Nez Perce Joseph
Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1881. First Edition. Cloth. 8vo. Brown publisher's cloth with gilt lettering on spine and blind stamped decoration on cover. Frontispiece portraits with facsimile signatures of Chief Joseph and Howard. Folding map in rear. 274 pp.
Both hinges split with covers detached. Front matter up to title page (including frontispieces) loose. Map is loose and laid in, with one quarter cleanly torn from the rest (laid in). Several quires between pp. 145-176 are beginning to come loose, but still attached. Contemporary signature on rear page. Ex-library with a mark on spine and card and pocket pasted inside front cover. Overall quite worn with an excellent interior.
This is a scarce first edition biography of Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (1840-1904) -- popularly known as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe -- written by his rival, U.S. Army General Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909). Both were fascinating figures in the American colonization of the West with complex legacies. Joseph, beloved as a humanitarian and peacemaker, eventually surrendered to Howard but spent the rest of his life as a staunch advocate for indigenous rights. Gen. Howard, nicknamed "The Christian General," was a deeply pious abolitionist who butted heads many times with President Andrew Johnson over lack of support for reconstruction efforts. Howard University, one of America's top HBCUs, was founded by the general in 1867. (Howes H711). Fair. Item #1655