Copyright 2000-2015 by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
60. PATTIE, James O[hio] (1803 or 1804-1833?).
The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie,
of Kentucky, during an Expedition from St. Louis, through the Vast
Regions between That Place and the Pacific Ocean, and Thence Back through
the City of Mexico to Vera Cruz, during Journeyings of Six Years;
in Which He and His Father, Who Accompanied Him, Suffered Unheard of Hardships
and Dangers, Had Various Conflicts with the Indians, and Were Made
Captives, in Which Captivity His Father Died; Together with a Description
of the Country, and the Various Nations through Which They Passed.
Edited by Timothy Flint. Cincinnati: John H. Wood, 1831.
300 pp., 5 engraved plates by W. Woodruff of Cincinnati. 12mo, original
tree sheep, original dark reddish brown gilt-lettered spine label.
Binding rubbed and worn (outer layer of tree calf cracked, especially
at spine, where some long, thin sections of the unfinished layer of
leather beneath is exposed), hinges cracked but strong; interior browned,
spotted, and with moderate to heavy foxing; a few old repairs to paper,
second engraving with some marginal chipping and one repair (not affecting
image); fourth plate with a few short, closed tears (affecting only
blank margin); last engraving with a few closed tears barely touching
top border and slightly extending into image (no loss of blank margins,
border, or image). Front endpapers with contemporary pencil scribbles
and name Darren(?) G. Wood. Back endpapers bear early penciled calculations,
and John Howell–Books cost code (gsytxq). Exceedingly rare. Only two
copies have sold at auction since 1975, the Holliday-Siebert copy
and the Henry H. Clifford copy.
60A. [PATTIE, James Ohio]. Early Western Travels 1748-1846....
Edited...by Reuben Gold Thwaites.... Vol. XVIII...Pattie’s Personal
Narrative, 1824-1830.... Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Company, 1905.
379  pp., plates (halftones after plates in original edition). 8vo,
original burgundy cloth, gilt-lettered spine, t.e.g. Spine faded, covers
with some spotting and rubbing, hinges a bit loose. Laid in is Dawson’s
invoice to Beatrice Simpson Volkmann in the amount of $20, dated January
This mountain man’s narrative, while providing an entertaining and
fantastic Western travel adventure, ranks as the first book directed
at an American audience to call attention to California’s beauty and
potential. Pattie enthusiastically described California’s “beautiful
and sublime scenery” and its advantages of “healthfulness, a good soil,
temperate climate, and...vicinity to the sea.” More superlatives are
attached to this title. The Patties made the second overland journey
to California, following that of Jedediah Strong Smith, and consequently,
this book has the distinction of being the first printed account of
an overland trek to California and its publication further opened up
the Southwest to increased exploration and American expansion. Franklin
Walker in his masterful A Literary History of Southern California
wrote, “Although its accuracy has been questioned and its spirit criticized,
it remains the epic of the mountain men, perhaps more truly representing
their attitudes, their experiences, and their adventures than any other
book that has appeared on the subject.”
——Gary F. Kurutz
Additional sources consulted: Richard Batman, American Ecclesiastes: The Stories of James Ohio Pattie (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984); Robert Glass Cleland, A History of California: The American Period (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1939), pp. 61-74; James D. Hart, American Images of Spanish California, pp. 2-3; Franklin Walker, A Literary History of Southern California (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1950), pp. 11-22; Henry Wagner, The Plains and the Rockies.... Revised and Extended by Charles L. Camp (San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, 1937), entry #45.
Item 60. Engraved plates from the first edition of Pattie’s Personal Narrative.