"THE INDIANS FOUGHT WITH THE UTMOST BOLDNESS AND FEROCITY, AND WITH THE UTMOST SKILL AND CAUTION" : THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S THE WINNING OF THE WEST, WITH MANUSCRIPT LEAF ON INDIAN WARFARE DURING ST. CLAIR'S DEFEAT
ROOSEVELT, Theodore. The Winning of the West. New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1900. Four volumes. Large octavo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco gilt rebacked with original spines laid down, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $19,800.
Splendid Daniel Boone edition of Roosevelt's copiously illustrated historical masterwork, number 106 of only 200 finely bound copies with an original manuscript leaf tipped in from Roosevelt's account of one of the United States' worst defeats at the hands of Native Americans.
In 1884, Roosevelt went to the Dakota Badlands "as a refuge from tragedy and disappointment. His young wife and his mother had both died on Valentine's Day that year, and in the summer his reformist faction had been defeated at the Republican national convention. The isolation and immensity of the Badlands helped him escape these misfortunes, and offered a retreat where he could pursue his interest in writing… [including his] four-volume history of the early frontier" (PBS, The West). Roosevelt was the most prolific American President and, perhaps, accomplished writer of them all, publishing over 50 books, all without the aid of staff or ghostwriters. Winning of the West covers the years 1769-1807. "Roosevelt's works helped shape the popular impression of the West at the turn of the century" (Lamar, 987).
The original manuscript leaf (approximately 8 by 5 inches) in Volume I, written entirely in Roosevelt's hand, is from Volume 4, Chapter I. St. Clair's Defeat, 1791, pages 37-38. Marked "37" in upper right, the leaf reads in part: "The Indians fought with outstanding [struck through] the utmost boldness and ferocity, but [struck through] and also [struck through] with the utmost skill and caution. Under cover of the smoke of the heavy but harmless fire from the troops [struck through] army they advanced close to the lines, and [struck through] came up so close that they shot the troops down as hunters slaughter a herd of standing buffalo. Watching their chance, they charged again and again with the tomahawk, making [struck through] gliding in to close quarters, while their bewildered foes were still blindly firing at the [struck through] into the smoke-shrouded woods … in a moment, without warning, dark faces frowned through the haze, the war-axes gleamed, and … on the frozen ground the weapons clattered as the soldiers fell … while the steady singing of the Indian bullets never ceased, and on every hand the bravest and steadiest fell lifeless, [struck through] one by one. dead or wounded [struck through] … The officers behaved very well, cheering and encouraging their men; but they were the special targets of the Indians, and fell rapidly…" First published 1889-96. See Wheelock, 11. Howes R433.
Expert restoration to spines, with Volumes I and IV rebacked with original spines laid down. Spines evenly toned to brown. A very handsome and desirable set.