24. DALE, Harrison Clifford (editor). The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific, 1822-1829, with the Original Journals.... Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1918. -352 pp., double-page colored map, 4 plates. 8vo, original red cloth, gilt-lettered spine. Spine slightly faded, otherwise fine. The Pacific-Union Club duplicate with their book plate at frontand their small ink call number on title verso. Various ephemera relating to the Clark Company tipped in.
First edition.Clark & Brunet, The Arthur H. Clark Company 55: “One of the basic works in fur trade history.” Cowan II, p. 154. Edwards, Enduring Desert, p. 64: “Jedediah Smith is the first known white man to come into California via the overland route from the east, crossing the Mojave Desert into Los Angeles.” Howes D21. Mattes, Platte River Road Narratives 6. Paher, Nevada 427. Plains & Rockies IV:34n. Zamorano 80 #25.
Kurutz in Volkmann Zamorano 80 Catalogue: “This handsome Arthur H. Clark publication is credited with rescuing Jedediah Smith from obscurity.... Dale, a professor of political science at the University of Wyoming, produced one of the seminal books concerning the exploration of the Far West. He proved that Smith deserved the appellation of ‘Pathfinder’ before John C. Frémont.... In comparing degrees of difficulty, Dale points out that ‘Ashley and Smith, crossing from one complicated drainage area to another, were obliged to traverse a series of lofty mountain barriers as well as vast stretches of difficult and trying desert.’ Smith accompanied Ashley to the Great Salt Lake and from there he pushed through largely unexplored territory to the Pacific. During his eight years of wandering through unknown hostile territory, Smith accomplished an incredible number of firsts. He became the first white man to reach California overland, the first since Lewis and Clark to reach the Pacific coast, the first to cross the Sierra, and the first to cross the Great Basin. No one prior to Smith had seen so much of the West and contributed so much to geographic knowledge. His death at the young age of thirty-two cut short a life full of promise.” ($150-300)
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