• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 208

    DE SMET, Pierre Jean (1804-1873). Letters and Sketches with a Narrative of a Year's Residence among the Indian Tribes of the Rocky Mountains. Philadelphia: M. Fithian, 1843.

    Price Realised  

    DE SMET, Pierre Jean (1804-1873). Letters and Sketches with a Narrative of a Year's Residence among the Indian Tribes of the Rocky Mountains. Philadelphia: M. Fithian, 1843.

    12o (185 x 113 mm). 252 pp. Large folding allegorical plate (Indian symbolic catechism) at back, 12 full-page lithographed plates. PUBLISHER'S PRESENTATION BINDING of maroon roan with the sides and spine blocked in blind, spine gilt lettered, edges gilt; quarter morocco slipcase, cloth chemise.

    FIRST EDITION of a classic western account. For some 40 years, father De Smet travelled throughout the west, ministering to and preaching to a multitude of native tribes; his experiences and detailed observations are presented in a series of letters dated 1841-1842. De Smet traveled to the area that is now Montana where he stayed almost a year. Then he crossed the mountains to Ft. Colville, and from there down the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver. The next year he traveled east, crossed over to Ft. Union, then down the River for his return to St. Louis. "A publicist as much as a missionary, de Smet made 16 trips back to Europe to promote Indian missions. De Smet became the idol of the Plains tribes... and was a government peace agent in the Indian Wars of the Great Plains and the Northwest" (Lamar, p.301). This copy is bound in a publisher's presentation binding; ordinary copies were bound in publisher's cloth. Field 1423; Graff 3823; Howes D-283; Sabin 82262; Streeter sale IV:2095; Wagner Camp 102.1.


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