Description

    George 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. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1844. First edition. Two 8vo. volumes. xii, 405; xii, 406 pp. Illustrated with five engraved plates with tissue guards. Bound in red three-quarter calf and marbled boards. Raised bands and leather title labels to spine with gilt lettering. Marbled endpapers. Moderate foxing. Bookplates of previous owner on front free endpaper as well as first fly-leaf. A four-inch closed tear to the map has been repaired with tape. Very good.

    Dobie, in his Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest, notes that Kendall "wrote a narrative that if it were not so journalistically verbose might rank alongside Dana's Two Years Before the Mast. Jenkins, in Basic Texas Books, calls Kendall's Narrative not only "the best account of the Santa Fé Expedition, it is one of the best campaign narratives ever written." He goes on to write: "George W. Kendall founded the New Orleans Picayune in 1837 and became one of the leading trumpeters for Texas. In 1841, learning of Texan plans to conquer Santa Fe, he set out for Texas and joined the expedition. Traveling through a new and hostile environment, and improperly equipped, the expedition nearly starved, surviving on hippophagy. The members straggled almost to Santa Fe, and were gulled into surrendering without a fight. The captives were taken to Mexico and imprisoned for nearly two years, some longer. Kendall, although casting himself as a non-combatant member of the press, was locked up with the others." The Narrative proved quite popular, and was reprinted half a dozen times in the U.S. and abroad before 1850. The first edition of this classic with map intact is an increasingly scarce item.

    References:
    Basic Texas Books 116. Dobie, p. 56. Graff 2304. Howes K75. Raines, p. 131. Sabin 37360. Streeter 1515.


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
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