Homer Davenport, in 1906 the world’s highest-paid political cartoonist, was permitted to buy Arabian horses in the Ottoman Empire under the aegis of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt credited Davenport with a major role in the success of his 1904 presidential campaign. The trip provided Davenport with the basis for a best selling adventure story that has gone through at least six editions since 1909, followed by The Annotated Quest in 1992, all now out of print. Davenport’s Quest takes the reader along on Homer’s 1906 trip to the Bedouin tribes and then home again with the largest single importation of Arabian horses ever brought to the U.S. from the tribes. Influential Arabian horse breeders of the 20th century referenced My Quest as sparking their interest in the horse of the desert.
This new edition centers Davenport’s original text on the page with marginal notes elucidating 1909 references. The 480-page volume, lavishly illustrated in color and sepia, builds on The Annotated Quest, 1992. Over 150 pages of additional material update the story and clarify questions and mysteries surrounding this remarkable journey.
A particularly important section for scholars features new translations of the horses’ Arabic documents of authentication. An annotated version of “Horses of the White City” tells of the Hamidie importation to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, where Homer saw his first real Arabian horses. “At the Beginning” is the annotated story of early U.S. Arabian horse breeders and the founding of the Arabian Horse Club of America, now the Arabian Horse Association. These appendices add deeper context to the early days of U.S. Arabian horse breeding.