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AUCTION 22

 


Lost in Yellowstone


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182.     EVERTS, Truman C. Thirty-Seven Days of Peril. A Narrative of the Early Days of the Yellowstone. San Francisco: [Grabhorn Press], 1923. [10], [1] 2-56, [2] pp., decorations by Joseph Sinel, printed on laid paper with watermark (Vidalon crown surmounting shield with hot air ballon and open scroll). 8vo (22.2 x 15 cm), vellum over tan and blue marbled boards, spine gilt lettered. Very fine copy of an early Grabhorn Press imprint. Contemporary ink gift inscription on front pastedown.

     First separate edition (originally appeared in Scribner’s in 1871); limited edition. The colophon states that the edition is limited to 375 copies on handmade paper. However, 500 copies were also printed on machine-made paper. This copy is printed on machine-made paper. Grabhorn 53. Magee 27. Norris 1225. From the preface by James McDonald:

Up until the year 1870, the country now comprised in the Yellowstone National Park was but little known... The expedition of 1870 was of a mixed character, for while principally made up of, and financed by, private citizens, it had an escort of troops as a protection from Indian attacks, thus, in a way, giving it government sanction. Its object was either to prove or refute the existence of natural phenomena, as even the members of the expedition themselves were skeptical of their reality. So much interest had been aroused in this mystic region that some of the leading citizens of the Territory of Montana were members and organizers of this expedition. It was under the leadership of General Henry D. Washburn, Surveyor-General of the Territory and Mr. Truman C. Everts, the author of the following narrative was a member, and it is his harrowing experiences when lost in the wilds of the Yellowstone region, that are related in “Thirty-Seven Days of Peril”.... Mr. Everts...lost connection with his party [and] was largely deprived of the most essential resource in such a situation, his eyesight. He was very nearsighted and had to rely strictly upon his glasses, and these appear to have been lost early in his wanderings. Add to this his handicap the fact that he was unused to wilderness travel and it is not surprising that even his great physical power and heroic determination came near proving insufficient for his salvation.

     In September 1870, Everts (1816-1901), a civilian member of the Washburn-Doane expedition to the then little-known region of the Upper Valley of the Yellowstone River, was separated from the main party without horse, supplies, or eyeglasses and wandered thirty-seven days struggling in a life-threatening predicament, plagued by wolves, mountain lions, forest fires, and hallucinations of dining on plump, sweet oysters at a fine restaurant in Washington or New York. After twelve days, it was assumed he was killed by Native Americans or horse thieves and his companions gave up. Later a two-party rescue team found Everts close to death, but he was revived by a pint of rendered bear oil administered by an old mountain man. The news of Everts’ disappearance and reports of his rescue caused a national sensation, and brought a deeper awareness and appreciation of the magic of Yellowstone to the nation. See Gareth E. John & Christine R. Metzo, “Yellowstone Embodied: Truman Everts’ ‘Thirty-seven Days of Peril’“ in Gender, Place & Culture, Vol. 15, No. 3, June 2008, pp. 221-242.

($100-200)

Sold. Hammer: $100.00; Price Realized: $120.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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