FARNHAM, Thomas J. (1804-1848). Travels in the Great Western Prairies, the Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and in the Oregon Territory. Poughkeepsie: Killey and Lossing, 1841.
12o (178 x 112 mm). (Some foxing as usual.) Publisher's green cloth, black morocco lettering piece (a bit rubbed, joints partly split)
FIRST EDITION. "The Peoria party, of which Farnham was a member left Peoria, May 1, 1839, and Independence May 30, following the Santa Fe trail to Ft. Bent, where they arrived July 5. Here the company divided, the larger number, eleven in all, proceeding up the Platte River, but Farnham with four others went up the Arkansas to South Park and thence over the divide to the North Fork of the Platte. From there they proceeded to Brown's Hole, and from thence up the Green River to Ham's Fork. On Bear River they met Meek. They arrived at Fort Hall Sept. 1, and found Joe Walker in charge. Thence they proceeded to Whitman's Mission, where they arrived Sept. 23. After a weeks' respite at the Mission, Farnham proceeded to Fort Walla, thence to the Dalles, and down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver which was reached on October 16th" (Eberstadt 113:524). According to Herschel V. Jones, this is the "first and most interesting" of Farnham's books on the West, and "it is the best account of the first overland-to-Oregon migration of settlers." Farnham opens his Travels by noting of his companions that "Some of our number sought health in the wilderness--others sought the wilderness for its own sake--and others sought a residence among the ancient forests and lofty heights of the valley of the Columbia." He provided a direct, vigorous narrative celebrating the West, with interesting insights on native cultures and geographies. Cowan p.83; Field 526; Graff 1294; Howes F-50; Streeter sale VI:3349; Wagner-Camp-Becker 85:1. See Sabin 23872 (later eds).