Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44

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Author: John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) an association copy inscribed by George Sykes

Year: 1845

Publisher: Blair and Rivers Printers

Place: Washington, DC


1 volume in 2 parts. 581 pages with 22 lithographed plates, 4 maps and the large Preuss map in pocket at back, appendix and index. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6") bound in original publisher's brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine and blind-stamped decorative ruled edges. Inscribed by George Sykes. House issue, without the astronomical and meteorological observations present in the Senate issue and subsequent editions. (Cohen Mapping the West pp.130-133; Field 565; Graff 1436; Howes F-370; Sabin 25845; Streeter sale VI:3131; Wagner-Camp-Becker 115) First edition of the House issue.

Frémont hired Edward Meyer Kern (1823-1863) to accompany him as topographical illustrator on this expedition from St. Louis to California, beginning a prolific career as a western explorer and artist. Kern gave the American public some of its earliest authentic graphic images of the landscape and peoples of the Southwest and California. His career was cut short by poor health (he had epilepsy) and he died at the age of forty. Kern River is named for him.  (Best of the West 86; Graff 1436; Howes F-370; Sabin 25845; Streeter sale 3131; Wagner-Camp 115:2; Wheat Gold Regions 3266; Wheat Transmississippi West 495; Zamorano 80, no. 39) The map was to have a powerful effect on the routes taken in the California Gold Rush.The map is the House Issue and is drawn with the assistance of Charles Preuss who was born in Waldeck, Germany, in 1803. Arriving in the United States in 1834 Fremont hired him as a cartographer and draughtsman. Preuss would go on to draw both of Fremont's other highly important maps of the west.

John Charles Frémont has been celebrated by historians as one of the most noted nineteenth-century explorers of the American West. During a period of twelve years (1842 54), he personally led and directed five western expeditions to (1) South Pass and the Wind River Range in Wyoming in 1842; (2) the interior of the Rockies and the Pacific Coast in 1843 44; (3) California through Colorado, northern Utah, and central Nevada in 1845; (4) southern California through southern Colorado, New Mexico, and southern Arizona in 1848 49; and (5) northern California through southern Colorado, southern Utah, southern Nevada, and central California in 1853 54. Significantly, during his second expedition (1843 44), he traversed the interior of the Rockies (including northern, southern, central, and eastern Utah) and the Pacific coast. Following Fremont s second expedition (1843 44), Frémont went to Washington, DC, where in collaboration with his wife, Jessie, he completed writing a report and producing detailed maps of both the 1842 and 1843 44 western expeditions. In 1845, Congress approved the printing of ten thousand copies of Frémont s Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843 44.

George Sykes (1802-1880) was a congressman who represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1845, and was reelected in 1845 to fill a vacancy, serving until 1847. He was educated by private teachers, and became a surveyor and conveyancer.


Inscribed on front end paper by George Sykes.  Large map folding in separate portfolio (separated along centerfold and repaired verso) facsimile in back pocket. Some spotting and browning, title with edge wear and chips, recased. Original map in separate portfolio else about very good. 

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