We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • Powell Expedition Diary
    12mo, pocket diary, 158 pages of daily entries, plus blanks, 8 pages of notes, 2 small pencil maps, bound in original green flexible leather backed wraps, binding worn and rubbed, entries written in pencil and ink, the first few entries, written in pencil, are somewhat rubbed, but the remainder are generally in very good legible condition. The diary is accompanied by a 44 page circa mid-20th century typescript transcription.
    Rare and important diary kept by a member of John Wesley Powell’s 1868 Colorado Expedition, both diary and diarist survived the rigors of the expedition.   John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) explorer, geologist and anthropologist is celebrated for leading the first expedition through the canyons of the Colorado River and exploring the last unknown region in the continental United States – the canyon country. His epic expeditions down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon in 1869 and 1871-1872 were preceded by two expeditions to Colorado in 1867 and 1868 during which Powell made preparatory explorations. The expeditions of 1867 and 1868 were made up of parties of Powell’s Illinois Normal University students and relatives. The present diary, from the 1868 expedition, was kept by one of Powell’s students Rhodes C. Allen, who gathered ornithological specimens on the expedition.   Provenance: Allen’s diary was formerly in the personal collection of William Culp Darrah, author of Powell of the Colorado, (Princeton University Press, 1951). Darrah, in his book on Powell, notes that there were two diaries of expedition members, this one kept by Rhodes Allen and another by Lyle Durley.   Powell’s 1867 expedition laid the groundwork for his expedition the following year. “From Denver Powell’s party took a little used and difficult trail over the Rampart Range and into Bergen’s… more >