, Platte River Road Narratives 2049. Reese, Six Score 13: “The author was one of the first ranchers in Nebraska. An Englishman, Bratt came to America in 1864 at the age of 17. In the late 1860s he worked as a bullwhacker supplying Ft. Kearny and other army posts. He started his cattle business in 1870, and most of his narrative is devoted to the development of the ranching industry on the central plains.” ($200-400)
12. BROOKS, Bryant B[utler]. Memoirs of Bryant B. Brooks, Cowboy, Trapper, Lumberman, Stockman, Oilman, Banker, and Governor of Wyoming. Glendale: [Privately printed for the author by] The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1939. 370 pp. (including frontispiece, full-page text illustrations, mostly photographic portraits). 8vo, original brown cloth, t.e.g., genealogical charts on endpapers. Two pages slightly browned due to an old newspaper being laid in, otherwise very fine. Author’s signed presentation copy: “Casper Dec. 1940 To Al Spaugh Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Sincerely, B. B. Brooks.”
First edition, limited edition (Adams incorrectly states limitation as 150 copies; Clark & Brunet state 1025 copies were printed of which 250 were for sale). Adams, Herd 332: “Very scarce.” Clark & Brunet 29: “Though the original prospectus indicated 250 copies for sale, only 88 copies of the book were sold by the publisher. The balance of the edition was delivered over time to Brooks for his distribution.” Dobie, p. 98: “It was merely printed to satisfy the senescent vanity of a property-worshiping, cliché-parroting reactionary who made money ranching before he became governor of Wyoming.” Howes B814. Malone, Wyomingana, p. 14: “Life story of a pioneer in the vicinity of Casper, hence valuable picture of life and history of that section from 1861 to 1939.”
Part 2, the author’s autobiography includes chapters “Cowboy in the Rockies,” “Starting a Cattle Ranch,” “The V-V [Ranch] Grows,” The Sheep Arrive,” and “My Ranches Today,” in addition to much on his political career, involvement in other enterprises such as mining, logging, and banking, and discussion of issues involved with public lands and water resources. ($150-300)
First Book on Wild Bill Hickok
13. BUEL, J[ames] W[illiam]. Life and Marvelous Adventures of Wild Bill, the Scout. Being a True and Exact History of All the Sanguinary Combats and Hair-Breadth Escapes of the Most Famous Scout and Spy America Ever Produced. By J. W. Buel, of the St. Louis Press. Illustrated. St. Louis: W. S. Bryan, Publisher, 1880 [copyrighted 1879 by W. S. Bryan]. 92 pp., 2 wood-engraved plates (Hickok and his grave), text illustrations (some full page). 8vo, original light green pictorial wrappers, with illustration of Hickok (original spine perished, sympathetically rebacked in matching paper). Upper wrapper moderately chipped and stained, interior has light foxing and browning, some professional repairs to corners of a few leaves, scattered pencil notes in blank margins, tiny hole in frontispiece (affecting image). Preserved in green cloth clamshell case with dark green gilt-lettered calf label.
First edition, known by only a few copies, with the imprint of W. S. Bryan, rather than the usually cited Belford, Clarke & Co. imprint. For citation to the Chicago edition put out by Belford, Clarke & Co. in 1880, see: Adams, Guns 316. Adams, One-Fifty 21. Graff 468. Howes B935. Streeter Sale 4285. Wright III:761. The author, according to the title and wrapper, was employed in the publishing business in St. Louis. It makes better sense therefore that the book would have first appeared there rather than Chicago. The plates are also signed by Riches & Company, a St. Louis engraving firm. Belford, Clarke & Co., who were in business in Chicago (1875–1892), are usually credited with the only 1880 edition of this work, the present edition being totally overlooked. At the time of this publication Belford, Clarke & Co. had developed quite a reputation as plagiarizers, having been sued by both Estes & Lauriat and Mark Twain. Adams describes the Chicago edition as “perhaps the first and rarest book written about Wild Bill Hickok”; if that is so, this edition is even rarer. OCLC and RLIN locate the Bryan imprint only in the Yale copy.
