3 December 2007
KELLEY, Hall J. A General Circular to All Persons of Good Character, Who Wish to Emigrate to the Oregon Territory, Embracing some Account of the Character and Advantages of the Country; the Right and the Means and Operations by which it is to be Settled;-- and All Necessary Directions for Becoming an Emigrant...By Order of the American Society for Encouraging the Settlement of the Oregon Territory. Instituted in Boston, A.D. 1829. Charlestown, Mass.: William W. Wheildon; Boston: R.P & C. Williams, 1831.
8o (220 x 134 mm). 28 pages. Woodcut plan on final page. Original tan printed wrappers, upper wrapper reading: "Manual of the Oregon Expedition. Price 12 1-2 cents," and with list of agents printed on inside wrapper (spine renewed); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Boston Public Library (ink withdrawal stamp on front wrapper).
FIRST EDITION of Kelley's cogent argument for the settlement in Oregon. In this 1831 circular to Congress, Kelley called upon legislators to grant American citizens the same rights in Oregon enjoyed by the Hudson's Bay Company under parliamentary authority, arguing that the Company was a "Colonial Government," not a trading company.
Kelley argues that "The uniform testimony of an intelligent multitude have established the fact, that the country in question, is the most valuable of all the unoccupied parts of the earth. Its peculiar location and facilities, and physical resources for trade and commerce; its contiguous markets; its salubrity of climate; its fertility of soil; its rich and abundant productions; its extensive forests of valuable timber; and its great water Channel diversifying, by its numerous branches the whole country, and spreading canals through every part of it, are sure indications that Providence has designed this last reach of enlightened emigration to be the residence of a people, whose singular advantages will give them unexampled power and prosperity" (pp. 8-9).
Kelley calls for a seaport town at Gray's Bay, just north of the mouth of the Columbia River, and a trading town at the confluence of the Columbia and the Multona. A woodcut plan of the town is given on the final page. A slip found in some copies (not here) shows that the work was sent to Ministers, stating that one of the objectives was to benefit "the Aborigines in that extensive country." Also present in some copies is a lead following the last which gives a list of people who have bought shares (not present). The plan was abandoned only at the very end of preparations. Graff 2286; Howes K-43 ("b"); Sabin 37260; Smith 5428; Streeter sale VI:3345; Wagner-Camp-Becker 44a.
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