PATTIE, James O.
The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie, of Kentucky, During an Expedition from St. Louis, Through the Vast Regions Between that Place and the Pacific Ocean, and Thence Back Through the City of Mexico to Vera Cruz, During Journeyings of Six Years; in Which He and His Father, Who Accompanied Him, Suffered Unheard of Hardships and Dangers, Had Various Conflicts with The Indians, and Were Made Captives, in Which Captivity His Father Died; Together with a Description of the Country, and the Various Nations Through Which They Passed. Edited by Timothy Flint..
Cincinnati: E. H. Flint, 1833. 8vo. 300pp. Five engraved plates.
Later half red morocco and marbled paper covered boards, by R.W. Smith, spine gilt with raised bands in six compartments, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.
Provenance: H.F. Depuy (morocco booklabel); Eugene & Sadye Power (bookplate); Paul Steinbrecher (bookplate)
The second edition of Pattie's narrative: one of the great works of Western Americana.
The author and his father were engaged in the fur trade in the Southwest in the 1820s. In 1828 they crossed overland to California, only the second American group to make the trip by a southern route (the first was Jedediah Smith in 1826), and the first to publish an account of their journey. The party encountered difficulty and danger in New Mexico, Arizona, and California, where they were tossed in jail by Mexican authorities and the elder Pattie died. His son was released after aiding in vaccinating people during a smallpox epidemic. It is considered one of the best accounts of the fur trade, the Santa Fe trade, and early California, and one of the best overland narratives.
"A thrilling tale of pure adventure, ranging all the way from encounters with grizzly bears, and savages who had never before seen a white man, to a revolution in a Latin-American state, Pattie's narrative has long been a classic. Its chief value to the student of Western history depends upon the vast extent of country over which the author passed, the ethnological data which he presents, especially in relation to the southwestern tribes, and his graphic picture of the contact between the two civilizations in the Southwest ... One sees in his pages the beginnings of the drama to be fought out in the Mexican War -- the rich and beautiful country, which excited the cupidity of the American pioneer; the indolence and effeminacy of the inhabitants, which inspired the virile backwoodsmen's contempt; and the vanguard of the American advance, already touching the Rockies, and ready to push on to the Pacific" (Thwaites, Early Western Travels, vol. xviii, pp. 18-19).
From the beginning of the serious collecting of Western Americana, the 1831 Pattie has been recognized as one of the most difficult of books to obtain, thus making the present 1833 second edition (from the sheets of the first edition with a cancel title) a cornerstone of any major western collection.
Graff 3217; Wagner-Camp 45:2; Clark III:83; Hill 1317; Howes P123; Cowan, p.476; Vaughan 108; Field 1186; Sabin 59150; DAB XIV, pp.310-11; Streeter Sale 3139; Zamorano 80, 60.