Notes: A classic tale of white pioneer settlement in Washington, by one of the founders of Lynden, Washington. The book was self published a few months before the author died, based on the journals she kept, starting during her overland crossing in 1853. The book remains in print today from the University of Nebraska's Bison Books imprint.
Bison Books describes her memoir thusly: "Phoebe Judson's account of the journey west is based on daily diary entries detailing her fear, excitement, and exhaustion. At the end of the trail, the Judsons encountered hardships aplenty, causing them to abandon a farm and business in Olympia before their arrival in the Nooksack Valley. During the Indian Wars they holed up in a fort at Claquato. In time, Phoebe overcame her fear of the Indians, learned the Chinook language, and won their friendship. All this is told in vivid detail by a woman of great dignity and charm whom readers will long remember. In a foreword, Susan Armitage, professor of history at Washington State University, calls A Pioneer's Search for an Ideal Home a 'classic pioneering account,' important for its woman's point of view."
Judson's memoir has always been scarce. A copy made $80 at Parke Bernet auction in 1966. PBA sold one in 2014 for $240. Neither copy had a dust jacket. Howes US-iana, J274 ("aa").
Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing). A very good hardcover copy in dark green cloth showing light shelfwear at the corners. There are spots in the lower margin of a few pages (an eating accident?) and pp. 224 and 225 are tanned from an old newspaper clipping (no longer present). The very scarce dust jacket is missing the lower three inches of the spine, now filled with Japanese paper. There is additional reinforcement at the folds and along the top edge. Still, very scarce in any kind of jacket.
Publication: Bellingham, WA: (the author), 1925.
Item No: #307735