Legendary Wyoming Range BookA[sa]. S[hinn]. Mercer. The Banditti of the Plains or the Cattlemen's Invasion of Wyoming in 1892 [The Crowning Infamy of the Ages]. [Cheyenne: Privately published for the author, 1894]. First edition. Octavo. [14, blank], [2, ad, verso blank], -139 pages. Text illustrations (map, portrait, etc.). Bound in white clay-coated printed waste-sheets from The Book of the Campaign of Education...(Denver Times-Sun, 1894), clay-coated plain white endsheets (probably intended as pastedowns). Uniform light age toning, last few leaves and lower wrapper slightly water stained at the top in upper blank margins, else fine. Housed in a brown morocco clamshell case.
Written as an attack on the actions of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association during the Johnson County War, much confusion exists about Mercer's book. Howes writes that the book was printed but never published, having been impounded in a local Wyoming court as the result of a libel suit and ordered to be destroyed. Copies were allegedly stolen and smuggled to Denver where they were later bound. He attributes the scarcity of the book to this and the case of cattlemen and their sympathizers destroying any copies discovered. Reese disputes much of this and believes the book was actually printed in Denver. Whatever the case, the book is difficult to find, this example from the Jay Snider collection and in particularly nice condition.
References: Adams, Herd 1474; Howes 522; Reese, Six Score 79.
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