New York: Dick’s Pub. House, Circa 1893-1894. Wraps. Softcover pamphlet with 16 unnumbered pages. Pink cover features a wood engraving of Lone Star Harry. Toned pages, otherwise in very nice shape with a tiny chip to the lower fore-edge corner. Lone Star Harry’s given name is unrecorded, although the pamphlet does provide two additional sobriquets, "America’s Representative Scout" and "The Revolver King."
Harry claimed to have been born in Eagle Pass, Texas in 1855 and to have worked as a cowboy on cattle drives between the ages of 14 and 22. For the next 12 years he served as an Army scout, part of the time in the Cherokee Strip. He resigned his position to serve as an agent for a number of Native Americans who wanted perform in Wild West shows, and by 1890 he had personally begun to perform in a number of the shows himself including Doctor Solomon’s, Captain Nettie Littell’s, Pawnee Bill’s, Wichita Jack’s, and Buckskin Bill’s. At the close of the 1893 season, Harry performed at the Chicago World’s Fair, winning “World’s Columbian medals as the greatest handler of revolvers the world had ever seen.”
This pamphlet was apparently published shortly afterward. In addition to Harry’s biography, the pamphlet includes “Instructions Regarding Handling of Revolvers” which, among other tips, advises that if one is ever involved in a gunfight to “always stand sideways, left side toward them, then the left arm protects the heart, and the finest marksman in the world can’t reach it.”
Additionally, it contains a long and important essay, “My Experience on the Texas Cattle Trail: A Picturesque Business Killed by Steam and Iron,” in which Harry provides considerable fascinating detail about cowboy life on Captain King’s Nueces Texas ranch which included leading an 1882 cattle drive of 3,500 head to Nebraska.
The booklet concludes with lyrics for five then-popular songs, so perhaps, Harry continued performing after his Chicago appearance and this songster was sold as part of his act at Wild West shows. Very good. Item #008669
Rather hard-to-find, although not as scarce as once believed. The title appears in none of the standard bibliographies, most likely because it was almost unknown until a small cache was discovered in the mid-2000s. At the time of listing, two examples are available in the book trade and two more from Western American dealers. OCLC shows 17 examples held by institutions (mostly in Texas).