Description

    [Frederick B. Page] Prairiedom: Rambles and Scrambles in Texas or New Estrémedura. By A. Suthron. New York: Paine & Burgess, 1846. Second edition. 12mo. vi, 166 pp. Bound in full brown calf over boards. Binding worn and scuffed, front board separating, but still attached by binding cords. Inked initials of previous owner on title page, and again on the dedication page. The first edition features a larger, folding map, which this, the second edition, has replaced with a smaller, full-page map. Very good.

    Frederick B. Page, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, traveled throughout Texas in the spring of 1839, through Nacogdoches, Houston, Bastrop, Goliad, and San Antonio. Streeter acknowledges the book to be a "pleasant account of the author's travels in Texas." Indeed, Page waxes loquacious with his descriptions. San Antonio, for instance: "The air here is always balmy, and elastic as a morning zephyr. It is as fresh as a rose leaf; and the mind and body both seem buoyed up by it. Those who have breathed the nitrous oxyde gas may have some idea of its elasticity, and sweetness, and its happy effects upon the soul." At frequent intervals Page pauses in his observations to praise the inroads of civilization taming the frontier: "The fandango is no more. The monte table is broken, and the cards are scattered. The schoolmaster has arrived, and civilisation is to spread abroad here upon the wings of the American eagle, and knowledge is to cover the land as the waters cover the sea. Savage cruelty, rioting and drunkenness have disappeared with this noisy, dirty, and querulous race." C. W. Raines sums up the book in a single sentence. "Texas, descriptive and historical, by a facile pen."

    References:
    Howes P9. Graff 3159. Raines, p. 167. Sabin 88599; 93969. Streeter 1604.


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