Oregon and California in 1848
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1849. First edition. Two volumes in Near Fine condition. Complete with the large folding map and 12 inserted plates. Bound in the publisher's decoratively stamped brick red cloth. A small tear in the cloth at the spine of volume 2. Internally fresh with some foxing throughout and faint marginal dampstains affecting several leaves. Despite the defects, an attractive set of this important early work on California.
A contemporary account of pioneer life in the Pacific Coast state of California and the Oregon territory by Jesse Quinn Thornton, who later became a Supreme Court Justice of the Provisional Government of Oregon. A traveler from early in life -- he was born in what is now West Virginia and lived at various points in Ohio, Virginia, London, and Missouri -- Thornton made his westward move as slavery continued to spread through the U.S. states and territories. His outspoken abolitionist stance and his defense of the murdered abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy had led to serious lynching threats against him; and so he joined what would become known as the Donner Party wagon train bound for California and Oregon. "One of the best authorities of the period, and the account he has given of the ill-fated Donner Party is perhaps the most valuable in print" (Wagner-Camp).
Zamorano 80, no. 74. Near Fine (Item #5280)