New Acquisitions in Western Americana from Clark Rare Books
Clark Rare Books offers some new items from the West.
By Michael Stillman
Clark Rare Books has issued their Catalog 934 of works on the West, Americana, and more. This one features many new acquisitions recently made by the firm. Clark notes that they recently obtained a large collection of Western Americana on a West Coast trip, and those items are starting to make their way into their catalogues. Additionally, their related publisher, the Arthur H. Clark Company (now an imprint of the University of Oklahoma Press), is publishing four new works of Western American history. We will take a look inside the latest in this long-running series of catalogues.
It's summertime, time to travel. And where better to go than sunny Southern California? You may say that vacations are not affordable in difficult economic times such as these, but 1932 was no great shakes economically speaking either. That's when the All-Year Club of Southern California published its Guide Book for your Southern California Vacation. It covers the sights and activities available in Southern California, along with information on hotels, restaurants, transportation and nightlife. Of course, it describes the local climate, and contains a list of the home addresses of movie stars. It's doubtful any of them still live there, or anywhere, but some of those old houses are probably still around. Item 53. Priced at $35.
Here is another look at the area, from German tourist Ludwig Salvator: Los Angeles in the Sunny Seventies; a flower from the golden land. There may have been flowers in the "sunny seventies," but no flower children, love bugs, hot pants or disco music. No, not even Hollywood. This was the 1870s. Instead of movie stars, Salvator writes about Indians and Orientals, cattle, irrigation, mining, and all of those things you would never associate with Southern California anymore. Item 77 is a 1929 translation of a book originally published in German in 1878. $115.
Traveling to California in Salvator's time would not have been easy, but this book would have helped: Crofutt's Trans-Continental Tourist, containing a full and authentic description of over five hundred cities, towns, villages, stations, government forts and camps, mountains, lakes, rivers; sulphur, soda, and hot springs; scenery, watering places, summer resorts; where to look for the hunt: the buffalo, antelope, deer and other game; trout fishing, etc., etc. Obviously this guide goes back, as no one is looking for government forts, sulpher springs, watering places, or buffalo hunts anymore. The transcontinental railroad had only recently been completed when George Crofutt published his guide in 1874. This was actually the sixth annual edition, so there is much on traveling by stage and boat as well as railroads across the vastness of the young land. Item 190. $175.
New Acquisitions in Western Americana from Clark Rare Books
Senator Peleg Sprague fought to have the U.S. honor its treaty with the Cherokees.
Peleg Sprague is not one the better known of historic American political leaders. He served for a few terms in Congress in the 1820s, and as a senator from Maine from 1830-35. After that, he returned home, and a few years later was appointed a Federal District Court Judge in Massachusetts, where he served for many years until his retirement. However, Sprague should be noted for the courageous stand he took on behalf of the Georgia Cherokees in the early stages of their forced removal from their ancestral homeland. His views are enunciated in the Speech of Mr. Sprague, of Maine: delivered in the Senate of the United States, 16th April, 1830...upon the subject of the removal of the Indians. Sprague attacks the argument that they should be removed, despite treaties to which the U.S. agreed, because they are "savages." Says Sprague, "Much has been said of their being untutored savages, as if that could dissolve our treaties! No one pretends that they are less cultivated now than when those treaties were made." Sprague goes on to note that the Cherokees' civilization has progressed, pointing to laws, a Cherokee printing press, and further advances. He then concludes by noting that the western lands to which they are to be sent are already inhabited by other tribes who will resist the taking over of their land. Further, there is starvation among these tribes already, an issue hardly to be resolved by placing even more people on the land. Item 134. $45.
Willard Glazier was an unwilling prisoner during the Civil War. He escaped Confederate prisons and was recaptured twice before finding the third escape was the charm. He had earlier been involved in an attempt to tunnel out of Libby Prison but was unsuccessful. After twice being recaptured, he was finally able to escape from Sylvania, Georgia, in December of 1864 and make his way to federal lines in Savannah. His account was given in 1868 in The Capture, the Prison Pen, and the Escape, giving a complete history of prison life in the South... Glazier went on to live an exciting life in the years after the war. According to his obituary in 1905, he rode from Boston to San Francisco on horseback in 1876, being captured briefly by Indians and, of course, being compelled to escape. It says he escaped by taking one of their horses. More notably, Glazier canoed the entire length of the Mississippi in 1881. It was then that he claimed to have discovered the true headwaters of the Mississippi. Henry Schoolcraft had found that to be Lake Itasca in Minnesota, but Glazier found a smaller lake that drains into Itasca. That lake, Elk Lake, which he modestly renamed "Glazier Lake" (it is now again called "Elk Lake"), does drain into Itasca, but the flow is small, another stream also drains into Itasca, and several tiny streams in turn drain into Elk Lake. The result is Lake Itasca is still considered the headwaters of the Mississippi, and Elk Lake is still Elk Lake. Item 168. $65.
The new titles being offered by Arthur H. Clark Publishing cover the Utah War of 1858, steamboating on the Missouri, the journals of Prince Maxmilian from 1832-33, and Oklahoman Billy McGinty. Clark Rare Books may be contacted at 405-307-0088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.