Lot 26 of 235:
Josiah Gregg Commerce of the Prairies 1844  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$7,200
$2,000 - $3,000

Commerce of the Prairies: or a Journal of a Santa Fe Trader, during Eight Expeditions across the Great Western Prairies, and a Residence of Nearly Nine Years in Northern New Mexico

Gregg, Josiah

New York

Henry G. Langley



2 volumes. 320; 318 pp. With 2 steel-engraved frontispieces; 4 wood-engraved plates; 2 engraved maps (1 folding); 5 illustrations in the text. (8vo) 19x11.3 cm (7½x4½") original dark brown embossed cloth, gilt vignettes on front covers & spines, spines lettered in gilt. First Edition, first issue.

Important work on the opening of the west prior to the Gold Rush, with a significant map. Rittenhouse asserts that "This work stands as a cornerstone of all studies on the Santa Fe Trail in the early period, describing the origin and development of the trade, Gregg's own experiences, and useful statistics for 1822-43." The work was immortalized as a "southwest classic" by Lawrence Clark Powell who remarks "Gregg's stone-ground prose evokes the life of the Santa Fe Trail as no other book does. His passion for the prairies was also a passion for knowing. He was a tireless observer and recorder." Gregg made his first trip over the trail in 1831, and his last in 1839. Wheat calls the folding map, printed from a copper plate using the cerographic process, a "cartographic landmark...an outstanding achievement." The map is titled "A Map of the Indian Territory Northern Texas and New Mexico Showing the Great Western Prairies by Josiah Gregg. Entered ... 1844 by Sidney E. Morse and Samuel Breese"; it measures 31x37.7 cm. The map also appears in Morse and Breese's New American Atlas. The other map is of the interior of Mexico.

Provenance: Parker Books of the West, 4/91

References: Howes G401; Graff 1659; Rader 1684; Rittenhouse 255; Streeter 378; Wagner-Camp 108:1; Wheat Transmississippi 482.

Lot Amendments

Just a touch of wear to spine ends, light foxing to title-pages, frontispieces and occasionally within; near fine, bright copies, much nicer that generally encountered, each volume in custom cloth slipcase.

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