New Arrival

Flint's First Novel and the First Novel in English Set in Texas

Francis Berrian, or the Mexican Patriot.

Boston: Cummings, Hilliard, and Company, 1826.

Price: $4,500.00


About the item

First edition. 299; 285pp. 2 vols. 12mo. Flint's First Novel and the First Novel in English Set in Texas. Original muslin over drab beige boards with remnants of original printed spine labels, worn. Foxing. Cloth jackets and housed in a brown cloth slipcase. Provenance: David Bruce, Staunton Hill, VA (bookplate). BAL 6114; Eberstadt 162:300; Graff 1354; Sabin 24787; Streeter 1091; Wright I:948.

Item #367047

Perhaps best know for his Biographical Memoir of Daniel Boone (1833), which did much to develop the myth of Boone in the west, Flint began his career as an itinerant minister. In 1826 he published an account of his travels, Recollections of the Last Ten Years, before turning to his first purely fictional production, Francis Berrian (1826).

Streeter writes: "This is the first novel in English with a Texas background, and it is also Flint's first novel ... The novel tells the story of a Harvard graduate intended for the ministry, as was the case with Timothy Flint, who, instead, in search of adventure, went to the Southwest and in Texas was captured by the Indians. He and the heroine, a young Spanish girl of noble family, escaped; and the main plot of the story is whether the hero, a New England Protestant, should marry a Spanish Roman Catholic. This finally occurred and the bride was brought back to New England, where her husband's relatives feared she would 'grope in popish darkness to the grave."

Becoming one of the most popular writers of the 1830s, throughout his career Flint's works relating to the west became part of the story of the American frontier. An important and very rare early American novel, here in original unsophisticated condition.