THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


67 Edwin James 1797-1861
Journal
Manuscript, 3 volumes, 1820-1827
Naturalist and physician Edwin James joined the expedition of Major Stephen H. Long to the Rocky Mountains in May 1820 as the party's botanist, geologist and surgeon. The Long expedition, one of the United States government's most sweeping attempts to claim the frontier, began in 1819 and ended in 1820, plagued by illness, near-starvation and costly errors. The first two volumes of James's journal form a complete account of his journey from the East to the Rockies and back; they became a major source for his official history, Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains...(1823), which was widely unpopular for its exceptional scientific detail and critical view of the government's policies of expansion. The final volume of the journal was written primarily while he served as an army surgeon at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he became a student of Indian language and cultures.
Various funds

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