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Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
Interesting books, broadsides, maps & ephemera

Lot 66

First printed overland narrative to California

66. PATTIE, James O. 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. Cincinnati: E. H. Flint, 1833. 300 pp., 5 copper-engraved plates. 8vo, early twentieth-century three-quarter navy blue sheep over marbled boards, raised bands, spine gilt with gilt lettering, a.e.g. Binding moderately rubbed, especially along upper joint and at corners. Interior very good, plates fine. Title page and pp. 19-20 with repaired loss where perforation stamp was excised, the latter costing the page numbers. Typed bookplate of Boone County Public Schools on front pastedown
and printed bookplate of Louis E. Goodman on front flyleaf.

     Second edition of the first printed overland narrative to California (the original edition, which is exceedingly rare, was published in 1831, and the only difference is the 1833 title replaces the earlier). BAL 6122. Barrett 1963. Bauer 392. Bradford 4214. Cowan II, p.476. Graff 3217. Howell, California 50:187. Howes P123. Hill II:1317. Plains & Rockies IV:45:2. Sabin 59150. Streeter Sale 3139: Zamorano 80 #60: “Both the first and second editions of the Pattie Narrative are of extreme rarity.”

     Kurutz in the Volkmann Zamorano 80 catalogue:

“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.’”

     The five engraved plates are: Rescue of an Indian Child. Engd. by W. Woodruff Cini.; Mr. Pattie wounded by an Indian arrow. Engd.. by W. Woodruff Cini.; Shooting Mr. Pattie’s Horse. Engd. by W. Woodruff Cini.; Messrs. Pattie and Slover rescued from Famish. Engd. by W. Woodruff Cini.; and Burial of Mr. Pattie. Engd. by W. Woodruff Cini. Engraver W. Woodruff is not listed by Hamilton (Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers), but seems to be the William Wood listed by Fielding, who comments: “Engraver of portraits and landscapes. He was in business in Philadelphia in 1817-24. He worked quite well in both line and stipple. After 1824 he apparently removed to Cincinnati, as we find prints by him engraved in that city. Died February 26, 1852.”

     Of Texas interest is “The Downfall of the Fredonian Republic” (pp. 289-291). ($4,000-8,000)

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