James W. Abert (1820-1897). Abert was a West Point graduate and a classmate of Ulysses S. Grant. He was part of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers. Abert explored the Canadian River region, which includes Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. He started as part of the third expedition of John Charles Fremont but was then given orders to explore the Canadian River region. While doing this he kept notes in a journal of the landscape, flora, and fauna, the Native Americans and their culture. Abert later taught at West Point from 1848 to 1850, then during the Civil War, he campaigned in the Shenandoah Valley. In 1864, he resigned from the army and became a patent examiner. Later he taught English literature at the University of Missouri.
John Gavin. California historian, translator, and editor.
The book was designed and printed by Lawton and Alfred Kennedy for John Howell. They printed 3000 copies. It is approximately 116 pages in length.
J. W. Abert’s travel diary of his journey from Fort Leavenworth to Bent’s Fort, then to Santa Fe and the Old and New Placers in New Mexico. He also relates his grueling journey from Santa Fe to Leavenworth in the mid-winter in which his party faces blizzards, hostile Indians and starvation. The book is illustrated with fifteen of Abert’s watercolors as well as two maps. There are appendices containing: 1) notes on animals, birds, and plants; 2) notes on minerals and fossils; and 3) a copy of Abert’s orders to survey New Mexico. The book has a glossary, references and an index.