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    "To arms! To arms! The Texans cry, we must repeal the savage foe; we march to conquer, or to die; beneath the walls of Alamo..."

    Hugh Kerr: A Poetical Description of Texas, and Narrative of Many Interesting Events in that Country, Embracing a Period of Several years, Interspersed with Moral and Political Impressions; Also, An Appeal to Those Who Oppose the Union of Texas with the United States, and the Anticipation of that Event. To which is Added The Texas Heroes, Nos. 1 and 2. (New York: Published for the Author, 1838.) 122 pp. 16mo. First edition. Binding worn, some staining and soiling to text. Original brown cloth (rebacked in matching cloth); gilt-lettered on upper cover.

    A native of Ireland, Kerr arrived in America circa 1795, eventually migrating to Texas country in 1822 and settling in Washington County. This unassuming little tome is important in Texas history as it was the earliest literary production of the state. It contains mainly descriptive poems about the Battle of the Alamo, the people, towns, geography, and animals of the area.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Kerr's poetic talents leave a bit to be desired. As noted by Streeter: "This is Texas history in pretty poor verse, but it apparently can be characterized as the first book of Texas poetry. A brief notice of the book in the Telegraph and Texas Register for February 27, 1839, taken from the Louisiana Advertiser refers to Kerr as 'a gentleman who has devoted much of his time and means to the interests of the infant republic. At the commencement of the war in Texas, he had printed and diffused around, many martial and patriotic songs!'"

    Reference: Streeter 1317. Raines, p. 133. Webb, Texana.

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    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
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