45
45
Crockett, David
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
45
Crockett, David
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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New York

Crockett, David
Autograph letter signed ("David Crockett"), 2 pages (9 1/2  x 7 1/2  in.; 241 x 190 mm), Washington, 25 March 1834, to E. L. Cary & A. Hart, publishers; vertical and horizontal creases, glue stain along upper edge (affecting one word), 3 3/4 in. tear repaired on left edge (no loss of text, but a few words affected on verso), narrow strip of paper tape on left edge.  Clamshell case covered in parti-colored morocco, spine with gilt-lettering and raised bands. 
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Catalogue Note

Davy Crockett to his publishers.  In 1834, Carey & Hart in Philadelphia and Allen & Ticknor in Boston published Crockett's Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee, written with the help of Thomas Chilton.  Crockett claimed that he wrote the autobiography in order to gain some control over his own image and identity.  By the early 1830's, Crockett has become the subject of a number of popular plays, books and articles, all filled with outlandish stories about his exploits.  In 1833 Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. Crockett, of West Tennessee, one of the most outlandish of these works, was brought out to great acclaim.   Crockett's own autobiography was to prove immensely popular and has been in print since its initial publication.

In this fine letter to his Philadelphia publishers, full of the author's typical misspellings and devoid of punctuation, Crockett shows himself to be an author with careful eye to his book sales and one in need of a quick advance against future sales:  "I was much grattifyed to hear that the first editions of my Book were entirely sold out  I hope it will sell agreeable to your expectations  there has been a great many sold here  Mr Thompson told me that it was the only Book that he could sell  I have been written to by several of my friends in Tennessee that it will sell well there  I have no doubt of a great many copies selling on the Mississippi and ohio where that spurious work first made its appearance  I wish to know if you have an agent in new orleans and in towns of the Mississippi  there it will sell better than any other place

"... I am Sorry to ask of you without we were better acquainted that is — to know whether it would be convenient for you upon any terms to let me have one hundred and fifty or two hundred dollars as I am drawn on and and compeld to make some araingment in the early part of next week  a mans needcesaty [necessity] must pleed his apology  I was beaten the election before last and it give me a backset in money matters  an election costs a man a great deal in my country and I had strangth & power to contend against  I am truly sorry to ask you for this favour but I have drawn all my Salary that is due and I have understood that the united states Bank here does not discount at present and I would suffer befo I would apply to their pet Bank".

The election Crockett refers to is his bid for reelection to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1831.  That year he openly opposed President Jackson and the Tennessee delegation on issues of land reform and the Indian removal bill.  He was, however, reelected in 1833. 

 

 

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

|
New York