GREGG, Josiah (1806-ca 1850)
Commerce of the Prairies: or the Journal of a Santa Fe Trader, during Eight Expeditions across the Great Western Prairies, and a Residence of Nearly Nine Years in Northern Mexico
New York: Henry G. Langley, 1844. 2 volumes, 8vo. (7 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches). 2 frontispieces, 2 engraved maps (1 folding), 4 plates.
Three quarters crushed navy blue morocco over cloth, preserving publisher's cloth cover of Volume 1 at rear, top edges gilt.
The rare first edition of a Western Americana classic and a cornerstone work on the Santa Fe trail.
One of the landmark books of Western Americana. Gregg's book is acclaimed by all sources as the principal contemporary authority on the Santa Fe Trail and trade, the Indians of the south plains, and New Mexico in the Mexican period. J. Frank Dobie calls it "one of the classics of bedrock Americana." It gives a lively, intimate, and personal account of experiences on the prairies and in northern Mexico. The "Map of the Indian Territory Northern Texas and New Mexico showing the Great Western Prairies" is by far the best map of the region up to that time and referred to by Wheat as "a cartographic landmark." "A cornerstone of all studies on the Santa Fe Trail in the early period, describing the origin and development of the trade, Gregg's own experiences, and useful statistics for 1822- 43" (Rittenhouse).
Wagner-Camp 108:2; Graff 1659; Howes G401; Rittenhouse 225; Streeter sale I:378; Streeter, Texas 1502; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West II: pp. 186-88; Dobie p.76; Flake 3716; Rader 1684; Raines, p. 99; Sabin 28712.