The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 272
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
now familiar natural phenomena of the West. As a result of
his education, his keen power of observation and his gift of
vivid expression, Ferris wrote an interesting as well as a sig-
In editing the diary, Phillips has assisted the reader by care-
fully noting geographical locations casually mentioned in the
narrative, but unfortunately he has grouped the Ferris chapters
into sections and used captions that are sometimes misleading.
On the whole, the editing and notes are worthy of the original
diary, and the analytical index is an adequate and workable
guide. Phillips, in obtaining his biographical information con-
cerning Ferris, had the assistance of many individuals to whom
he makes acknowledgment in his preface. As a phase of his
editorial work, he has assimilated and unified the results of
their painstaking and extensive research. A survey of Rocky
Mountain exploration and fur trade between 1806 and 1830 is
inserted as an introduction to the Ferris narrative. This is a
brief, readable account in which the editor shows his familiarity
with the standard sources.
Included in the book is a hitherto unpublished "Map of the
Northwest Fur Country" drawn by Ferris in 1836, in which
he delineates the region that he visited and thereby avoids many
fundamental errors made by earlier cartographers. Walter Mc-
Causland of Buffalo, New York, discovered the Ferris map.
Phillips has written a detailed evaluation of it, stating that
no other known map of this region drawn during "the early
nineteenth century can compare with it in comprehensive accu-
racy." The reviewer notes that Ferris understood the orography
of the Continental Divide in the vicinity of Yellowstone Lake
and the Three Tetons more clearly than did recognized map
makers thirty years later.
The supplementary writings of Ferris contained in this
volume were first published either in the Western Literary
Messenger or the Dallas Herald. They are, with the exception
of two short poems, for the most part rewritten descriptive
passages from the diary.
The editor and publisher have made generally available an
interesting portion of the history of the fur trade and the
W. TURRENTINE JACKSON.
The University of California, Los Angeles.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/295/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.