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2007 Catalog > 12. Parker, Journal.


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12. Rev. Samuel Parker. Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains . . . containing a Description of the Geography, Geology, Climate, Productions of the Country, and the Number, Manners, and Customs of the Natives: with a Map of Oregon Territory (Ithaca, New York: Published by the Author; printed by Mack, Andrus & Woodruff, 1840). Second edition. 8vo brown-cloth and blind stamped covers with gilt spine title. Repaired front hinge; evidence of moisture damage to covers. Foxing on front and back endpapers. Intermittent foxing throughout book, but not obscuring the text. A previous owner’s signature in ink on front flyleaf. One engraved plate. Contains folding frontis “Map of Oregon Territory” (Utica: M. M. Peabody, 1838). Copperplate engraving, black and white as issued. 14 x 20 3/4" at neat line with right margin close where formerly bound into book. Sheet size: 15 x 21 1/2". Map has light scattered foxing. Overall, very good for this important map, which is often missing, and the fascinating text.

Price: SOLD.

The Congregational minister Samuel Parker published his important early map of Oregon Territory in the present widely read memoir of his travels with a fur-trading expedition in the 1830s. Wheat calls the map “a notable achievement, [representing] a real advance, made from personal observation,” and according to Wagner-Camp, it was “the earliest to obtain any circulation which contains reliable information as to the interior of the Oregon Territory.”

The map’s focus is on the river system of the territory, an intentional emphasis as rivers were the highways of the pre-industrial age. Interestingly, California is not shown, for the likely reason that in 1838 it belonged to Mexico. The map’s details include the locations of Indian tribes and the early labeling of such notable geographical features as the Tetons, the “Hot Springs” of the not-yet-explored Yellowstone region, Mt. Ranier, Puget Sound, and Cape Medocino. The book contains considerable information on the climate, agriculture, and physical features of the region, as well as on the manners and customs of the indigenous tribes. Parker includes a vocabulary of English words and their equivalents in the languages of the Nez Perce, Klicatat, Calapooa, and Chenook. There is also an chapter on his journey to the Hawaiian Islands. Because it features the first widely circulated map to show accurately the Oregon interior and for Parker’s marvelous descriptions of the Northwest, the book offered here is essential for collectors of Oregoniana and the history of the exploration of the Northwest.

Refs.: Graff, 3192; Howes, P89; Oregon Trail Map Library, www.endoftheoregontrail.org; Sabin, 58729; Streeter, vol. 4, no. 2093; Wagner-Camp, 70; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. II, no. 438, pp. 165–166.

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