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    Rezin Bowie's First Hand Account of the Fight At San Saba

    [Jim Bowie] [Rezin Pleasant Bowie]. Atkinson's Casket or Gems of Literature, Wit and Sentiment. Philadelphia: [Samuel C. Atkinson], February - December, 1833. Volumes 2 through 12 (lacking January, number 1) bound in a single octavo volume. [49]-572, [4] index, pages. Hand-colored illustration of women's fashion and several engraved illustrations in text. Contemporary leather spine over marbled boards. Titles lettered in gilt on the spine.

    Includes a rare account of Jim and Rezin Bowie's 1831 Indian fight at San Saba, Texas. The brothers were attempting to discover the "lost" Los Almagres Mine, said to be west of San Antonio near the ruin of Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission. The mine had been operated by the local Indians before being seized by the Spanish. After Mexico won independence from Spain, government interest in the mines waned. A number of hostile Indian tribes roamed the area and without government troops to keep the tribes at bay, mining ceased. It was believed that after the Mexican citizens left the area, the Lipan Apaches took over the mines. On November 2, 1831, Rezin and Jim Bowie accompanied nine others made a search for San Saba. Not far from their goal they realized that they were being followed by a large number of hostile Indians. The ensuing fight lasted thirteen hours. After the dust settled the searchers had lost one, but the Indian casualties amounted to about 82 killed or wounded. In 1832, Rezin Bowie began having trouble with his vision. Accompanied by his brother Jim, he travelled to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to seek medical treatment. While in Philadelphia, the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post persuaded Bowie to write an account of the San Saba fight, which was reprinted in 1833 in the serial Atkinson's Casket or Gems of Literature, Wit and Sentiment. The three page account (pages 422-425) is prefaced "The following interesting narrative of a fight with the Waccos and Tawackanies, Indians, in Texas, amounting to a party of 164 and a party of Americans - nine men and two boys, eleven in number, is related by Razin [sic] P. Bowie, Esq. of that party, now in this city." The account is complete with a fanciful woodcut illustration of the battle.

    Condition: Boards worn and along the edges; corners bumped and abraded; wear to the edges of the spine and some crazing to the leather; contents with light to moderate toning and foxing, occasional staining, a few closed tears and small areas of loss to a couple of the illustrations; preliminary pages loose, otherwise good condition.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2016
    12th Saturday
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