GASS, PATRICK. 1771-1870.
A Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, under the command of Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke. Pittsburgh: printed by Zadok Cramer, for David M'Keehan, 1807. 12mo (165 x 102 mm). , viii, -262,  blank pp. Half-title, and final blank. Late 19th-century calf gilt by Lloyd, Wallis & Lloyd, gilt edges. Small repaired tear to lower blank margin of [A5], "2L" i.e. L3 with 2½ inch repaired tear running into the text, small void to lower blank margin of leaves K4-L2, repaired paper flaw to "O2" i.e. O3, binding rebacked with original spine laid down, repair to front inner hinge.
THE FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST SUBSTANTIAL ACCOUNT OF THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION BY A PARTICIPANT: "A WORK OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE" (Webster A. Jones). Because of the delay in the publication of the official account, Gass' journal was eagerly taken up by readers starved of information about the expedition. Pennsylvania-born Patrick Gass "was a rough reliable frontier soldier when he joined the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was made a sergeant when Sergeant Floyd died. He writes a terse soldier's narrative, exasperating in its brevity, but always with rugged honesty. His story was for many years the only true account of the expedition - the first real information the nation had of the Oregon country and of the Louisiana purchase. It is a work of primary importance" (Webster A. Jones). Gass "became one of the best-known members of the expedition for several reasons: his key role as sergeant brought his name up frequently in the journals of Lewis and Clark; his account was the first to be published; he was the first to have a biography written about him; and finally, he outlived the other members of the Corps of Discovery by decades" (Wagner-Camp-Becker 6:1). Graff 1516; Howes G-77; Sabin 26741; Shaw 12646; Smith 3465; Streeter sale 3120.