London: John Murray, 1844. Two volumes. viii,314; viii,360pp., plus ten plates (seven lithographs by Day & Haghe [two portraits and five views], three wood- engraved plates [two signed "SW"]). Frontispiece in each volume. Contemporary three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spines gilt, marbled endpapers, t.e.g., by Ringer. Minor shelf wear, joints worn. Bookplate on each front pastedown. Very good. Item #WRCAM54420
The author was a wealthy British woman who visited Texas in 1842 on her husband's private yacht. She visited New Orleans, then sailed along the Gulf Coast, alternating between Texas and New Orleans. Mrs. Houstoun offers commentary on the politics and society of the day, including issues such as slavery and a possible civil war. "...She gives us some exceptional insights into Texas of the 1840's" - Jenkins. The lithographs are included in Holman and Tyler's preliminary research on 19th-century Texas lithography. They include portraits of Gen. Santa Anna and President Houston and views of the city of Galveston, Funchal in Madeira, the city of Houston, Havana harbor, and ending with a nighttime view of the Plaza des Armas in Havana. All are wonderfully executed by the British firm of Day & Haghe, lithographers to the Crown. The "alpine" Houston view, while apocryphal, may be the first published view of the city, and the prototype for subsequent views showing the city in the midst of mountains. In addition there is a fine wood-engraved vignette view of the "Dolphin Yacht in the Mississippi"; and two beautifully observed wood-engraved character studies, the first of "Nancy, the Black Woman," and the second of a "New Orleans black dandy." One of the more charming accounts of the Republic of Texas, and other than that of Mrs. Holley, the only one by a woman. BASIC TEXAS BOOKS 97. CLARK III:182. HOWES H693, "aa." RAINES, p.120. SABIN 33202. STREETER TEXAS 1506. SERVIES 3044 (abridged American ed). REESE, BEST OF THE WEST 79 (note).