BLTC Press Titles

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Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Journal of an exploring tour beyond the Rocky Mountains

by Samuel Parker


country, and important facts, than are to be found in any production furnished by the press. Having traveled over a greater extent of territory than any who had preceded, and with the express object of exploring the condition of the aboriginal population, this position can not be considered as assumed. Messrs. Lewis and Clarke passed the Rocky Mountains under a governmental appointment to explore the country, more than thirty years since, and their published travels carry with them the evidence of candor and intelligence, and contain much valuable information ; yet their opportunities beyond the mountains were somewhat limited. They passed over the great chain of mountains from the head waters of the Missouri between the 45° and 46° of north latitude, and came upon the head waters of the Cooscootske, and followed that river to its junction with the Lewis or Snake river, and then proceeded by water to the Pacific ocean at the mouth of Columbia river, wintered upon the south side of the bay, and early the following spring returned to the mountains by the same route which they pursued on their outward journey. All other persons who have published any history of their travels beyond the mountains, were persons engaged in the fur trade, and many of their observations upon different sections of the country are just, but they are deficient in statistical information, and their productions are mostly confined to personal adventures, anecdotes of battles with Blackfeet or Crow Indians, starvation, and hair-breadth escapes. Justice to the public requires fidelity in the historian and traveler. It is not our business to originate facts, but to record them. The license given to poets, or writers of romance, cannot be tolerated


here, and no flights of a lively imagination, or graphic powers in relating passing occurrences, can atone for impressions which are not in accordance with truth. While it was the leading object to become acquainted with the situation of the remote Indian tribes, and their disposition in regard to teachers of christianity, yet a careful attention was given to the geography of the country, its productions; the climate and seasons, animals, lakes, rivers, and smaller fountains ; forests and prairies, mountains and valleys, its, mineral and geological structure, and all the various aspects of its physical condition. The country here described is sui generis ; every thing is formed on a large scale. Its lofty and perpetual snow-topped mountains rising 20,000 feet or more, the trees of the forest, the wide extended prairies, plants of enormous growth, and the results of volcanic agency which you meet in almost every direction, render the whole an ever increasing scene of interest to the traveler ; and if any statements appear large, it is because the facts are so in themselves.

It has been an object in writing this volume to compress as much as possible the amount of information, instead of unnecessarily extending it, and the hope is indulged, that while these facts are perused, the desire may be awakened if it does not already exist, and if in existence, may be greatly increased, to benefit the original, the rightful owners, and, (with the exception of a few thousand fur traders scattered to every point of compass over this territory,) the sole occupants of this wide field of uncultivated nature.

The map which accompanies this work has been prepared with much labor and care; and though some minute


parts are omitted, it will be found to be far more accurate than any which has heretofore been published. In addition to surveys of my own, I have availed myself of those of gentlemen connected with the Hudson Bay Company, in parts which I did not visit, and am especially indebted to Vancouver and the labors of other explorers for much that I have delineated of the North-West coast of the Pacific ocean, and the Islands.

The accompanying engraving of the basaltic formation on the Columbia river, was taken for the purpose of explaining the geology, as mentioned on page two hundred and twenty-six, not, however, presenting the whole number of the different sections of basalt, amygdaloid, and breccia,, but a sufficient number to illustrate the subject.

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