In 1853, with money in his pocket and elegant clothes in his saddlebags, a twenty-four-year-old New Englander of aristocratic Yankee stock toured the territories of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. The Canoe and the Saddle recounts Theodore Winthrop's Northwest tour. A novelized memoir of his travels, it became a bestseller when it was published shortly after the author's untimely death in the Civil War. This critical edition of Winthrop's work, the first in over half a century, offers readers the original text with a narrative overview of the nature and culture of the Pacific Northwest and reflections on the ecological and racial turmoil that gripped the region at the time. It also provides a fresh perspective on the aesthetic, historical, cultural, anthropological, social, and environmental contexts in which Winthrop wrote his sometimes disturbing, sometimes enlightening, and always riveting account. Whether offering portraits of Native American culture--in particular, commenting on the Chinook Jargon--making keen and often prescient observations on nature, or deploying transcendental, animist, or Hudson River School aesthetics (likely learned from his friend Frederick Church), Winthrop develops a clear and compelling picture of a time and place still resonant and relevant today.
Still a fairly remarkable tale, though, and one featuring lots of romantic naturalistic literary flourish, while remaining quite readable.
Also, in his "Tale of The Dalles", he recounts an Indian legend of what would become known as the great Bretz floods long before Bretz advanced his controversial theory of monumental ice age flooding that scoured the landscape of Eastern Washington.
... "A twenty-four-year-old New Englander of aristocratic Yankee stock toured the territories of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. A novelized memoir of his travels, it became a bestseller when it was published shortly after the author's untimely death in the Civil War." The author, Major Winthrop, was one of the first Union officers killed in the Civil War in 1861.
A novelization of the author's Northwest tour made in 1853, providing a vivid picture of the nature and culture of the pacific Northwest and descriptive conversations with the Chinook, Kallapooga, Haida Indians, among others. His narrative is told with considerable humor, and contains 4 pages of Chinook vocabulary. The second work, "Isthmiana, " was a sketch found among Winthrop's papers, a rapidly written journal of his travels in the Isthmus of Panama.
HOWES W584. PILLING 4182. GRAFF 4715. TWENEY 89, 86. SMITH 11130.