Lot 36 of 235:
Irving's Rocky Mountians with 2 Bonneville maps 1837  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,920
$1,000 - $1,500

The Rocky Mountains: or, Scenes, Incidents, and Adventures in the Far West; Digested from the Journal of Captain B.L.E. Bonneville of the Army of the United States, and Illustrated from various other sources

Irving, Washington


Carey, Lea & Blanchard



2 volumes. 248 + [12] ad; 248 pp. With 2 folding copper-engraved maps as frontispieces. (12mo) 19.5x11 cm (7¾x4¼"), original blue cloth, paper spine labels.  First American Edition.

A Frenchman born in 1796, Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville came to America as a child. He graduated from West Point in 1815, and spent most of his life on the frontier. In 1832 he obtained leave from the army, and with a party of about 100 men embarked on a three-year involvement in the fur trade. Some historians believe that the expedition was actually a quasi-governmental spying venture on the Spanish in California. Among the most memorable accomplishments of the party was the excursion of Joseph Reddeford Walker to California, most notably chronicled by Zenas Leonard, during which it is believed white men first set eyes on Yosemite Valley. Irving based this work on Bonneville's manuscript account. The first of the maps, "A Map of the Sources of the Colorado & Big Salt Lake, Platte, Yellow-Stone, Muscle-Shell, Missouri; & Salmon & Snake Rivers, branches of the Columbia River" (42x39.5 cm) is called by Wheat "an excellent map, by far the best yet published of this region...." The second is titled "Map of the Territory West of the Rocky Mountains" (43.5x41.5 cm), showing the west from the headwaters of the Columbia to the Pacific, and from Monterey to the Strait of Anian. Wheat lists both maps under Bonneville. These maps were not included in the two English editions which apparently (but not certainly, according to some bibliographers) preceded the American one. With bookplates of Arthur Swann.

Provenance: Sotheby thru Arkway, 12/77

Arthur Swann was a well-known bookman in New York and vice president of Parke-Bernet Galleries. His collection was sold in 1960 by Parke-Bernet.

References:  BAL 10151; Graff 2160; Howes I85; Sabin 35195; Smith 5046; Streeter 2092; Wagner-Camp 67:3; Wheat Transmississippi 423 & 424.

Lot Amendments

Some minor rubbing and light stains to covers, a few corners with bumps; a short split at fold of first map, both maps have lightly offset to the facing title-page; very good or better, nice copies in the original cloth, scarce thus.

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