Black Pioneer James P. Beckwourth Biography, First Edition

BONNER, T.D. The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856.

12mo (136 x 200 mm).  Frontispiece with 12 additional wood-engraved plates. (Internally clean). Original brown cloth with blindstamped boards and gilt spine titles (very good with mild rubbing to front board, mild edge wear and corner bumps, spine very slightly shaken). 

FIRST EDITION. James “Jim” Beckwourth (1798-1866) was born into slavery and freed by his white father and master. After apprenticing as a blacksmith, he became an early pioneer working as a fur trader and trapper, living with the Crow Nation for many years. He is considered the discoverer of Beckwourth Pass between present-day Reno, Nevada and Portola, California, and improved Beckwourth Trail which was followed by thousands of settlers to California in the Gold Rush years. Although some of the text is considered to be exaggerated, this biography which Beckwourth narrated to Bonner is a valuable account of the African American pioneer’s life as well as life among the Crow.


Very good with mild rubbing to front board, mild edge wear and corner bumps, spine very slightly shaken. Internally clean. Small dealer label on inside front board.

Estimate: $100 - $200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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