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; 506pp. and 624pp. (including Index) respectively. Illustrated with two folding frontispieces, large folding map of the US and Mexican border area, 13 tinted lithograph plates, 29 full-page woodcuts, and many smaller text cuts throughout. Three-quarter brown calf with marbled boards. Raised bands and gilt lettering on spine. Each volume bears two different bookplates from the library of Henry McLallen of Columbia City, Indiana on each initial endpaper. Textblock exhibits moderate overall age toning with occasional foxing. Illustrations and plates are very fine; fold out map bears a few small sections of fold separation but is in overall fine condition. Heavy wear and bumping to boards, edges and corners. Light wear at spine ends. Generally fine.

    John Bartlett was a New York bookseller appointed U.S. Commissioner by President Zachary Taylor, and tasked with running the survey of the boundary line between Texas and Mexico. Bartlett's efforts led to one of the great books on the Southwest, providing the most complete picture of the area up to that time and for long thereafter. He was associated with John Carter Brown in forming the latter's Americana library, and was its first librarian. Modest foxing to some of the plates (unavoidable in this set due to the processes employed for printing). As noted by Goetzmann (Army Exploration, pp. 205-06): "As a piece of narrative writing about the American West, Bartlett's book ranks alongside those of Fremont, Parkman, and Gregg as a classic. Within its pages is contained a panoramic view of the way of life of an entire region previously known only to a few."

    Reference:
    Howes B-201. Wagner-Camp 234:1. Streeter 173. Abbey 658. Clark III:272. Cowan, p. 36. Graff 298. Hill, p. 18. Basic Texas Books 12. Plains & Rockies IV:234:1. Powell, Southwestern Century 9. Raines, p. 22. Wheat, Gold Regions 252; Mapping the Transmississippi West 798.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    14th Saturday
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