Catalog Archive
Auction 115, Lot 807

"Notes of a Military Reconnaissance, from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California, Including Part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers", Emory, William Hemsley

Subject: Exploration and Surveys

Period: 1848 (dated)

Publication: Ex. Doc. No. 41. 30th Congress - First Session.

Color: Black & White

6 x 9 inches
15.2 x 22.9 cm

Emory's report documents the 1846-1847 journey of the advanced guard of General Kearny's Army Of The West. Emory was Brevet Major of the Corps of Topographical Engineers. It is illustrated with many full-page engravings of the natives, rivers, sights, flora and fauna that were encountered during the march to the Pacific. There are 40 lithographed plates and 3 plans, but without the folding map. Emory's reports are enjoyable reads with passages such as "I stopped in the little town of Isoletta, to visit my friend, the alcalde, who has the reputation, Indian though he be, of being the most honest man and best maker of brandy in the territory." Another example: "The pure cold water of the Wakaroosa looked so inviting that some of us could not refrain from plunging beneath its crystal surface; one of the flat boats formed a convenient place from which to spring. The sun was rising, surrounded by golden clouds ... and far away stretched the gradually diminishing trees that overhung the Kanzas waters; the king-fisher (aleco alcyon) was darting along, uttering his shrill rattling scream; flocks of paroquets (centurus Carolinesis) were circling over head, screaming and darting amid the tall walnut and sycamore trees." The entire report is a delightful read. Cloth bound, 614 pages, 40 plates including 3 full-page maps. First edition printed by Wendell and Van Benthuysen.

References: Howes E145; Sabin 22536

Condition: C

The contents are good to very good with occasional light scattered foxing. The covers are very worn, signatures are loose from cover, separated from each other and even some pages are loose. Numerous pencil notes in free end papers.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $190

Closed on 6/21/2006