Unusual 19th Century Literature and<br>Americana from Ken Leach
For those interested in early (Lewis and Clark era) travels in the American West, here’s a copy of the 1847 Cincinnati first edition of David Coyner’s The Lost Trappers: a Collection of Interesting Scenes and Events in the Rocky Mountains… According to Wright Howes, it was based on the lost journal of Captain Ezekiel Williams, who led a group of trappers including members of the Lewis and Clark expedition from St. Louis into the Rockies. Of the twenty, fifteen were killed by Commanches, one died, one deserted to the Crow Indians, two (Workman and Spencer) managed to hook up with Spanish traders who took them to California, while Williams stumbled across the Missouri River and made his way back to St. Louis. In his bibliography, “Usiana,” Howes describes this as a “thrilling narrative, but not of unquestioned veracity.” However, when he had a copy to sell, Howes expanded on this to say “The authenticity of this narrative has been questioned; however, the unknown editor clearly states that his information was derived from sources other than Williams’ Journal, hence inaccuracies do not necessarily impugn the Journal; but even admitting that the Journal is mythical, it is evident that much of the story could have come from Williams only, the presumption then remains that he must at least have been interviewed.” See the Americana Exchange Database. Item 38. $350.
Ken Leach may be reached at 802-257-7918.