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Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the - STANSBURY Howard PIERCE Franklin - 1852. [1278588]
1852 - (PIERCE, Franklin) STANSBURY, Howard. Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, Including a Reconnaissance of a New Route Through the Rocky Mountains. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1852. Octavo, original blindstamped brown cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $9500.First edition, first issue (official Senate issue), with folding map and 57 lithographic plates (34 tinted and three folding panoramas), of western scenes and zoological illustrations. This copy a very rare and desirable presidential association copy, inscribed on the front flyleaf by fourteenth president Franklin Pierce on the day he was elected President: "For Prof. Sanborn respects of Franklin Pierce""November 2d. 1852." Books signed by Pierce are quite scarce."In 1849, Stansbury was put in command of an exploring and surveying expedition to the Great Salt Lake region". and determined upon the exploration of a route to the settlements more direct than that by way of South Pass. Proceeding directly eastward, he traversed the course subsequently followed by the Overland State and, in the main, by the Union Pacific Railway; and though not the first to use it was the first to recommend its feasibility and to make it widely known. His report won immediate popularity in England as well as in the United States" (DAB). Stansbury's party, which included John Williams Gunnison, trekked for two years in the Rocky Mountains, exploring the Great Salt Lake and northward to Fort Hall in southern Idaho. The expedition was successful on a variety of fronts. Stansbury was the first to determine that the Great Salt Lake was the remnant of a much larger ancient fresh-water pluvial lake (Lake Bonneville) as well as tracing parts of the routes of the Overland Trail and portions of the Transcontinental Railroad.Perhaps most significant was Stansbury's time spent among the Mormons in Utah. When the party arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, Brigham Young and his Mormon followers greeted the party with caution, suspicious that the Army was intent on breaking up the new settlement. Stansbury met with Young, and assured the Mormon leader that the purpose of the expedition was purely scientific. Young, in turn, sent his personal secretary, Albert Carrington, to assist Stansbury's expedition. Lt. Gunnison would write the first major in-depth work discussing the Mormons; however, Stansbury's volume preceded Gunnison's and stands as the first significant published description of the Mormon settlements in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. In his introduction, Stansbury writes, "In what has been said respecting the Mormon community, I have endeavored frankly to present the impressions produced upon my mind by a somewhat intimate acquaintance of a year's duration with both rules and people," and discusses the practice of polygamy, stating, "the tie that binds a Mormon to his second, third, or fourth wife, is just as strong, sacred, and indissoluble, as that which unites him to his first". The recent acquittal of a Mormon Elder for shooting the seducer of one of his wives, on the ground that the act was one of justifiable homicide, fully corroborates the truth of this remark" (pp. 4-5). In the body of the report, Stansbury devotes numerous pages to describing the dynamics of the community established in Utah by Brigham Young and his followers.An issue of note to transpire between President Pierce and the Mormon church during his single term was the matter of Brigham Young's retention in the office of Governor. Pierce originally sought to replace Young with a Colonel Edward J. Steptoe, covertly sending the Colonel to Utah for that purpose. But upon his arrival Steptoe was so impressed with Young's handling of the office, and the immense loyalty of the populace toward him, that the Colonel joined the territories' few other "gentile" government appointees in lobbying for Young's retention in the office. There were one or two other not very seriou. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-11-30           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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