BONNELL, GEORGE W. d.1842.
Topographical Description of Texas. To which is added, an Account of the Indian Tribes. Austin: Clark, Wing, and Brown, 1840.
8vo (148 x 92 mm). viii, -127, [1 blank], -150 pp. Contemporary straight-grained cloth, spine gilt-lettered. A few scattered spots, hinges weak, cloth worn at ends and discolored, foxing to endpapers.
Provenance: Dept Library, East Hill[?] (early inscription to front free endpaper).
FIRST EDITION OF THE EARLIEST TEXAN BOOK ON TEXAS, A LEGENDARY RARITY, second issue with correct spelling of "Arkansas" in the index. George Bonnell was an important figure in early Texas history. He traveled to Texas in 1836 with a company of Mississippi volunteers recruited for the Texas War of Independence. He served as Sam Houston's commissioner of Indian Affairs, and was appointed a government printer in 1839, starting the first Austin Texas Sentinel. He was killed in 1842 on the Mier expedition, the most disastrous of the expeditions from Texas into Mexico during the days of the Republic.
Bonnell's deep love of Texas is exuded from nearly every page, as he states in his preface: "I have endeavored to present the country to the reader precisely as it is at the present time. But I am aware that our rapidly increasing population produces important changes at the end of nearly every month; and a section of country that is wild and uninhabited may, at the end of two or three months, be filled with a dense population ... I design publishing an enlarged edition in the course of next winter or spring ... when I hope to be able to present a volume more worthy of the beautiful country it describes." Bonnell's plans for a second edition of course were forever precluded by his untimely death. However, this plain and somewhat inexpertly printed volume is more fitting to his frontier subject. Clements Fifty Texas Rarities 21; Field 148; Howes B600; Raines, p 27; Sabin 6317; Streeter 380.