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Item #: OP2918-1211
A WESTERN JOURNEY WITH MR. EMERSON [Ralph Waldo Emerson] James Bradley Thayer 1884 1st ed. Paperback VG Scarce
By Thayer, James Bradley
Price: $75.00


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Detailed Product Description
Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1884, 1st edition. 141 pp. 'In the spring of 1871, I was a member of a party of twelve, including Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who went by railroad from Boston to California, and travelled there for several weeks. This little book presents some notes of that journey.' - From the book's introductory note. Original plain card-stock wrappers in the publisher's printed japanese-vellum french-fold cover. Very Good. This 1st edition is quite scarce. (This was the only edition until a reprint was issued in 1980.)

In the spring of 1871 Ralph Waldo Emerson traveled west with a party of eleven including Thayer. Though Emerson was sixty-eight years of age at the time, the group made the then-arduous journey to Yosemite. John Muir guided the party through the Mariposa Grove and urged Emerson to remain in Yosemite longer, but Emerson's companions discouraged a more lengthy stay. Thayer's account of the trip to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa big trees comprises pages 53-109, and is especially interesting for his observations of Muir, whom he referred to as 'M.' A portion of the narrative relating to Muir, as well as Muir's later recollections of Emerson's visit, appears in Samuel T. Farquhar, 'John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson in Yosemite: Gathered from Their Writings and Correspondence,' Sierra Club Bulletin, 19 (June 1934), pp. 48-55

James Bradley Thayer (1831-1902) was a Boston attorney, legal scholar, and professor at Harvard University. He had business dealings with Emerson and was one of a party of twelve who, with Emerson, went in a private Pullman car from Boston to California, and travelled there for several weeks, in 1871. Thayer wrote a number of diary-like letters to his wife while on the trip which later formed the basis for this account. This book also contains the letter that Thayer had written to the Boston 'Daily Advertiser' in which he attempts to clarify the response to a recent (1883) Boston lecture on Emerson given by Matthew Arnold.' - From a description by Riverrow Book Shop.

Thayer scrupulously recorded everything that came from the old sage's lips, including the circumstances of his meeting with Brigham Young, etc.

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