4to., (12 1/8 x 9 5/8 inches). Half title. Fine folding lithographed map after Henry Langewith original hand coloring in outline (slight offsetting). Chromolithographed frontispiece mounted on card, engraved vignette title page (one or two spots), 6 chromolithographed plates mounted on card and six tinted lithographed plates, all after Möllhausen, nine in-text woodcuts (light spotting). Original publisher’s blue cloth, title stamped in gilt to front cover, the smooth spine elaborately decorated in gilt (expertly rebacked, one or two pale stains).
Provenance: Contemporary manuscript inscription to front free endpaper.
First edition. Möllhausen, a Prussian artist, who visited the United States three times in the 1850s, experiences which “gave Möllhausen the material and experiences he used to produce illustrations, diaries, and fiction for nearly fifty years. His works made him enormously popular with Germans of all ages and classes, and he has become known as ‘the German Cooper.’ After arriving in the United States in 1849 and working in the Midwest, in 1851 Möllhausen traveled through the Plains to Fort Laramie with Prince Paul of Württemberg. He returned to Germany in 1852 with a shipment of wild animals for the Berlin zoo and met Alexander von Humboldt. He soon became a favorite of the old explorer and, bearing a recommendation from Humboldt, returned to the United States, where he joined Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple’s Pacific Railroad survey of the Thirty-fifth parallel as ‘topographer or draughtsman.’ The party traveled from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Pueblo de los Angeles in 1853-54. Möllhausen made several illustrations in the Texas Panhandle that appear in Whipple’s report” (Doherty). ‘Tagebuch’ is Möllhausen’s separate account of this expedition with Whipple (Kathleen Doherty for Texas State Historical Association). “In addition to the account in journal form of his experiences as topographer of Whipple’s surveying expedition in 1853, there is an account of his experiences in the West in 1851 on a trip from St. Louis to Laramie with Prince Paul of Wurttemberg” (Streeter). Wagner-Camp 305:2; Mintz 582; Streeter sale 5:3134; Howes M713; Wheat, Books of the Gold Rush 145; Graff 2849; Rader 2418; Smith 6908; Farquhar, Colorado River 19b; Sabin 49915; Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 268 note; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 956.