Auction 149, Lot 186

"[2 Volumes with 2 Maps] The Rocky Mountains ... Vol. I [and] ...Vol. II [and] A Map of the Sources of the Colorado & Big Salt Lake... [and] Map of the Territory West of the Rocky Mountains", Irving, Washington

Subject: Western United States

Period: 1837 (published)


Color: Black & White

See Description

This lot represents the full contents of Washington Irving's The Rocky Mountains...Adventures in the Far West, but the maps have been separated from the book volumes and flattened. Irving's accounts made famous Captain Benjamin Bonneville's explorations in the America West (1832-35). The expedition sought information about the Oregon Country, which at the time was jointly occupied by the United States and Britain and largely controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company. Even though he was unable to complete his goal of reaching the Willamette Valley, he and members of his party were able to gather invaluable information on the region and blazed portions of both the Oregon and California Trails. The maps include:

A. A Map of the Sources of the Colorado & Big Salt Lake, Platte, Yellow-Stone, Muscle-Shell, Missouri; & Salmon & Snake Rivers, Branches of the Columbia River (15.4 x 16.8"). One of the most important maps of the intermountain west, it covers the present-day intersection of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. Wheat considered the map the best representation of the region during this period. It shows the headwaters of the Wind, Sweetwater, Green (Colorado of the West), Snake, and Salmon Rivers relatively accurately, and completely revamps the hydrographical mapping of the region. Part of Lake Bonneville is shown at lower right and is noted as Salt Water. The vicinity of the Snake River is particularly well delineated with the Three Tetons, the 3 Buttes, and the Great Lava Plain well placed.

B. Map of the Territory West of the Rocky Mountains (16.4 x 17.8"). This map extends from Monterey, California to Cape Flattery and inland to Flathead Lake in today's Montana. The Great Salt Lake is named Lake Bonneville, with no mention of Utah Lake. The map locates and names the Salmon, Boise, Malade, Snake, Columbia and Flat Head Rivers. Several dead-end rivers and lakes are shown in the Great Basin area including Lost River, Ashley's Lake, Battle Lake, and the Mary or Ogden's River. It describes the territories of the Shoshoco, Eutaw, Too-el-Iican, Skynses, Flat Head, Pends Oreilles, Wallawallah and Bannack Indians. Of navigational importance to the western immigrants are the three buttes located in the Lava Plains of Idaho. Among his discoveries, Bonneville is credited with finding the Humboldt and San Joaquin Rivers. An important map for any collector of western material.

Volume 1 (248 pp.) and Volume 2 (249 pp.). 12mo, hardbound in green cloth with paper label on spine.

References: Wheat (TMW) #423 & #424; Howes I-85.

Condition: B

Both maps have been backed in tissue to extend the right margins due to binding trims as well as close several fold separations that are more present in the second map. Both maps are also lightly soiled with faint offsetting. Book contents are generally good with moderate toning, foxing and a few loose sheets. Covers are somewhat worn and scuffed and there are new pastedowns in both volumes.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Sold for: $600

Closed on 5/21/2014