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    An Early Account, with the
    Rare Map of Oregon Country

    George Wilkes. The History of Oregon, Geographical and Political. With an Examination of the Project of a National Rail Road, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. New York: William H. Colyer, 1845. First edition. Cover title. Octavo. 127, [1, errata] pages. Folding engraved map (untitled map of the Oregon Country northwest from Fort Simpson to south of Fort Vancouver). Original gray printed wrappers. Some professional restoration to lower corners of the wrappers and additional repair along the top edges and spine; contemporary ink signature of George Turner on the front wrapper and title-page; some scattered contemporary marginalia in pencil, otherwise a very good copy. Sold in a custom clamshell case. From the Jay T. Snider Collection of Historical Americana (Christie's New York, 21 June 2005, Lot 233).

    This rare work, written at the time of the Oregon boundary controversy, sets forth the rights of the United States to this territory, describes the route from Missouri to Astoria, and describes Oregon itself. It also includes the journal kept by Peter Burnett, who later became the first civil governor of California. Streeter notes that "this and the Overton Johnson narrative published a year later, in 1846, are the only known contemporaneous accounts of the 1843 emigration published within a few years of the event."

    References: Decker 029:294 ("Ranking with the Hastings, Leonard, Johnson and Winters, it will always remain one of the corner-stones of pioneer western narratives"); Eberstadt 135:904 ("One of the rarest and least known books"). Graff 4657; Howes W418 ("c"); Huntington 982 ("Excessively rare"); Sabin 103997; Streeter 2143; Wagner-Camp 119:1; Wheat, Transmississippi West, 501 ("The map was said to be taken from one of the publications of Thomas Falconer. Shows 'Boundary between GB & US' west to the mountains, and 'Route of Lewis & Clarke [sic] 1803'").

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
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