FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST PUBLISHED ACCOUNT OF THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION: “One of the essential books for an Americana collection” (Streeter).
"The sergeants were all encouraged to keep journals, and Gass was diligent in writing his … He reported events as they occurred and provided descriptions of the scenery and the Indian nations the corps met along the journey … It was Gass who depicted the bitterroot mountains as ‘the most terrible mountains I’ve ever beheld,’ a quote widely used in books on the expedition” (Woodger and Toropov).
The “journal which he kept was one of the chief sources of the expedition and was published in 1807, seven years before the journals of Lewis and Clark. Within five years after its first publication … it was republished three times in the United States and printed also in London and Paris” (Hebard).
Gass “became one of the best-known members of the expedition for several reasons: his key role as sergeant brought his name up frequently in the journals of Lewis and Clark; his account was the first to be published; he was the first to have a biography written about him; and finally, he outlived the other members of the Corps of Discovery by decades” (Wagner-Camp).
"The first printing of a journal by a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" (Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 3.1). "One of the essential books for an Americana collection" (Streeter sale V:3120). Graff 1516; Howes G77; Sabin 26741; Wagner-Camp 6:1.
Pittsburgh: Zadok Cramer for David M'Keehan, 1807. 12mo, early sheep over original marbled boards; custom box. Handsome owner inscription (from 1816) on front free endpaper and owner's signatures on rear free endpaper and pastedown. Toning to text (as always); occasional dampstaining, mostly marginal. Boards with some scuffing and worn edges. Hole (likely paper flaw) to margin of leaf 229/230, not affecting text. A rare copy in original boards of a landmark in American history.
Price: $16,500 .