Publisher W. S. Bryan issued many works from the serious to the spectacular, such as Helper’s proposal to build a railroad through South America and Dacus’ Life and Adventures of Jesse James, which came out this same year.
Buel (1849–1920), a professional writer on incredibly diverse subjects, was responsible for numerous works published in St. Louis. Buel claimed to have known Wild Bill and to have had access to his diary. Buel is not admired for his factual accuracy, and is said to have worked from the premise: “Si non e vero, e buon trovato.” Buel insists in his introduction "that which is herewith given is absolutely true in every particular, without a single shading of fiction or extravagance." As is the case in many such works relating to legendary Western figures, the truth and the fiction embodied herein have never been satisfactorily separated. The work nevertheless is generally conceded to be the first biography of the illustrious Wild Bill.
Included is Hickok’s sojourn as marshal of Abilene, Kansas (“The Gomorrah of the West”), when the town was the primary point for shipping cattle east. Abilene is described thus: “Gamblers and bad women, drunken cut-throats and pimps, overshadowed all other society, and the carnival of iniquity never ceased” (p. 53). ($1,500-2,500)
History of Custer County with Photographs by S. D. Butcher
14. BUTCHER, S[olomon] D. Pioneer History of Custer County and Short Sketches of Early Days in Nebraska. Broken Bow, Nebraska: [Printed at Denver by Merchants Publishing Co.], 1901. 403, [7 ads] pp., copious photographic text illustrations (some full-page), mostly by Butcher. 4to, original gilt-stamped and blind-embossed black cloth, all edges red. Binding worn and fragile, text loose with first signature starting, title with a few light stains and a small chip at top blank margin, leaves rippled due to water (but no staining visible). Rare.
First edition. Adams, Guns 350: “Long chapter on the lynching of Kid Wade.” Adams, Herd 385: “Scarce.” Bradford 1901. Howes B1048. Much information and illustrations are devoted to ranching, including chapters “Cattle Industry in Ranch Days,” “Hunting Buffalo on the Great Plains,” “The Killing of Two Cowboys at Anselmo,” “A Cowboy’s Story,” “Brighton Ranch,” “Tearing Down of Settler’s Houses by Cowboys,” “Tailing up a Texas Cow,” “Hunting Wild Horses,” “Mike O’Rafferty as a Cowboy,” etc. Outlaws and violence are frequent subjects of images, with staged shots of bad men engaged in evil deeds and a hanging that emanates an existential dolor. These shadows are relieved by the lighter ambience of social history, with images of women riding in full Victorian dress, gingerbread-trimmed houses, children in airy white ruffly batiste, and innocent pleasures.
Butcher (1856–1927) took up photography in 1874, established a photographic gallery in Custer County in 1886, obtained a mail route, and farmed. Over the next seven years he created over 1,500 documentary photographs, but most of these were destroyed in a devastating fire. Butcher resolutely recommenced his work, and with the help of rancher Ephraim S. Finch, published this rare work. “It has articles on...the feud of Print Olive with Mitchell and Ketchum, and other primary material. Butcher did a most worthy book; it is illustrated with his photographs, many of them re-enactments of moments of early life and history of the area, since Butcher did not reach Nebraska until 1886, long after many celebrated local events were history. Knowing this, however, does little to detract from his work. Butcher also wrote Sod Houses of the Great American Plain (1904), some of which is incorporated into the second edition of his Pioneer History” (Thrapp I, pp. 198–199). ($600-1,200)
Ships of the Great American Desert
15. [CAMEL EXPERIMENT]. UNITED STATES. SECRETARY OF WAR (Jefferson Davis). Report of the Secretary of War...Respecting the Purchase of Camels for the Purpose of Military Transportation. Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1857. 34th Congress, 3d Session, Senate Executive Document No. 62. 238 pp., numerous engraved text illustrations (all full-page), folding diagram at end (camel-mounted artillery). 8vo, original brown blind-embossed cloth, gilt-lettering on spine. Except for minor chips to spine (at extremities) and along lower joint, fine.
