New York: Harper and Brothers, 1856.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. 8vo, 537 pp, with 12 plates, bound in three-quarter red morocco and marbled boards, with marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, and ribbon bookmark bound in. Very light scattered foxing, a few pages with finger smudges, but generally very clean and sound. Very good. Beckwourth was a mixed-race fur trader and explorer who was born into slavery in Virginia around 1800. After being freed by his white father, he headed west, and in 1824 he joined General William Ashley's Rocky Mountain Fur Company. The following year, he began living with a band of Crow Indians, with whom he remained for nearly a decade. Wagner-Camp 272: "After many years in the Rockies as a mountain man, Beckwourth journeyed west from New Mexico to California, arriving in 1844. Two years later, he came back to New Mexico with a drove of stolen horses. He returned to California, discovered the pass through the Sierra Nevada that still bears his name, and operated a hotel and trading post in Beckwourth Valley. Sometime after 1858 he returned to his old life in the Rockies....The Reader's Encyclopedia of the West finds the basic narrative to be true, and the story told in the spirit of a raconteur, with a permissable tale spinner's license." Field 149; Rader 322; Smith 695, Graff 347 ("a classic of pioneer days in the West").