Description[David Crockett] Richard Penn Smith. Col. Crockett's Exploits and Adventures in Texas: Wherein is Contained a Full Account of his Journey from Tennessee to the Red River and Natchitoches, and Thence Across Texas to San Antonio Including his Many Hair-Breadth Escapes: Together with a Topographical, Historical and Political View of Texas. New York: Nafis & Cornish; Philadelphia: John B. Perry, 1845. First edition. 12mo. 216pp. with frontispiece portrait. Decorative stamped blue cloth with gilt illustration on front cover and spine; gilt spine lettering. Moderate to heavy wear to boards, spine, and corners. Heavy foxing to initial and terminal leaves; occasional foxing throughout textblock. Very good condition.
Although we are assured on the title page that this book was indeed "Written by [Crockett] Himself," we are also informed that "The Narrative [was] Brought Down From the Death Of Col. Crockett To the Battle Of San Jacinto, by an Eye-Witness." In fact, the book was written by one Richard Penn Smith, the son of a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, who reached his widest literary audience and left his most lasting mark on the American literary tradition through his anonymous authorship of Col. Crockett's Exploits, a book that gave his countrymen a new, sanitized Crockett as a figure worthy of emulation. Although a clumsy fabrication produced with pecuniary profit and political gain as its only goals, Smith's work was the early forerunner of one of America's unique art forms - the popular western.
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