First edition. Graff 436. Greenly, Camels in America, pp. 41–2. For discussion of other camel reports of the period, see Plains & Rockies III:297. This report discusses one of the more exotic chapters of Western history-the introduction of camels as pack-train animals in Texas and the Southwest. Based on this report, the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, persuaded Congress to appropriate funds to purchase camels for use in the West, which was still largely unsettled and difficult to cross. In 1856 and 1857 the camels, along with their native handlers, were introduced at Indianola, Texas, after which the Army began the task of accommodating itself to this new mode of transportation. In 1857 Edward Beale used the camels in his survey for an overland route to California, where the animals exceeded expectations. Despite these successes, the Civil War interrupted any further use of the animals and they eventually faded from the scene, in all but myth. See The Handbook of Texas Online (Camels). ($150-300)
Muggins the Cow Horse
16. CAMP, Charles L. Muggins the Cow Horse. [Denver: Welch-Haffner Printing Co., 1928]. 110 pp., photographic text illustrations, borders of photographic sequences on almost every page. 8vo, original stiff rose wrappers with printed and decorated paper label on upper cover, stapled (as issued). Very fine. This book is difficult to find, especially in fine collector’s condition like this copy.
First edition. Adams, Herd 401: “Scarce.... The story of an unusual cow horse.” McCracken, 101, p. 22: “A rare piece of Wyomingana, this book tells the tale of Muggins, a cow horse that lived and worked in Wyoming. It also gives insight into the cattle business in Wyoming in the early years of this century and into that breed of horse known as the cow pony.” The photographic borders, the techniques of which are discussed on pp. 13–14, are actually stills from films.
The legendary Muggins, who lived to the ripe old age of thirty-eight years and whose head was formerly preserved by the Wyoming State Museum, was said to be the finest cutting horse ever, able to cut out a steer from a herd without the guidance of a cowboy. Another legend about Muggins is that murderous cowboy detective Tom Horn is thought to have been the first to ride Muggins. ($150-300)
17. CATLIN, George (illustrator). Calendar for the year 1900, with color illustrations after Catlin: The Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. Richard A. McCurdy President Head Offices Nassau, Cedar & Liberty Streets, New York City. These illustrations are reproductions of a set of prints published in 1845, and designed by Catlin. They represent the life and sports of the North American Indians, who even as late as 1845, roamed and hunted at will over the Great West of the United States of America. The number of Indians remaining in the United States has greatly decreased since that time, and the plains over which they hunted are now the sites of prosperous cities and towns.... N.p., n.d. [Copyright, 1899]. 13 calendar leaves with half-tone illustrations (12 prints after Catlin in full color, final leaf with green tinted illustration of home office of Mutual Life). Sheets measure 50.5 x 35 cm, each illustration approximately 19 x 30 cm. Bound at top with original brown paper selvage and secured by brass ring. Chipping at lower blank margins, last leaf with approximately five-inch tear (no loss), generally very good.
Catlin ephemera. ($250-500)
18. CATLIN, George. North American Indians: Being Letters and Notes on Their Manners, Customs, and Conditions, Written during Eight Years’ Travel amongst the Wildest Tribes of Indians in North American, 1832–1839.... Edinburgh: John Grant, 1926. ix, , 298 + xii, 303,  pp., 320 chromolithograph images (primarily line-drawings of Native Americans and Western landscapes from original paintings by Catlin), including 2 maps, the first of which is folded: (1) Outline Map of Indian Localities in 1833 in Vol. 2. See Map of Localities in 1840 since all the Tribes Have Been Removed from the States West of the Mississippi. [below neat line at left] G. Catlin, measuring 21.3 x 36.7 cm neat line to neat line; (2) U. States Indians Frontier in 1840 Showing the Positions of the Tribes that Have Been Removed West of the Mississippi. [below neat line at left] G. Catlin, measuring 21.6 x 13 cm neat line to neat line. 2 vols., 8vo, original gilt pictorial maroon cloth stamped and lettered in gilt and black, t.e.g. Very mild foxing to endpapers, Vol. I text block slightly split after folding map (which has a few short tears to lower blank margin), otherwise a fine, bright set in the striking bindings.
Handsome reprint of the original edition published in London in 1841, under title Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians. Cf: Howes C241. McCracken 8n. Pilling 689. Plains & Rockies IV:84:1. Raines, p. 46.