"Voyages aux Montagnes Rocheuses, et une Annee de Sejour chez les Tribus Indiennes du Vaste Territoire de l'Oregon, Defendant des Etats-Unis d'Amerique", De Smet, Father Pierre-Jean
Subject: Western United States & Canada
Period: 1844 (published)
Color: Black & White
15.5 x 12 inches
39.4 x 30.5 cm
Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801 - 1873) was one of the earliest and most important missionaries active in the American West. Read more about his life and travels here. His extensive travels resulted in the 1843 "Voyages Aux Montagnes Rocheuses, et une Annee de Sejour Chez les Tribus Indiennes du Vaste Territoire de l'Oregon," and the detailed account of his experiences in the Northwest are chronicled in his 1847 "Oregon Missions and travels over the Rocky Mountains, in 1845-46."
This is the Malines (Mechelen) edition of this highly regarded journal containing De Smet's untitled map covering the area from the Missouri River to the Pacific, and from the Great Salt Lake to Little Slave Lake. The map shows the tracks of De Smet as he traversed the region on his mission to enlighten the native inhabitants on the beliefs of Christendom. According to Wagner-Camp, "Father De Smet gave more than three decades of service to the cause of the American Indian." and "…his voluminous, articulate writings, in the form of letters published in the United States, and in Europe, described his wards with accuracy and sympathy." The text is illustrated with 20 beautiful lithographic plates showing scenery, ceremonies and portraits. Wagner & Camp note that this edition contains additional plates not found in the 1843 English edition. The map is De Smet's first published folding map. Complete with 304 pages. 12mo. Hardbound in quarter calf over marbled paper boards with gilt title on spine.
References: Wagner & Camp #113a:1; Howes #D288.
Map is overall very good with light toning, a few faint spots, and an edge tear that extends 0.5" into the image at right. A short fold separation and a binding tear are both confined to the blank margins. Text and plates are mostly clean and tight while the covers are a little loose. Leather spine has nearly perished and the covers have light wear.