"ENGLAND ALONE, BECAUSE OF A COMBINATION OF CAUSES, WAS ABLE TO USE ARIGHT THE CHANCES GIVEN HER" : THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S THE WINNING OF THE WEST, WITH MANUSCRIPT LEAF IN ROOSEVELT'S HAND
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, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $18,500.
Splendid Daniel Boone edition of Roosevelt's copiously illustrated historical masterwork, number 198 of only 200 finely bound copies with an original manuscript leaf tipped in from Roosevelt's account of the fate of different European nations in the New World.
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 7 inches) in Volume I, written entirely in Roosevelt's hand, is from Volume 4, Chapter I. St. Clair's Defeat, 1791, page 4. The leaf reads in full: "…in America, instead of to squabbling with Slavs and Germans for one or two wretched Baltic provinces, they could undoubtedly have built-up in the new world a Sweden tenfold greater than that in the old. If France had sent to her possessions in America
one half the number of as many colonists that as she sent over as soldiers to war for petty townships in Germany and Italy, the French would now be masters of half the territory north of the Rio Grande. England alone, because of a combination of causes, was able to use aright the chances given her for the conquest and settlement of the world's waste spaces: and in consequence the English-speaking peoples now have before them a future more important than…" First published 1889-96. See Wheelock, 11. Howes R433. Bookplates of publisher Ormond G. Smith, president of the publishing house Street & Smith.
Scattered marginal foxing and soiling to text. Volume I rebound to match, with original spine laid down, other three volumes with expert restoration.