Journal of An Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains…


The third edition of Samuel Parker’s influential travel guide to the Oregon Territory.

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There were a myriad of forces that drove America’s westward migration and one that is often overlooked is the missionary zeal of the predominantly Protestant population of the early United States. The opportunity to evangelize to the indigenous population was encouraged by a small group of Flathead Indians who arrived in St. Louis in the early 1830’s, looking for the word of Christ (ostensibly to help them in ongoing tribal conflicts).

Marcus Whitman, possibly the most famed missionary of the 19th century, heeded this call and began looking for fellow Christians to join him out West. Reverend Samuel Parker heeded the call, and traveled to the Oregon Country with Whitman in the spring of 1835. Parker would remain in the Pacific Northwest for over two years, before departing on a ship that would return him to the East Coast in 1838.

Upon his return, Parker published the first edition of his travel volume, Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains. This particular example is the third edition, published in Ithaca, New York by Mack, Andrus & Woodruff in 1842. The 400+ pages contains a wealth of contemporary information on the Oregon Territory; including details on Parker’s routes, descriptions of climate and geography, transcripts of conversations, tables of meteorological observations, and accounts of Native American tribes.

The volume also contains a large folding map of the Oregon Territory east of the Red River, engraved in Utica by M.M. Peabody. It’s a significant improvement upon earlier maps of the region and incorporates Parker’s own observations in addition to extensive information obtained from the Hudson’s Bay Company and the American Fur Trading Company. Numerous Native American tribes are labeled and simple topography is depicted in hachure.

Sources: Sabin 58729; Wagner-Camp 70:3.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1842

Author: Samuel Parker

Sheet Width (in): See Description

Sheet Height (in): See Description

Condition: B+

Condition Description: 408 pp. bound in original brown cloth covers with gilt spine. Old owner's inscription on the endpapers. Title page is moderately spotted, but otherwise the contents are quite good, with a little toning along the fore-edge. Includes the accompanying fold-out map of the Oregon Territory that measures approximately 22.5" x 15.25". Some moderate discoloration along a vertical fold and extraneous creasing throughout, but remains in good to very good condition overall.


1 in stock