Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Howes: "The first - and best - cowboy autobiography"

    Charles A. Siringo. A Texas Cow-Boy; or, Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony, Taken from Real Life by Chas. A. Siringo, an Old Stove Up "Cow Puncher" Who Has Spent Nearly Twenty Years on the Great Western Cattle Ranges. Chicago: M. Umbdenstock, 1885. First edition. 8vo. 316pp. Two color plates (the front and rear wraps from the paperback version issued simultaneously) precede the frontis portrait of Siringo as a young cowboy. Date to title page. Verso of title page features a humorous portrait of the author, older and "stove-up - financially". Original brown cloth over boards, with significant sunning. Gilt lettering and portrait of author on front board; blind-stamped designs. patterned endpapers.

    A Texas Cow-Boy is the first memoir to come from Charles Siringo's ongoing chronicles of his varied careers: cowboy, merchant, and detective. Charles Angelo Siringo (1855-1928) began his work in the cattle industry as a teenager, and eventually published this, his first book, at the age of only 30. Asked what his motivation was for writing his memoirs, he answered simply, "Money - and lots of it." William Reese, in Six Score, calls it the "first autobiography of a cowboy, and unquestionably one of the most important range books." Written well over a century ago, the book continues to elicit praise for its authentic observations and engaging prose. Charles Peavy writes that the "unaffected honesty and the straightforward, unsophisticated style of the narrative [...] make Siringo's books such fascinating examples of a distinct literary genre." In his preface to a later edition, J. Frank Dobie writes: "His cowboys and gunmen were not of Hollywood and folklore. He was an honest reporter."

    A Texas Cow-Boy is popular title, and much sought-after in the first edition. The is only the first third edition of this title that we have handled; and on both previous occasions, it has sold for $28,860!

    Condition: Heavy sunning to cloth covered boards, and bumped corners. With wear and gentle fraying to top and bottom of spine. Some foxing to endpapers, and gentle toning to interior pages. A few stray stains to early pages, and top corners are bumped and/or creased throughout. Still, a very good copy of a scarce title.

    References: Basic Texas Books 185 (A). Dobie, p. 119 ("No other cowboy ever talked about himself so much in print; few had more to talk about"). Dykes, Western High Spots ("The first autobiography of a cowboy and first in the hearts of many a range rider - it was virtually the cowboy's 'bible' for nearly half a century"; and, quoting Dobie: "now scarcer than hen's teeth"). Eberstadt 105:281. Graff 3804. Herd 2077. Howes S518 ("The first - and best - cowboy autobiography"). Peavy, Charles A. Siringo, A Texas Picaro, p. 9 ("a strange blend of braggadocio and self-effacement, of cunning and naivete"). Raines, p. 189. Six-Guns 2032 ("exceedingly rare"). Six Score 99 ("the first edition is virtually unprocurable").

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    24th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,545

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 September 14 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 May 14 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2019 May 14 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $735,674