HOLLEY, Mary Austin (1784-1846). Texas. Observations, Historical, Geographical and Descriptive, in a Series of Letters, Written During a Visit to Austin's Colony, with a view to a permanent settlement in that Country, in the Autumn of 1831...With an Appendix...Also, some notice of the recent political events in that quarter. Baltimore: Armstrong & Plaskitt, 1833.
12o. Folding engraved map of Texas and Coahila (272 x 342 mm., 10¾ x 13½ in.) by W. Hooker. Copyright notice on a small slip affixed to verso of titlepage (as in some copies). (Map with very neat mend to one marginal tear, the text with scattered foxing, minor marginal stains to early quires). Original salmon-pink cloth, upper cover with title "TEXAS" gilt-stamped within a decorative cartouche. (Rebacked, wear to corners, back joint cracked).
FIRST EDITION, "THE FIRST BOOK IN ENGLISH ENTIRELY ON TEXAS" (STREETER). Mrs. Holley was a cousin of Stephen F. Austin, to whom the work is dedicated. Holley travelled to Texas to aid her brother Henry, who was settling in Bolivar, and was delighted with all she saw and experienced. She notes that "Texas, until the last few years, has been, literally, a terra incognita...It is uncertain how long this extensive and valuable country would have remained unknown and unsettled, had not the bold enterprise and perseverance of the Austins, torn away the veil that hid it from the world, and redeemed it from the wilderness, by the settlement of a flourishing colony...With this settlement, a new era has dawned upon Texas..." (pp. 9-10). She gives a detailed description of the land, resources, inhabitants, existing settlements and expresses satisfaction that slavery is presently prohibited under the present laws. In the extensive appendix, she offers copious practical advice to those, like herself, considering emigration. The undated, very detailed map occurs in several states; this example conforms to Streeter's 2nd state with "Beales and Rayuelles Grant" at top left, Milam's Grant labeled "Beales Grant" and Hooker's name added beneath the title (See Streeter Texas 1136).
Graff 1934; Howes H593 ("b"); Jenkins, Basic Texas Books,93; Rader 1912; Sabin 32528; Streeter Sale 2:1135; Streeter Texas 1135 ("a charming account of a journey in the fall of 1831 to the newly settled parts of Texas, from the mouth of the Brazos to Bolivar...").