DescriptionGeorge Wilkins Kendall: Narrative of the Texan Santa Fé Expedition, Comprising a Description of A Tour Through Texas, and Across the Great Southwestern Prairies, the Camanche and Caygüa 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, first issue (1844 on spines). Two 8vo volumes. xii, 405 pp. with frontispiece, 12" x 16.75" folding map - "Texas and Part of Mexico & the United States Showing the First Route of the Santa Fe Expedition", and one additional plate; xii, -406 pp. with frontispiece and two additional plates. Original blind stamped brown (Volume I) and green cloth (Volume II) with gilt illustration and lettering on spine. Signed in ink on several pages by the original owner, Theodore Bliss. Volume I with bumped and rubbed corners and spine ends, and the text block is slightly cocked; Volume II in noticeably better condition with light to moderate shelf wear mainly at the edges and spine ends. Light scattered foxing in both volumes, more so at the preliminary and terminal pages. Map is in very nice shape with chipping at the margins. Overall very good.
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.
References: 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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