Journal of the Voyages and Travels

Patrick GASS

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Item#: 126925 price:$20,000.00

Journal of the Voyages and Travels
Journal of the Voyages and Travels

"ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL BOOKS FOR AN AMERICANA COLLECTION": EARLIEST PUBLISHED ACCOUNT OF THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION, 1807 FIRST EDITION OF GASS' JOURNAL IN ORIGINAL BOARDS

GASS, Patrick. A Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, Under the Command of Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clarke of the Army of the United States, 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: Zadok Cramer, for David M'Keehan, 1807. Tall 12mo (4-1/2 by 6-3/4 inches), original half brown sheep, original marbled boards. Housed in a custom cemise and clamshell box. $20,000.

First edition of the "earliest full first-hand narrative of the Lewis and Clark expedition, preceding the official account by seven years" (Howes), "one of the essential books for an Americana collection" (Streeter).

Gass volunteered as a private for the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1803 (he was promoted to sergeant August 26, 1804). "A most reliable man, Gass accompanied the expedition to the Pacific… keeping a careful and valuable journal. On October 10, 1806, after the return to St. Louis, Lewis gave Gass a certificate stating that, 'the ample support which he gave me, under every difficulty; the manly firmness which he evinced on every necessary occasion; and the fortitude with which he bore the fatigues and painful sufferings incident to that long voyage, intitles [sic] him to my highest confidence and sincere thanks… [In Washington, Gass] arranged for publication of his journal which appeared seven years before the official Lewis and Clark narrative was published" (Thrapp II:542). The prospectus for Gass' journal revealed "that around the campfire 'the several journals [of the expedition members] were brought together, compared, corrected, and the blanks filled up,' meaning that… subscribers would be reading material corrected and approved by the captains" (Ambrose, Undaunted Courage, 418). Gass was the last survivor of the expedition, dying at age 99 in 1870. With half title [ix], with first and final blanks. Graff 1516. Sabin 26741. Wagner-Camp 6:1. Streeter V:3120. Howes G77. Early owner ink signatures, one to front pastedown, one to rear.

Closed tear to rear free endpaper. Leaf L5 with two tiny holes, just affecting two lines on page 130. Light foxing to text, as often; faint creasing to a few leaves. Spine rubbed and dry, light wear to boards. A very good copy, scarce and desirable in unrestored original binding.

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