Washington: Government Printing Office, 1861. 131,14,,154,30,,6,,31,pp. plus two large folding topographical maps, one profile, eight color plates, eight folding panorama views, sixteen black and white plates (frontispiece plate of Chimney Rock lacking, replaced by a duplicate plate of Robinson's Landing), three explanatory leaves accompanying plates, and numerous in-text illustrations. Large quarto. Later three-quarter red morocco and red cloth, raised bands, spine gilt, marbled edges. Shelfworn, corners worn, slight separation at joint ends. Bookplate on front pastedown, ownership stamp in the margin of one plate (see below). Some light foxing and soiling to text as well as some offsetting from plates. Very good. Item #WRCAM62142
The present copy contains the bookplate of James Wickersham on the front pastedown, and his name is stamped in gilt on the base of the spine. Wickersham was a lawyer and judge who later served as the Alaska Territory's delegate to the United States Congress. He was instrumental in establishing the Alaska Territorial Legislature, the Alaska Railroad, Mt. McKinley National Park, the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines (today, the University of Alaska), and was a proponent of Alaska statehood. He also compiled A Bibliography of Alaskan Literature 1724-1924, published in 1927. This copy also bears the ink stamp of Elwood Evans - who presumably owned it before Wickersham - on the top corner of the profile. Evans was a lawyer, politician, and historian, who served as mayor of Olympia and briefly as acting governor of the Washington Territory. Both Evans and Wickersham were founding members of the Washington State Historical Society, Evans having served as the society's president and Wickersham as its curator. Wickersham published a profile of Evans entitled "Life, Character, and Public Service of Elwood Evans. Pioneer, Lawyer, Governor and Historian," which appeared in the Washington Historian in 1899, the year after Evans died.
One of the most important and best illustrated army surveys of the American West. The report describes the activities of the expedition on the Colorado in 1857-58 under the command of Ives. Goetzmann calls the book the best of individual army reports, "a long, carefully written journal, consciously literary but with a maximum amount of attention to scientific observation." Wheat is equally lavish in his praise of the maps, applauding the detail and design of the finished work. The primary work on the exploration of the Colorado and, according to Farquhar, "one of the most desirable books in the Colorado River field, for it is the first that deals specifically with the river itself."
Ives's report was issued by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. This is the House issue. This copy contains a duplicate of Plate I (Robinson's Landing) as the frontispiece in place of the correct frontispiece (Chimney Peak), not present in this copy (all other plates are present). This copy also lacks the two scarce geological maps, which are rarely present. The eight color plates include seven Indian portraits, depicting representative members of seven different Indian peoples - "Cocopas," "Yumas," "Chemehuevis," "Mojaves," "Hualpis," "Moquis," and "Navajos" - as well as a depiction of the interior of a Moquis House. As Hill notes, "Heinrich Balduin Möllhausen prepared the greater portion of the illustrations, among which are some of the earliest published depictions of the Grand Canyon."
A significant book on the Colorado River, wonderfully illustrated, with significant provenance. HOWES I92. SABIN 35308. WAGNER-CAMP 375. WHEAT TRANSMISSISSIPPI 947. GOETZMANN, pp.379-94. FLAKE 4287. HILL 874. STREETER SALE 177. BRADFORD 2625. LARNED 412. EBERSTADT 120:120. TAXONOMIC LITERATURE 786. FARQUHAR, COLORADO 21. REESE, BEST OF THE WEST 163. James Wickersham, "Life, Character, and Public Service of Elwood Evans. Pioneer, Lawyer, Governor and Historian" in The Washington Historian Vol. 1, no. 2 (January 1900): pp.53-63.