Black Americana and Abolition – 7 – Bauman Rare Books - July 2022 “The First Work In American Literature To Relay The Story Of An African American On The Western Frontier” (Allmendinger) 8. (BECKWOURTH, James P.) BONNER, T.D. The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. New York, 1856. Octavo, original brown cloth. $2000. First edition of “a classic of pioneer days in the West” (Graff), the dramatic life of Black western explorer James Beckwourth, with engraved frontispiece and 12 engraved plates. Born enslaved to a white overseer and an enslaved woman, Beckwourth’s father (and master) moved the family west in 1810. Likely freed by his father, he “scaled the Rockies… pushed westward to the Pacific, north to Canada and south to Florida, where Beckwourth served as an Army scout” (Katz, 36-9). In 1824 he joined Ashley’s expedition to the Rocky Mountains, and later was adopted by the Crow nation. Though this work sidesteps his Beckwourth’s African heritage, “new research indicates that Beckwourth’s basic narrative is true… [it] records the way in which a Black man succeeded in the dangerous and demanding life of the Far West” (Lamar, 90). Bound without rear leaf of publisher’s advertisement. With front free endpaper excised. Contemporary owner inscription. Interior quite fresh with minimal scattered foxing, light edge-wear mainly to spine head of bright giltstamped original cloth. A very handsome near-fine copy.