Sacramento: California Historical Society, 1928. First edition. A Fine copy of this Zamorano 80 title, showing the more desirable original San Francisco imprint rather than the Arthur H. Clark Company paste-over imprint from Cleveland. Blue publisher's cloth with gilt to spine and front board. Previous owner's bookplate of Fred M. DeWitt to front pastedown, else internally unmarked. Complete and pleasing, including tipped in frontis.
James Clyman was a member of several notable expeditions that explored the American West in the early nineteenth century. Clyman and his partners established trading outposts, documented geographical features, and helped further U.S. interests in the lands west of the Mississippi River. While Clyman was far from singular in these efforts, he is remembered and valued for the diaries that he kept while a member of these expeditions. These diaries, which exist in manuscript at the Huntington Library, chronicle more than twenty years' worth of exploration. They are invaluable resources for their perspective into this period of violent conquest in American history.
This present volume, prepared by Charles L. Camp, compiles the primary sources alongside related personal papers and records. In addition to the vast amount of factual material about routes, interactions with indigenous tribes, and precise geographical notes, Clyman is also an admirable storyteller. For example, Clyman's understated style verges on humor. Spending the night outside in the Wyoming winter, Clyman keeps his suffering in perspective: "Although the wind blew and the fine frosty snow crept in and around us this was not the worst for the cold hard frozen earth on which we lay was still more disagreeabl so that sleep was out of the Que[s]tion." In another instance, Clyman's expedition leader Jedidiah Smith was mauled by a grizzly bear. The bear broke most of Smith's ribs and ripped his scalp, nearly severing an ear as well. After Clyman stitched up Smith's scalp and ear, he offered this frank assessment of the events: "this gave us a lisson on the character of the grissly Baare which we did not forget." Overall an exceptional copy of this exciting and informative personal account of a Rocky Mountain trapper and explorer.
Zamorano 80, no. 19 Fine (Item #3287)