Ithaca, NY: By the Author; Mack, Andrus & Woodruff, 1838. Very Good. First Edition. 12mo, [7.5x5in]; xii, -371, folding map of Oregon Territory by Parker [13.5x22.5in], one plate of Basaltic formations on Columbia River after p. 208 with note of text on p. 226; Full calf binding with gilt lettering in red label and gilt lines on spine, all edges trimmed; Some wear to covers with soiling and rubbing, edges and corner show shelf wear with corners bumped and worn through, spine and lower covers darken, light to moderate foxing throughout text, prior owner ink signature on front end paper with price and date of 1838, tipped in "bookmark" at p. 208 from period newspaper ad for carpeting; Map is delicate with small closed tears along edges, small chips at corners of crease lines, three stains and light foxing spots. [Wagner-Camp 70:1, Graff 3194, Wheat Transmississippi Maps 438]. Item #13577
Samuel Parker (1779-1866) was a Presbyterian missionary to the Pacific Northwest and operated under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (A.B.C.F.M.). 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 this Journal of his three year tour in 1838. He was also a keen observer of the landscape and sketched one of the earliest reliable maps of the interior of the Oregon Territory. 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' ".
There have been seven editions of this work. The last one by 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 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 371 page book is reduced to 78 pages for clarity.