Among the Shoshones

Wilson, Elijah Nicholas ("Uncle Nick")

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Place Published: Salt Lake City, UT
Publisher: Skelton Publishing Company
Date Published: 1910
Edition: First edition
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: Fine
Book Id: 49018


222pp. Octavo [21 cm] in red cloth with decorations on spine and front cover embossed in yellow and black (variant colors of binding cloth are known to exist; no priority known). Very faint rubbing to extremities, front board corners just barely exposed, a few light stains to rear board (only visible from an oblique angle); rear inner hinge just starting, text is crisp and unmarked.


Autobiographical story of Elijah Nicholas Wilson, a Mormon boy on the wild western frontier. Wilson pursued many different occupations in his life, including Pony Express rider, stagecoach driver, trapper, rancher, and Indian agent. He spent time living with the Shoshone tribe, and was the 'adopted brother' of Chief Washakie. He was friendly towards the Native people, championed their causes, and spoke out against atrocities committed against them. This work has enjoyed consistent popularity for more than a century, and the edited, sanitized version is still in print today.This is a rare copy of the first edition, presumably suppressed by the Mormon Church. It contains an embittered account of how Wilson's fiancée was prevailed upon to become the second wife of an elderly polygamist (pp. 194-200). Allegedly only twenty copies of the unrevised first edition were issued; the remainder were destroyed prior to distribution. The text was purged of the offending section and the revised, sanitized book was issued in an otherwise almost identical format in the same year (1910).Wilson was also critical of LDS Church leaders' handling of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and of their handling of Indian affairs. Wilson, Wyoming was named in honor of him. Later revised by Howard R. Driggs and reissued as "The White Indian Boy: The Story of Uncle Nick Among the Shoshones."Flake 9909. Graff 4702. Howes W518.