Hartford Conn: The Hartford Publishing Company, 1897.
Original plum cloth, stamped in black and in gilt illustrated with an 'Indian Horse race' on the frontxlviii, 674 pp., frontispiece, Fully illustrated with upwards of two hundred and fifty engravings, chiefly from photographs supplied by the Bureau of ethnology, Washington 32 unnumbered leaves of plates which are described in detail in the table of contents some in color. In-text drawings, photographs; Introduction by O. O. Howard
In later editions the title was changed to ...’Hostile Indians’… An uncommon Western Americana book in the first Edition.
The bindings are tight and square. Text clean, light even toning. Moderate shelf handling wear. Rubbing and wear to the lower edges and spine tips, front hinge starting, a leaf in the list of illustrations with a long-closed tear [professionally repaired with clear heat transfer tape]
The title page continues “…portraying the daily life, habits, traits, religion, ceremonies, dress, savage instincts, and customs of the Indians of the great West ... with many thrilling incidents, daring exploits, and brave deeds in the lives of famous Indian fighters, frontiersmen, scouts, guides, and trappers”
Ref: Howell 790; Graff 2011; Dustin 144; Graff 2011
Very Good / No Dust Jacket As Issued. Item #17215
James Lee Humfreville relates his hair-raising experiences among the numerous tribes which he came in contact with as a cavalryman in his 20 years of life among the Indians, beginning in the late 1850s, embracing the entire territory from the Saskatchewan River in Canada, south to the central portion of Mexico, and from the Mississippi Rivers west to the Pacific Ocean.
Humfreville describes the Pony Express, Overland Stage, and Fur Companies, as well as an account of a few famous mountaineers, trappers, and guides, who spent their lives among the Indians. They were at that time as much a part of the Wild West as the Indians themselves, and it was they who paved the way for civilization as it trended westward, at the imminent peril of their own lives. He writes an entire chapter about famous mountain man Jim Bridger.
In introducing his book, Humfreville writes:
"Of the small number of white men who were on the Great Plains, or in the mountains of the Far West many years ago, when each nation of Indians in its primeval state occupied its own territory or hunting ground, very few are left who knew the Indian in his absolutely wild condition; and as none of them have described him in his untutored state, as he actually lived in his original home, I have ventured to give in this volume some of my experiences among the many nations and tribes with which I came in contact— sometimes in friendly intercourse, often in deadly strife."
Jacob Lee Humfreville was a Civil War veteran who earned a Regular Army commission as a lieutenant in the 9th U.S. Cavalry, the "Buffalo Soldiers," in 1866. In this beautifully illustrated work, Humfreville offers his observations on all aspects of Plains Indian life. His views were sometimes simplistic, but unfailingly sympathetic.
Native Americans; Western Americana; Custer, Fetterman Massacre, Wonded Knee, Indian Wars, Exploration; Fur Trade; Jum Baker; James Beckwourth...