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74. THORNTON, J[essy] Quinn (1810-1888). Oregon and California
in 1848...with an Appendix, Including Recent and Authentic Information
on the Subject of the Gold Mines of California, and Other Valuable
Matter of Interest to the Emigrant.... New York: Harper & Brothers,
Publishers, 1849. x -393 + 379 [1, blank] 12 (ads) pp. (complete),
12 engraved plates, folding lithographic map within botanical border,
original hand coloring (pink outline color, gold regions with highlighting
in yellow): Map of California, Oregon, Texas, and the Territories
Adjoining with Routes &c. Published by J. H. Colton...1849...
(52.3 x 45.8 cm; 20-5/8 x 18 inches). 2 vols., 12mo, dark brown blindstamped
cloth, spines gilt-lettered (vol. 1 neatly rebacked, original spine
preserved, tips and corners of both vols. renewed). Bindings moderately
stained and worn (a few short splits, but only to cloth along joints),
endpapers darkened from original adhesive used by binder, a few foxmarks
to text, two tears to map repaired, generally a very good set. Author’s
presentation inscription in both volumes to Rev. David Leslie, Oregon
frontiersman and noted early Protestant missionary to Oregon: “Presented
to Rev. David Leslie by his friend The Author, Oregon City, June 4,
From the viewpoint of California history, the most important feature
of Thornton’s work is his lengthy, dramatic history of the Donner Party
tragedy. The first volume features Thornton’s overland trek to Oregon
in 1846 and a general description of the territory. His journal is
characterized by its eloquence and flowing literary style. The second
volume records the author’s trip to California by sea from Oregon
in November 1847; it includes a description of San Francisco and its
environs and California west of the Sierra and a report on the climate
and resources of the region.
——Gary F. Kurutz
Additional sources consulted: Joseph A. King, Winter of Entrapment (Lafayette, California: K & K Publications, 1998).