Washington: Gales & Seaton, Printers, 1845. First edition, Senate issue. Hardcover. Bound in a contemporary fine binding of full brown morocco with elaborate gilt tooling, all edges gilt, by J. C. McGuire, Washington City, DC, with the binder's small printed label to upper corner of front pastedown; octavo, 693 pp. 22 lithograph plates, including 13 views, 5 plates of fossils, and 4 botanical plates. 4 maps bound in, including 2 folding maps. The large Preuss map does not accompany the book, nor is there a pocket as is usual at the rear board to contain a map. Slight wear to binding, foxing to endpapers, preliminary blank leaf, and to the lithographed plates, 1 map mis-folded. Text quite clean and overall very good. Very good. Item #21811
Senate issue, including the astronomical and meteorological reports omitted from the House issue (and later reprints). Fremont's expeditions of 1842-44 resulted in the first reliably mapped route to the west coast. As expedition leader, Fremont achieved all he set out to do and more. After attaining his objective in Oregon in the fall of 1843 he turned his party south to the Great Basin and then -following the Truckee River- crossed the Sierra Nevada in January and February of 1844, reaching Sutter's Fort on March 6 without losing a man, though only half the party's animals reached their destination and a brass cannon was abandoned on the way. Inscribed and signed on the front free endpaper: "To Mrs. J. Bucknall Estcourt, with the respectful regards of her friend, Jessie Benton Fremont. Washington City, June 18th, 1846." Inscribee Mrs. [Caroline] J. Bucknall Estcourt was the wife of James Bucknall Bucknall Estcourt (1803-1855) an English army officer (and later member of Parliament) who in 1842 was appointed British boundary commissioner and sent to New England to conduct surveys on the disputed border between New Brunswick and Maine. He was occupied for some years at this endeavor and it seems likely the Estcourts met the Fremonts during this period. Of course, this was a time when John C. Fremont was not at home very much, though if the opportunity existed a meeting between the two surveyors would certainly seem natural. It is equally possible that young Mrs. Fremont and Mrs. Estcourt became acquainted when both their husbands were away. Jessie Benton Fremont is now generally regarded as the co-author of this work and it would seem that she exhibits here her pride in this achievement by offering this important book as a gift bearing her own inscription. The June 18, 1846 date of the inscription is certainly evocative - 4 days after the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, in which event John C. Fremont was critically engaged. Regarding the binding: the binder's name appears in the accounts pages of Public Documents publications of Senate and Congress between 1840 and 1850 with brief descriptions of binding work performed and amounts paid. We find no record of other copies of this title inscribed by either Fremont. Zamorano 80 #39, Cowan page 223, Wagner-Camp IV:115:1, Graf 1436, Howes F370).