Crockett, David. Life of David Crockett: The Original Humorist and Irrepressible Backwoodsman (A canvassed book) (Philadelphia: John E. Potter and Company, 1880?)

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Crockett, David.  Life of David Crockett: The Original Humorist and Irrepressible Backwoodsman (A canvassed book). Philadelphia: John E. Potter and Company, 1880?. Edition Unstated. Binding: Hardcover (Original Cloth). Book Condition: Good+ Condition. Size: Around 7" or slightly taller - Duodecimo (12mo). 405 pages. Item Type: Book.

The book is presented as an autobiography, with an "Author's Preface" signed in print by "David Crockett." although it is a collection of previously published accounts, the first two of which were written by Crockett with some help from others.

According to catalog notes in WorldCat, pp 19-170 were first published in 1834 under title "A narrative of the life of David Crocket" and pp. 171-238 in 1835 under title "An account of Col. Crockett's tour to the North and down East." The first is believed to have been written with the editorial help of Kentucky congressman Thomas Chilton. Two of Crockett's letters to his publisher, in the Archives of the Rosenbach Museum & Library reveal a Mr. Clark as his ghost writer for the second. The WorldCat note indicates that, with the exception of the first three and last paragraphs, pp. 239-405 are a reproduction of "Col. Crockett's exploits and adventures in Texas ..." printed in 1836 and attributed to Richard Penn Smith. In the text, the end of Chapter 35 (p. 394) is labeled "Here ends Colonel Crockett's manuscript" and one final chapter describes the Battle of the Alamo.

This is one of 150 works printed by the publisher from canvassed orders. It is listed as number 5 under "Biographical and Historical" in the "Grand Combination Prospectus" for John E. Potter and Company, dated after 1876 and reproduced as Figure 16.1 on p. 341 of Arbour's catalog of "Canvassing Books, Sample Books and Subscription Publishers' Ephemera, 1833-1951, in the Collection of Michael Zinman."

The text block is tight, though cheaply bound with some of the signatures not flush. The printing is on the cheap side, as well, with some broken type and the text a bit over-inked in places. The pages are slightly tanned from age. The frontispiece and facing illustrated half-title page have a darkened damp stain in the lower quarter of the pages. There is a 1/2" scar on the half-title where the paper has adhered to the frontispiece and a 1/4" strip has been torn off from the right half of the top edge of the half title. The text block is generally clean with a few pages that are dogeared and a few spots here and there.

There are 4 full-page engraved plates illustrating dramatic events, including "Crockett's Encounter with a Bear" (facing p. 128). The publisher's catalog in the back is mis-bound. Two leaves are between pages 402 and 403 and two are at the end, but there are only eight pages (four leaves) when there are supposed to be at least 16.

Bound in green cloth over boards embossed scenes and decorations printed in black on the front cover and spine. The title is on a heavily worn gilt background on the front cover and spine. Corners are turned in with the boards peeking through at the tips of the bottom corners. Wear at the edges, though the head and foot of the spine holding. There are two small holes through the cloth at the outside edges of the spine. The end papers are printed with a green pattern and are split at the hinges, revealing the webbing. The paper has been reglued in places to stabilize the hinges.

Original owner has neatly written his name and address, along with a December 22nd 1888 date, on the free front end paper. A later owner stamped his name and personal library book number on the next blank page. The page edges are browned.


Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: 1 lb 6 oz. Category: Biography & Autobiography; United States; 19th century; History. ISBN: No ISBN. Inventory No: 1286.