"[O]ne of the most important works dealing with the cattle industry in Texas."W. H. Jackson and S. A. Long. The Texas Stock Directory, or Book of Marks and Brands. In a Series of Volumes Designed to Embrace the Entire State. Volume I. San Antonio: Printed at the Herald Office, 1865. First edition. 16mo. (6.5" x 4.25"). 402pp including index, plus 50pp of ads. Calendar for 1866 mounted to front pastedown. Illustrated throughout with marks and brands, and with two illustrations on yellow paper. Original pale blue illustrated paper boards. Boards are rubbed and soiled, with dampstaining to both boards. Some surface loss to both boards. Spine has perished and is no longer present. A few signatures remained gathered together, but most leaves are detached and are laid in. All leaves present but one: the leaf with page 289/290 (containing information on Goliad County) is missing. A significant portion of the leaf with page 235/236 has been torn away (these pages containing information on Guadalupe County). Paper loss to top edge of four pages. Some dampstaining throughout. Page 269 is mis-numbered as "266" (as per Adams). Though in fairly rough condition, this is an item so rare that is desirable in any condition, and it is a prime candidate for restoration.
This copy appears to be a variant of the first edition as described by Adams and Reese. The paper covering the boards is not "salmon pink" or "light gray," but is, instead, a light turquoise.
This is the first Texas brand book, and only the second American brand book, and, as such, William Reese writes that this is "[c]ertainly one of the most important works dealing with the cattle industry in Texas" (Six Score). Though "Volume I" is stated on the title page, there was, in fact, no other volume issued (not only was the ongoing Civil War a factor in the ultimate derailment of the project - it had severely delayed the appearance of Volume I - but, also, co-editor Samuel Long died of cholera in 1866 as he and Jackson were preparing the second volume, and it seems that Jackson made the decision to shelve the continuation of the project).
Brand books, now commonplace, record livestock brands, and show images of registered brands, where the animal is branded, the owner of the brand, and, often, earmarks. A brand book proves useful not only to the livestock owners themselves, but to their fellow ranchers and to law enforcement officials in determining ownership of strayed or stolen livestock.
The end of this first-ever Texas brand book contains a section of advertisements and notices. Two of the notices were written by the editors of this book, both ranchers, and they provide insight into why there was a need for a Texas brand book. The notice titled "Estrays" by W. H. Jackson ("Stockraiser of Bexar County") is particularly amusing: "During the past few years, I have had several horses taken from me (generally after the hour than an honest and God-loving man would be supposed to have said his prayers and retired to his peaceful couch) - all being branded as in the margin. Never having sold or donated a horse wearing the above brand, I claim them as my property, wherever they may be found, and will largely thank and liberally reward any person who will assist me in recovering animals thus mysteriously 'spirited' away."
A particularly rare item, essential to any range history library.
References: Graff 2180. Herd 1142, variant not cited ("exceedingly rare"). Howes J28. Raines, p. 125. Six Score 62, variant not cited ("This fragile book is seldom found in good condition."). Winkler 1375.
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