Description

    John Russell Bartlett. Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora and Chihuahua, Connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission, During the Years 1850, '51, '52 and '53. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1854. First edition. Two 8vo volumes. xxii, 506; xvii, 624pp. Index. Two pages of ads in Volume I. Illustrated with two folding frontispieces, large folding map of the U.S. and Mexican border area, 13 tinted lithograph plates, 29 full-page woodcuts, and many smaller text cuts throughout. Full brown calf over boards. Raised bands and gilt lettering on spine. Marbled endpapers and edges. Bookplates of Rev. Edwin A. Dalrymple affixed to front pastedowns of both volumes. Moderate foxing to text and some plates. The map has a one-inch closed tear at inner edge, but otherwise is in near fine, crisp condition. Some bumping to the corners and light shelfwear. Heads of spines crumbling and separating a bit. Overall, a set in very good condition.

    John Bartlett was a New York bookseller appointed U.S. Commissioner by President Zachary Taylor and was tasked with running the survey of the boundary line between the United States and Mexico. Jenkins, in Basic Texas Books, considers Bartlett's Narrative" [...] the most scholarly and scientific description of Southwest Texas of its era." However, because Bartlett allowed the boundary for southern New Mexico to be set in accordance with the disputed Disturnell map, he was replaced as Boundary Commissioner. This from a lengthy and favorable review in The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany (September, 1854): "The results of these explorations [is] comprised in the elegant volumes before us, and will be found to embrace much valuable and authentic information upon the various points enumerated in his instructions. In general, carefully abstaining from any reference to the unfortunate dissensions which disturbed the harmony of the Commission, and leaving the strictly scientific results for a future publication, he has given us a personal narrative of much interest, interspersed with brief notices of the principal towns visited, and with remarks on the geographical features, natural productions, and present condition of the surrounding country."

    References: Basic Texas Books 12. Graff 198. Howes B201. Raines, p. 22. Sabin 3746. Wagner-Camp 234:1.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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