GASS, Patrick (1771-1870). A Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, under the Command of Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clarke... from the Mouth of the River Missouri through the Interior Parts of North America to the Pacific Ocean, during the Years 1804, 1805 & 1806. Pittsburgh: Printed by Zadok Cramer for David M'Keehan, 1807.
12o (160 x 108 mm). Half-title [A3], page [ix]. (Some spotting and a few pale stains, first blank torn with loss, title-page nicked along top edge, marginal tear [X3(b)] affecting the text.) Modern quarter calf, preserving early marbled boards (endpapers renewed, boards scuffed). Provenance: Andw Boggs (contemporary signature on first blank; James B. Boggs, Mahomet(?) (near contemporary signature page 218); Wm A. Fisher (penciled 19th-century gift inscription from his wife Jane on title-page); late 19th-century library number on foot of page [iii].
"WE HAVE ENCOURAGED OUR MEN TO KEEP JOURNALS, AND SEVEN OF THEM DO SO, TO WHOM IN THIS RESPECT WE GIVE EVERY ASSISTANCE IN OUR POWER" (Lewis, letter to Jefferson 7 April 1805).
FIRST EDITION of the first full account by a Lewis and Clark participant. Born in Pennsylvania, Patrick Gass "became one of the best-known members of the expedition for several reasons: his key role as sergeant brought his name up frequently in the journals of Lewis and Clark; his account was the first to be published; he was the first to have a biography written about him; and finally, he outlived the other members of the Corps of Discovery by decades" (Wagner-Camp-Becker 6:1). "Although [Gass's Journal] lacked the insight, reflection, and depth of geographic, ethnographic, diplomatic, and scientific observations penned by Lewis and Clark, it and Jefferson's Message from the President were the only accounts available for seven years to describe the expedition's adventures" (Beckham, p. 89). Beckham The Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, pp 89-90, 3.1; Graff 1516; Howes G-77; Sabin 26741; Shaw 12646; Smith 3465; Streeter sale V:3120.