Edinburgh: William and Robert Chambers, 1841. Very Good. First Edition. [10x6.75in];  title page and advertisement to the present edition, 78 pp., text printed in two columns, no maps; Rebound in Quarter Dark blue pebble cloth with black cloth backstrip, gilt lettering on leather spine label, all edges trimmed; Age toning throughout with occasional foxing spots, small stain on last page, title page with offset shadow and several foxing spots, repaired chips and fore edge. [Wagner-Camp 70:8]. Item #13551
Samuel Parker (1779-1866) was a Presbyterian missionary to the Pacific Northwest. Parker traveled with Marcus Whitman, a physician and missionary, as part of the annual American Fur Company resupply to the Oregon Territory. Whitman returned east from the Green River rendezvous and Parker continued on to Forts Walla Walla and Vancouver on the Columbia River. While in Vancouver, as a guest of the Hudson Bay Company, he explored the Willamette and lower Columbia Valleys for missionary sites and preached to the natives. In 1837 he returned to the east coast by ship through the Hawaiian Islands and around Cape Horn. He made detailed personal observations and published the Journal of his three year tour in 1838. Included in that book was one of the earliest reliable maps of the interior of the Oregon Territory.
William and Robert Chambers, the Edinburgh publishers, thought the Journal "... contained so much interesting and valuable matter, as to be worthy of being laid before the public of this country.". They also noted that "As was justly observed, however, in the North American Review, the work had defects both as regarded 'method and literary execution'.". The publishers significantly edited the 1838 edition and stated, "The inaccuracies of language have have been rectified, a number of needless exclamations modified or deleted, and the crude disquistions upon geology, in which the author had most unnecessarily indulged, have been, as far as was possible, expunged from the work." Thus, a 372 page book is reduced to 78 pages for clarity. However, Wagner-Camp quotes from Field's "An Essay towards an Indian Bibliography", that "... commends Parker's journal: 'In all the qualities which a historian would require, it has few equals'"