DescriptionCabeça de Vaca [Cabeza de Vaca]. The Narrative of Alvar Nuñez Cabeça de Vaca. Translated by Buckingham Smith. Washington: Printed for private circulation only by G. W. Riggs, 1851. First American edition and the first true translation in English, with a cut signature of Riggs affixed to the colophon page. One of only ten large paper copies from a total print run of just 110 copies. Folio. vii, -138pp plus eight plates of maps relating to de Vaca's explorations. Publisher's red cloth rebacked with the original cloth laid down and a black leather spine title label lettered in gilt. Top edge mildly trimmed; other edges uncut. Moderate wear to the binding, with bumped corners. Rear joint split and rear hinge starting. Minor soiling and staining to the boards. Scattered foxing and toning throughout. A very good copy of the first English edition of the first European book devoted entirely to North America, almost never seen in the large paper edition.
Jenkins writes:"the first book relating to Texas. F. W. Hodge called Cabeza de Vaca's journey 'the most remarkable in the record of American exploration, and as a narrative of suffering and privation the relation ... perhaps has no equal in the annals of the northern continent.'"
References: Basic Texas Books 24(G). Eberstadt 162:112. Holliday 156. Sabin 9771.
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