Kendall's Rare Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition
[Texas]. George Wilkins Kendall. Narrative of the
Texan Santa Fe Expedition, Comprising a Description of A
Tour Through Texas, and Across the Great Southwestern Prairies, the
Camanche and Caygua Hunting-Grounds, with an Account of the
Sufferings from Want of Food, Losses from Hostile Indians, and
Final Capture of the Texans, and Their March, as Prisoners, to the
City of Mexico. With Illustrations and a Map. By Geo. Wilkins
Kendall. In Two Volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1844.
First edition. Two twelvemo volumes. [ii], 405, [1, blank]; xii,
406 pages. With frontispieces, three engraved plates and fold-out
map inserted (map in volume I). Map engraved by W. Kemble N. York,
"Texas and Part of Mexico & the United States Showing the Route
of the First Santa Fe Expedition". Bound to style in modern
three-quarter brown morocco over brown cloth boards, spines ruled,
tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, five raised bands, top
edge gilt, marbled endleaves. Joints rubbed, embossed ownership
stamp on each title-page, numerical ink stamps on first page of
Preface of each volume, some foxing in text (mild foxing on map,
which shows very well). Overall, a near fine copy.
This classic of western Americana recounts the adventurers and suffering of a small group of Texans who set out across the plains in 1841 to seize neighboring New Mexico. President Mirabeau Lamar had directed the group to take control of New Mexico either through diplomacy or force. Instead, the poorly provisioned party became lost on the arid high plains, eventually arriving in desperate straits. Alerted to the Texans' intentions, New Mexico officials sent a force to meet them. The Texans were persuaded to surrender, taken prisoner, and marched to Mexico City. George Wilkins Kendall, the owner of a New Orleans newspaper, accompanied the Texans and shared their fate, but along the way he kept notes and sent dispatches to his newspaper that became the basis of his remarkable book. Kendall's "Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition" earned a wide readership, selling an amazing 40,000 copies in its first eight years. A classic travel narrative and cornerstone book about early Texas. Field 818. Graff 2304. Howes K75. Rader 2157. Streeter 1515; Streeter Sale 379. Jenkins 116(a). Wagner-Camp 110:1. Sabin 37360.
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