Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, Including a Reconnaissance of a New Route Through the Rocky Mountains

  • $2,000.00
    Unit price per 

Author: Stansbury , Howard (1806 - 1863)

Year: 1852

Publisher: Lippincott, Grambo & Co.

Place: Philadelphia


2 volumes: 487 pages with frontispiece, tables, 33 illustrations (with 3 folding panoramic views), 8 lithograph plates of reptiles, 2 lithograph plates of insects, 9 lithograph plants, and plates of flora, fauna, and fossils; folding map; map volume with two fold out maps (see Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, Including a Reconnaissance of a New Route Through the Rocky Mountains map volume). Royal octavo (9 1/4 x 6") original blind stamp cloth lettered in gilt. (Field 1940; Graff 3947; Howes S884; Sabin 90372; Wagner-Camp 219:2; Wheat, Transmississippi 3) This is the Special Session, March 1851, Senate Executive Document Number 3. First edition.

Howard Stansbury's classic work is bibliographically complex, with two true editions as well as multiple issues of the first edition. The first edition was printed in Philadelphia; its 487 stereotyped pages were issued in 1852 under two different titles with three variant title-pages (an official US government issue and two trade issues). A second edition was printed in Washington in 1853 and had 495 typeset pages (with corrections and additions in the appendices). The issue of 1855 is identical to the 1852 trade issue, except for the change of the date on the title-page.

In 1849 he was ordered to travel from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to survey the Great Salt Lake in Utah, evaluate emigration trails along the way, especially the Oregon and Mormon trails and to scout for possible locations for a transcontinental railroad. The expedition consisted of 18 men including his second in command Lieutenant John Williams Gunnison. Over the following two years, the expedition explored the Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake and the Cache Valley of northern Utah all the way to Fort Hall in southern Idaho. Upon first arriving in Utah the Mormon leaders were worried that the expedition was part of an effort by the U.S government to oust the Mormon settlers. Stansbury held a meeting with Brigham Young where he assured the leader that the expedition was purely a scientific one. Young responded by assigning his personal secretary Albert Carrington to assist the expedition. Upon completing the mission in Utah, the expedition started back east to Leavenworth. Rather than follow the standard Oregon Trail route from Fort Bridger over South Pass through the Sweetwater River valley, Stansbury wanted to scout a more direct route east. Following the advice of Jim Bridger and local trappers and traders the expedition followed the Blacks Fork River east, crossed the Green River near the present day town of Green River, Wyoming and proceeded east along the Bitter Creek valley, crossing the Red Desert, and skirting the northern side of Elk Mountain across the Laramie Plains. They passed over the Laramie Mountains and made their way to Fort Laramie where they struck the Oregon Trail heading east.


Spine repaired, spine faded and a bit rubbed; mild foxing to edges of text and plates, plates a bit offset to text, stain in gutter of pages 15 through 18. This copy with early ownership signature on title. page 11 & 12 torn at bottom margin lacks portion, not affecting text, some internal soiling, some illustrations bound in out of sequence else a good copy.

SOLD 2019

We Also Recommend