Lot 235 of 302:
The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James 2nd issue  

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Lot closed - unsold
Estimate:
$1,500 - $2,500

Title:
The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James. The Only Correct and Authorized Edition...

Author:
Triplett, Frank

Place:
St. Louis

Publisher:
J.H. Chambers & Co.

Date:
1882

Description:

xvi, [17]-416 pp. Frontispiece portrait and 24 additional full-page wood engravings. 18x12 cm (7¼x4½"), re-bound in newer green cloth with original green cloth front cover laid down, pictorially stamped in blind, decorative gilt lettering on front cover and spine, new endpapers. First Edition, second issue.

Very scarce biography of Jesse James, called by Adams "exceedingly rare," with the additional note that "the few copies in existence are usually in poor condition." This is the second issue, with the frontispiece of a bust portrait of Jesse and the copyright on the verso of the title-page.

There was also a third issue, enlarged to 426 pages, with the addition of Frank James' surrender. Howes states "It is alleged that efforts were made to suppress this biography. The scarcity of all issues tends to confirm this." He also notes the first issue was published on May 22; the second between June and November; and the third in November. The book itself alleges on the title-page, "dictated to Frank Triplett by Mrs. Jesse James, wife of the bandit, and Mrs. Zerelda Samuel, his mother...," which both women emphatically denied, with Adams giving much space to the controvery. In concluding his entry he describes in more detail the reasons for the book's elusiveness, "The author devotes a long chapter to accusing Governor Crittenden in strong language of conspiring with Bob and Charlie Ford to murder Jesse. It appears that several months passed before Governor Crittenden heard of this book. When he did, he saw to the destruction of every copy he could lay his hands upon. To make matters worse, the publisher was sued by Mrs. James, and on top of it all Frank James objected to the book because it accused him of moral misconduct. All this made the history of the book a rugged one. One does not wonder at its rarity."  


Lot Amendments

Condition:
Some wear and rubbing to front cover, volume leaning a bit; scattered finger soiling and light foxing, some closed tears and minor chips to plate edges, occasional light creasing to corners; overall very good.


 
Item number:
308711
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