FREMONT, John Charles (1813-1890). Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the year 1842, and to Oregon and North Carolina, in the years 1843-44. London: Wiley and Putnam, 1846.

$ 1,400.00

8vo., (9 x 5 ¾ inches). Fine folding lithographed “Map of the Western and Middle Portions of North America, to Illustrate ‘The History of California, Oregon and the Other Countries. On the North West Coast of America’ by Robert Greenhow” (one or two short tears at the margins; slight spotting); lithographed frontispiece “The American Falls of Lewis Fork”; 3 lithographed plates (some spotting, pale stain). Later half morocco, cloth boards, the spine in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in two, gilt florets in the rest (hinge starting, a bit rubbed).

First English edition, first published in the United States the same year. The plates, all by Day & Haghe, are different from those included in other issues: “Hill of Columnar Basalt on the Columbia River”; “Devil’s Gate”; and “The Pyramid Lake.” This British edition of Fremont, which adds a preface discussing the Oregon dispute, is printed on much better paper than the U.S. editions and the plates were created by one of the prominent lithographic firms in nineteenth-century England, William Day & Louis Haghe, Lithographers to the Queen (Tooley). “John C. Fremont’s Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains…and to Oregon and California can only be described as one of the monumental works of Western Exploration and became the vade mecum of Manifest Destiny. Its words, maps, and pictures paved the way for future waves of overlands culminating in the flood tide of the Gold Rush” (Wheat).