“WILD, FREE, UNAFRAID”: SIMMS’ TRAPPERS OF NEW YORK, 1851, WITH THREE FULL-PAGE WOODCUTS
SIMMS, Jeptha R. Trappers of New York, or a Biography of Nicholas Stoner & Nathaniel Foster; Together with Anecdotes of Other Celebrated Hunters, And Some Account of Sir William Johnson. Albany: Joel Munsell, 1851. 12mo, original blind-stamped brown cloth with gilt-embossed centerpiece. $850.
Second edition of Simms’ popular 19th-century account of legendary trappers, with three engraved plates, including a dramatic woodcut of trapper Stoner “Avenging His Father’s Murder.”
By the close of the Revolutionary period, “trappers became an ineradicable part of American folklore… wild, free, unafraid.” Author of several highly regarded histories of New York’s frontier period, newspaperman Jeptha Simms (1807-83) assembled lore and anecdotes about several of New York’s most famous frontiersmen for his popular Trappers of New York. Featured is William Johnson, “the dominant figure on the New York frontier from the 1740s until the eve of the American Revolution… Johnson’s major importance lay in the political and military sphere, where the goodwill he had won by his dealings with the Indians proved invaluable to colonial and imperial authorities” (Lamar, 1128, 577). Published one year after the first edition. Without scarce frontispiece. Field 1405. Howes S468. Sabin 81185. Traces of owner inscriptions.
Some foxing, light dampstaining. Restoration to text block and coth. A very good copy.