Narrative of a Journey Across the Rocky Mountains, to the Columbia River, and a Visit to the Sandwich Islands, Chile, &c. With a Scientific Appendix

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Author: John Kirk Townsend (1809-1851)

Year: 1839

Publisher: Henry Perkins

Place: Philadelphia 


viii+[9]-352 pages. Royal octavo (9 1/4' x 6") bound in quarter later calf with original mottled boards, morocco spine label lettered in gilt. First Edition. John Kirk Townsend was an American naturalist, ornithologist and collector. He was a Quaker born in Philadelphia. and was trained as a physician and pharmacist. He developed an interest in natural history in general and bird collecting in particular. In 1833, he was invited by the botanist Thomas Nuttall to join him on Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth's second expedition across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Townsend collected a number of animals new to science. These included birds such as the mountain plover, Vaux's swift, chestnut-collared longspur, black-throated grey warbler, Townsend's warbler and sage thrasher, and a number of mammals such as the Douglas squirrel; several of these were described by Bachman from samples collected by Townsend. He sent many of these back to John James Audubon for further assessment and characterization. Audubon gave Townsend broad authority in naming specimens that he collected. On his return, Townsend wrote The Narrative of a Journey across the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River and a Visit to the Sandwich Islands (1839).


Touches of wear to boards & extremities; occasional foxing throughout, faint toning to pages, new endpapers else very good.