Ella Hutchins Steuart, editor. Gems From a Texas Quarry; or. Literary Offerings by and Selections from Leading Writers and Prominent Characters of Texas: Being a Texas Contribution to the World's Industrial Exposition at New Orleans, La., 1884-5. New Orleans: J. S. Rivers, 1885. First edition. Small 4to. 300pp. Six fold-out color plates depicting the grand buildings of the Exposition, with the largest measuring 7" x 27.5" and the smallest 7" x 17.5". Original green cloth stamped in gilt, black, and blind. Ownership name in pencil to front endpapers. Substantial insect and vermin damage to boards, fore-edge, and endpapers; otherwise, contents surprisingly bright. An uncommon title in good condition. Rare.

    This first literary history specifically about Texas, written primarily by Texas women, anthologizes poetry, essays, and other offerings, some reprinted. The book was prepared as "a Texas contribution" to the 1884 New Orleans World's Fair. In the preface, editor Ella Hutchins Steuart writes that the volume is "offered as a specimen of the culture, tastes and sentiments of a citizenry which graces a state as it advances through its more material advantages toward intellectual achievements, moral development and social refinement." In addition to poetry, contributions include: "A Princely Reminiscence Connected With Texas" by Ashbel Smith, "Letter from Gen. Houston to Gen. Andrew Jackson (Jan. 31, 1843)", a biographical study of Stephen F. Austin by Mrs. M. J. Young, and a tract with feminist themes by Mrs. C. M. Winkler of Corsicana.

    Reference: Raines, p. 194-195.

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