Chicago: Belford, Clarke & Co., 1881. Life and Marvelous Adventures of Wild Bill the Scout--Being a True and Exact History of All the Sanguinary Combats and Hair-Breadth Escapes of the Most Famous Scout and Spy American Ever Produced. Typewritten Manuscript Copy, Title page (2) includes: By J. W. Buel, of the St. Louis Press. Illustrated. Belford, Clarke & Co. Chicago, 1881 and 1880 [copyrighted 1879 by W. S. Bryan]. 84pp. 8 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches.
Red buckram string-tied binding with paste-down manuscript label on front. Very good condition with light wear to corners. Light soiling to edges of text block. Very clean interior.
Typewritten copy of the first biography of Wild Bill Hickok as well as the first book of J.W. Buel, who claimed to have known Hickok and had access to his diary. The publishing history of Buel's book is curious. Dorothy Sloan unravels its history in her Western Americana 10/18/2006 auction of her 1880 St. Louis edition of Buel's book. "First edition, known by only a few copies, with the imprint of W. S. Bryan, rather than the usually cited Belford, Clarke & Co. imprint. For citation to the Chicago edition put out by Belford, Clarke & Co. in 1880, see: Adams, One-Fifty 21. Adams, Six-Guns 316. Graff 468. Howes B935. Streeter Sale 4285. Wright III:761. The author, according to the title and wrapper, was employed in the publishing business in St. Louis. It makes better sense therefore that the book would have first appeared there rather than Chicago. The plates are also signed by Riches & Company, a St. Louis engraving firm. Belford, Clarke & Co., who were in business in Chicago (1875-1892), are usually credited with the only 1880 edition of this work, the present edition being totally overlooked. At the time of this publication Belford, Clarke & Co. had developed quite a reputation as plagiarizers, having been sued by both Estes & Lauriat and Mark Twain. Adams describes the Chicago edition as "perhaps the first and rarest book written about Wild Bill Hickok".
This typescript edition is not traced through auction records and was acquired from the estate of southern California collector Robert Palazzo. We find no reason to doubt it is a 19th century typed copy, but any further ideas would be conjecture. Clearly it is not an author's manuscript as it states an 1881 publication date on the second title page but could be a Belford, Clarke and Company manuscript copy? The last page is an ad for a previous Belford, Clarke publication, Augustus Appler's "Guerrillas of the West".
Regardless, an early typescript of a rare book on Wild Bill Hickok. Item #329