The Papers Relative To The Enterprise Were Accordingly Submitted
To My Inspection.
Among them were journals and letters narrating
expeditions by sea, and journeys to and fro across the Rocky
Mountains by routes before untravelled, together with documents
illustrative of savage and colonial life on the borders of the
With such material in hand, I undertook the work. The
trouble of rummaging among business papers, and of collecting and
collating facts from amidst tedious and commonplace details, was
spared me by my nephew, Pierre M. Irving, who acted as my
pioneer, and to whom I am greatly indebted for smoothing my path
and lightening my labors.
As the journals, on which I chiefly depended, had been kept by
men of business, intent upon the main object of the enterprise,
and but little versed in science, or curious about matters not
immediately bearing upon their interest, and as they were written
often in moments of fatigue or hurry, amid the inconveniences of
wild encampments, they were often meagre in their details,
furnishing hints to provoke rather than narratives to satisfy
inquiry. I have, therefore, availed myself occasionally of
collateral lights supplied by the published journals of other
travellers who have visited the scenes described: such as Messrs.
Lewis and Clarke, Bradbury, Breckenridge, Long, Franchere, and
Ross Cox, and make a general acknowledgment of aid received from
The work I here present to the public is necessarily of a
rambling and somewhat disjointed nature, comprising various
expeditions and adventures by land and sea.
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