Description[Frederick B. Page]. Prairiedom: Rambles and Scrambles in Texas or New Estremedura. By A. Suthron. New York: Paine & Burgess, 1845. First edition. 12mo, vi, 166 pages. Eighteen pages of press opinions in the back. Later binding with red cloth over boards and title stamped in gilt on the spine; marbled endpapers. Large folding map (9.75" x 11.75") of the United States and Mexico with inset of Texas found opposite the title page and which is only found in the first edition. Map has a small tear on one of the interior folds. Very light shelf wear to boards. Pages are mildly toned, especially along the edges, with some foxing. Light dampstaining to the top edge of the pages from the title page through page 47. Scattered notations in pencil throughout.
On the fourth fly leaf is found a humorous exchange, in pencil. The first entry reads: "Reder do not go am Father!" Below which is found a reply, written later: "Reader do not go any farther - this blockhead is the proper way to spell it -"
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 oxide 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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