Rare Inscribed First Edition of the Best Account of the Santa Fe ExpeditionGeorge 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. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "To A. M. Holbrook / with the best regards of / Geo. Wilkins Kendall". Two octavo volumes. xii, 405; xii, 406 pages. Illustrated with five engraved plates under tissue guards. Publisher's original blind-stamped brown cloth with titles stamped in gilt on the spines.
Dobie, in his Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest, notes that Kendall "wrote a narrative that if it were not so journalistically verbose might rank alongside Dana's Two Years Before the Mast. Jenkins, in Basic Texas Books, calls Kendall's Narrative not only "the best account of the Santa Fé Expedition, it is one of the best campaign narratives ever written." He goes on to write: "George W. Kendall founded the New Orleans Picayune in 1837 and became one of the leading trumpeters for Texas. In 1841, learning of Texan plans to conquer Santa Fe, he set out for Texas and joined the expedition. Traveling through a new and hostile environment, and improperly equipped, the expedition nearly starved, surviving on hippophagy. The members straggled almost to Santa Fe, and were gulled into surrendering without a fight. The captives were taken to Mexico and imprisoned for nearly two years, some longer. Kendall, although casting himself as a non-combatant member of the press, was locked up with the others." The Narrative proved quite popular, and was reprinted half a dozen times in the U.S. and abroad before 1850.
Condition: Very good. Abrasion to the edges of the boards but otherwise exhibiting only light shelf wear. Contents with light to moderate scattered foxing. Map with light foxing and an old tape repair.
References: Basic Texas Books 116. Dobie, p. 56. Graff 2304. Howes K75. Raines, p. 131. Sabin 37360. Streeter 1515.
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