Auction 127, Lot 151

"Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains … with a Map of Oregon Territory", Parker, Samuel (Rev.)

Subject: Northwestern United States and Canada

Period: 1844 (dated)


Color: Black & White

5 x 8 inches
12.7 x 20.3 cm

The United States and Great Britain established in 1818 joint claim over the Oregon Territory - the region north of Spanish controlled Upper California up to the southern boundary of Russia's Alaska Territory at North latitude 54°40'. By the late 1830's this arrangement was beginning to fall apart. In the 1840's the expansionist Democrats, including their 1844 presidential candidate, James Polk, claimed the entire region for the United States. Their expansionist desires were expressed by Polk's famous campaign slogan, "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!" The slogan also became a rally cry for Americans desiring to settle the territory. Following Polk's election, the dispute was resolved by the 1846 Treaty of Oregon, which struck a compromise that fixed the U.S./Canadian boundary at 49º North.

Samuel Parker was a missionary who accompanied a fur-trading party on an expedition from Council Bluffs, Iowa to the Oregon Territory. At the time, the region was claimed by both the British and the United States and was little known except to the fur-traders. This example includes the Map of Oregon Territory, 1833 (23 x 14") by Samuel Parker. Parker's map, based on both personal observation and reports of the fur-traders of the Hudson Bay Company, is a landmark in the mapping of the region. It provides an excellent view of the river systems and tribal territory. It shows several forts, including an early depiction of Fort Hall and extends to include much of present-day Canada. The map is still bound in the original book in which Parker tells of his incredible experiences during the expedition. The book is the fourth edition of Rev. Parker's journal, which is more often missing this important map. The books preface refers to the map as being ""…far more accurate than any which has before been published." 416 pp. Hardbound in original black cloth covered boards with decorative embossing on front and back, and gilt title on spine.

References: Wagner-Camp 70:5.

Condition: B+

The map is a nice, bright example on clean paper. A 1" tear enters map from binding trim and three very faint foxing marks. The binding is starting at front. Contents with some occasional scattered foxing. Map is loose in front of book.

Estimate: $500 - $700

Sold for: $550

Closed on 2/25/2009