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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Oklahoma

Collecting on the subject of a state or a nation is often an opportunity not to just explore general history of the region, but also to interrogate society, civilization, and received wisdom through the lens of that region. In this way, the state of Oklahoma stands out as one of the many states in America which can offer a unique view not just on the pioneer frontier days of the continent, but also as a home and cultural center to many Native American tribes. Oklahoma also allows us to peer through the mists of time at the industry of cattle rearing and ranching (which, before oil was truck in heartland America was one of the fundamental industries), as well as, of course, the trials of the Dust Bowl era, and the economic collapse and subsequent New Deal of new, modernist America.

To that end, a very fine book to collect would be the 1835 A Tour on the Prairies, written by Irving Washington and published by Carey, Lea and Blanchard of Philadelphia, and usually collected in a volume entitled The Crayon Miscellany. This charming work tells the tale of the ‘prairie territories’ many decades before the area was incorporated into the Union, and before even the idea of it being a solid, discrete state identity had been entertained. In these early days, ‘the prairies’ large tracts of land given over almost solely to the indigenous American people. As such, a true first of this work in attractive brown cloth would be worth anywhere from five hundred to a thousand US dollars.

Another classic text of this state, and one that leads us to a very different time period would of course by George Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, first published in 1939, and telling the tale of two migrant workers in the economic downturn that changed the history of a continent. An American and world classic novel, a true first edition can be worth anywhere in the region of twenty, thirty, or more thousands of US dollars – more, if it is signed or otherwise can tie specific provenance to the reclusive author himself. The rarest edition available might be the limited edition presentation edition, where only ten were ever made, and were printed and bound and sold at a banqueting gala, with the proceeds going to migrant support charities. Each volume of these ten would be highly sought after, and if found at auction could easily be worth a cool fifty thousand dollars or more!

Irving, Washington. A Tour on the Prairies. Carey, Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia (1835).

Folsom, Joseph P. Constitution and Laws of the Choctaw Nation. Wm. P. Lyon and Son, New York (1869). Together with the Treaties of 1855, 1865, and 1866

Rock, Marion Tuttle. Illustrated History of Oklahoma.. C. B. Hamilton and Son, Topeka (1890). Its occupation by Spain and France, its sale to the United States, its opening to settlement in 1889 and the meeting of the first territorial legislature. Illustrated with many wood engravings of landscape, architecture, and portraiture.

Dyer, Mrs D. B. Fort Reno Or Picturesque. G. W. Dillingham, New York (1896). Cheyenne And Arrapahoe Army Life, Before The Opening Of Oklahoma.

Callison, John J. Bill Jones of Paradise Valley, Oklahoma. M.A. Donohue and Company, Chicago (1914). His Life and Adventures for Over Forty Years in the Great Southwest. He Was A Pioneer in the Days of the Buffalo, the Wild Indian, the Oklahoma Boomer, and the Cowboy and the Outlaw;

Thoburn, Joseph Bradfield. A Standard History of Oklahoma. The American Historical Society, Chicago and New York (1916). An Authentic Narrative of its Development from the Date of the First European Exploration Down to the Present TIme, Including Accounts of the Indian Tribes, both Civilized and Wild, of the Cattle Range, of the Land Openings and the Achievements of the most Recent Period. 5 volume set.

Starr, Emmet. History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore. Warden Company, Oklahoma City (1921).

Benedict, John D. A History of Muskogee and Northeaster Oklahoma.. S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago (1922). Including the Counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig and Ottawa. Three volumes.

Lynn, Ernest. The Blazing Horizon The True Story of Pawnee Bill and the Oklahoma Boomers. White House Publishers, Chicago (1929).

Ferber, Edna. Cimarron. Doubleday, Doran and Company, Garden City (1930).

Stansbery, Lon R. The Passing of 3D Ranch. Geo. W. Henry Printing Company, Tulsa (1930). Illustrated with photos.

Dale, Edward Everett. The Range Cattle Industry. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (1930). Includes frontispiece and illustrations.

Riggs, Lynn. Green Grow the Lilacs. Samuel French, New York (1931). A Play

Mathews, John Joseph. Wah'Kon-Tah. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (1932). Includes black and white frontispiece of Major Laban J.Miles

Rainey, George. The Cherokee Strip. Co-Operative Publishing Company, Guthrie (1933).

Foreman, Grant. The Five Civilized Tribes. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (1934). John R. Swanton - Contributor; Inlcudes a frontispiece, 11 inserted plates and a folding map.

Seger, John H. Early Days Among the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (1934). Edited by Stanley Vestal

Cunningham, William. The Green Corn Rebellion. Vanguard Press, New York (1935).

Cunningham, William. Pretty Boy. Vanguard Press, New York (1936).

Ridings, Sam P. The Chisholm Trail. Co-Operative Publishing Company, Guthrie (1936). A history of the world's greatest cattle trail, together with a description of the persons, a narrative of the events, and the reminiscences associated with the same; 52 illustrations and a Fold-out map.

Hallas, Richard. You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up. Robert M. McBride and Company, New York (1938). Pseudonym of Eric Knight

Wardell, Morris L. Political History of the Cherokee Nation. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (1938). Includes a photo frontispiece, illustrations and maps including a foldout map of the Cherokee Nation.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Viking Press, New York (1939). Dust jacket illustrated by Elmer Hader

Rodgers, Richard; Hammerstein, Oscar. Oklahoma. Random House, New York (1943). Based on Lynn Riggs' play, Green Grow the Lilacs.

Mathews, John Joseph. Talking to the Moon. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1945).

Riggs, Lynn. Green Grow The Lilacs. Limited Editions Club, Norman (1954). Stamped with the title drawn by Will Ransom and with a drawing by Thomas Hart Benton; One of 1500 numbered copies signed by the artist. Illustrated by Thomas Hart Benton.

Clark, Larry. Tulsa. Grove Press, New York (2000). Limited signed edition of 250 copies; Illustrated in black and white.