Philadelphia: Carey, Lea, and Blanchard, 1837.
First American Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Two volumes in original blue cloth with paper spine labels. Each volume 248 pp, and each with a folding map as frontispiece; publisher's catalogue at end of volume two. Housed in a black cloth slipcase. The Doheny copy, with Estelle Doheney's small leather bookplate on the front pastedown of each volume as well as a contemporary ownership signature ("Chas. Henry Hall / Harlem 1837") on the front free endpaper of Volume I. Hall (1781-1852) was a wealthy New York landowner and horse breeder. A very nice, unrestored set with spine labels well preserved, tight bindings. minimal foxing, maps in very good condition. There is, however, offsetting to the title pages from the folded maps. Captain Bonneville spent three years exploring in the Rocky Mountains, funded in part by John Jacob Astor. The ostensible purpose of the expedition was fur trapping, but some historians argue that it was also a military reconnaissance, made in preparation for a confrontation with British interests. Irving purchased Capt. Bonneville's journal of the expedition after Bonneville failed to get it published under his own name. While giving Bonneville full credit for the information, Irving took the liberty of writing the book as as if the Captain was narrating his adventures directly to him. The narrative includes good description of the Rocky Mountain fur trade and contains a long account of the 1833-34 expedition to Salt Lake and California led by Joseph Walker, whom Bonneville sent west in search of new fur sources. Wheat, Transmississippi West, 423, comments that the first map is "by far the best yet published of this region. The heads of Wind River, the Sweetwater, the Green (called the Colorado of the West), the Snake, the Salmon and Gallatin's Fork of the Missouri are all shown in relatively correct fashion....This was a map of real import, and since the book was a popular one, its information had wide circulation." Wagner-Camp 67:3; BAL 10151; Graff 2160; Howes I-85; Sabin 35195; Smith 5046; Streeter Sale 2092.