Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1846.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Title continues: "With a Description of the Countries Passed Through, Including their Geography, Geology, Resources, Present Condition, and the Different Nations Inhabiting Them." 7.5" x 4.5", 303 pp, bound in three-quarter leather and marbled boards; rebacked, with new endpapers, earlier spine laid down. The large folding map is supplied in facsimile. Light foxing to title page, stain affecting margin and a small amount of text on last ca. 20 leaves, otherwise quite clean. First edition, first issue (with page numbers 77-88, 270-271, and 302 placed in the inner margin) of one of the most important overland narratives, with considerable detail on the fur trade. Sage (1817-1893) was a self-taught newspaper printer and editor from Ohio with a strong impulse to travel and explore. Eager to learn more about the vast region beyond the Missouri frontier, in 1841 he organized a small party and headed west. His travels brought him into close association with trappers, traders, Indians, hunters, and soldiers. According to Wheat (Wheat Mapping the Transmississippi West 527): "he worked for a fur company on the waters of the Platte and on White River, in present-day South Dakota [and] traveled as far as Taos, Fort Uintah, and Fort Hall." Field (1345) describes the book, witten after Sage returned to Ohio, as "crowded with incidents of Indian life, legend, and adventure." Howes (S-16) says it is an "intelligent narrative of extensive travels from the Platte to the Arkansas, including the best account of Snively's abortive land pirate expedition." The map (again, present here in facsimile) is "one of the earliest to depict the finally-determined Oregon boundary" and "one of the earliest attempts to show on a map the evermore-heavily traveled emigrant road to California," according to Wheat, who also explains that the map "had not been printed when the first copies of the book arrived in Connecticut, where Sage and his brother Edmund undertook to market most of them by house-to-house canvas. When the maps were received, they were sold for 25 cents extra to purchasers of the book or others who were interested." Thus, it is likely that our copy never had an original map. Rader 2870; Cowan pp. 548-9; Field 1345; Graff 3633; Sabin 74892; Streeter 3049.