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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 603

XIT Ranch of Texas, J. Evetts Haley, with Signed Letter

Estimate: $400 - $500

Bid Increments

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$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

THE XIT RANCH OF TEXAS And the Early Days of the Llano Estacado, by J. Evetts Haley, Chicago: The Lakeside Press, 1929. Scarce "suppressed" First Edition of Haley's first book, concerning cattlemen in 19th century Texas, and the enormous XIT Ranch founded in 1885 by the Farwell brothers.  Hardcover, 261pp. plus illustrations and maps, one folding; green boards with gilt-stamped spine and Longhorn steer on cover, gilt top edge. With a typewritten, signed letter from Haley to John Thomas Lee (Chicago/Wisconsin historian and author) regarding the suppression of the book resulting from libel lawsuits directed at Haley. The Feb. 5, 1937 letter references the legal troubles with the "Spikes Gang, a notorious bunch of Texas and New Mexico cattle rustlers and renegades in general". Haley goes on to write "The Farwells agreed to withdraw the book from circulation; hence its extreme rarity. Less than 2000 were printed, and a great many of these never reached the trade". In addition, a signed, handwritten note to Lee accompanies the book, indicating the book was sent to Lee from William A. Kittredge, Director of Design and Typography for Lakeside Press from 1922 to 1945.  In his 1959 bibliography of cattle books "The Rampaging Herd", Ramon Adams writes that Haley's book is "one of the best books about a Texas ranch. Because of a lawsuit most of the edition was recalled and suppressed, making it one of the rarest and most sought after books on cattle. This is the author's first book, and the many books he has written since have enhanced his reputation as a writer" (Adams 969).  Note: The XIT Ranch was founded in 1885 by the Farwell brothers from Chicago. The state of Texas traded the Farwell brothers 3 million acres in the panhandle in return for building a new Capitol Building in Austin, replacing the building that burned in 1881. In its heyday, the XIT Ranch boasted 6,000 miles of fence and ran 150,000 head of cattle. (source:


Very good condition, slight scuffing to covers with corner bumps.

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