The life and adventures of James P. Beckwourth, mountaineer, scout, and pioneer, and chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. With illustrations. Written from his own dictation, by T. D. Bonner. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, 1856. 19.4 x 12.3 cm (12mo), pp. [i-iii] iv-v [vi-vii] viii-xii  14-537 [538: blank] [539-540: ads], flyleaves at front and rear, inserted frontispiece, twelve other full-page wood-engraved illustrations in the text, publisher's decorated gray cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold and blind, yellow coated endpapers. First edition. Jim Beckwourth (c.1800-1866 or 1867) was an American mountain man, fur trader, and explorer. A mulatto born into slavery in Virginia, he was freed by his father (and master) and apprenticed to a blacksmith; later he moved to the American West, where as a fur trapper, he lived with the Crow Nation for years. Wagner-Camp notes that "After many years in the Rockies as a mountain man, Beckwourth journeyed west from New Mexico to California, arriving in 1844. Two years later, he came back to New Mexico with a drove of stolen horses. He returned to California, discovered the pass through the Sierra Nevada that still bears his name, and operated a hotel and trading post in Beckwourth Valley. Sometime after 1858 he returned to his old life in the Rockies. He testified in the Sand Creek investigation in 1865 and died in the following year." "Jim Beckwourth was known for many years on the frontier as a daring adventurer, and an unscrupulous savage, not less brutal and bloodthirsty than his Indian allies; but no frontiersman ever made the mistake of believing all he said" (Field). "Recent scholars seem to take a more charitable view of Beckwourth's veracity. The READER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE WEST finds the basic narrative to be true, and the story told in the spirit of the raconteur, with a permissible tale spinner's license" (Becker-Wagner-Camp). Cowan (1933), p. 41. Field 149. Graff 347. Howes B601. Sabin 4265. Streeter 2101. Wagner-Camp-Becker (1982) 272:1. Cloth worn at spine ends and corner tips, several stains on rear cover, scattered stains and foxing to text, a good copy. Provenance: Tiny embossed stamp of F. A. Crump, Bookseller, Louisville, [KY?], on the front free endpaper, early signature of John L. Henshaw on the front free endpaper, as well as a later address label of George J. Richards of Chadwicke, NY. (#157245).
No statement of printing.