San Francisco: California Historical Society, 1954.
First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Printed by Lawton Kennedy in an edition of 530 copies. Large folio in original brick red cloth, 86 pages, with four maps bound in (three folding) and three folded in a rear pocket. Signed by both Morgan and Wheat on the front flyleaf, and accompanied by the "Apologia" sheet, which is also signed by both, and the original prospectus. Book is near fine, with a tiny bit of rubbing to corners, some scuffing to rear board. Prospectus has been folded and is shows handling wear; Apologia has minor creasing at the bottom edge. Streeter 3099: "As Carl Wheat says in his Introduction, 'One of the major anomalies of American History is that Jedediah Smith, today recognized as the early West’s greatest single explorer, was for almost a century largely a forgotten figure.' One reason is that none of Smith’s own maps have survived. Here Wheat and Morgan, by showing Smith’s influence on maps that have survived, establish him as a great explorer as well as a great fur trader, who more than any other had travelled the West. The most important of these maps is the American Geographical Society’s copy of the well known Preuss map that accompanied the report of the Fremont exploring expedition of 1842 (Washington, 1843) on which George Gibbs had interpolated in ms. various findings of Smith." The American National Biography entry on Smith calls him "the most intelligent and well read of the American fur men, a diarist, and a mapmaker as well as a first-rate explorer" and notes that in addition to his most important discovery -- the key South Pass route through the Rocky Mountains -- "Smith added greatly to Americans’ knowledge of the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin, California, and Oregon."