Foreword by Dr. William E. Foley
Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Central Missouri
“In By Honor and Right John C. Jackson creatively reconstructs Captain John McClallen’s excursion to the Pacific Northwest within the context of other western explorations such as Zebulon Pike, Lewis & Clark, and David Thompson. Jackson repeatedly challenges existing scholarship and conventional norms. He presents nuanced interpretations of what may have transpired and the motivations, challenges, and plausible repercussions these endeavors had upon the expansion of the United States.”
— Jay H. Buckley, department of history, Brigham Young University,
author of William Clark: Indian Diplomat and co-author of
By His Own Hand?: The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis
“John C. Jackson has rescued a sorely neglected figure in western history and tells the engaging story of Captain John McClallen, who headed the first commercial exploration of the Missouri River.... John C. Jackson's revealing biography of this man is a model of historical detective work.”
— W. Raymond Wood, professor emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia
The story of Captain John McClallen has long been neglected as a mere footnote to the history of the American West. But as historian John C. Jackson makes clear in this probing piece of historical detective work, McClallen played a crucial, if largely unrecognized, role in American western history.
This is the first full study of an enigmatic figure who undertook to represent the interests of the United States when there was no one else to do it and paid a tragic price for his initiative. Far from being an historical footnote, Jackson compellingly argues that McClallen deserves to be recognized as a national hero.
Jackson reconstructs the life and astonishing audacity of the first United States officer to follow the Lewis and Clark Expedition. With the original intent of opening up the Santa Fe Trail, McClallen was twice deflected from this task by circumstances beyond his control. Instead the mysterious traveler entered the Pacific Northwest, discovered a practicable route across the continent, and for a brief but crucial moment blocked British expansion of trade to the upper Columbia River.
As Jackson demonstrates with careful analysis and painstaking documentation, if McClallen had not taken the bold (and unauthorized) step of unilaterally declaring the United States right to the Pacific Northwest, British interests might have brought a stronger claim to the Columbia River and Pacific Slope south of the forty-ninth parallel.
For devotees of American Western history as well as mystery lovers, By Honor and Right will prove to be engrossing reading.
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
John C. Jackson is the author of five books on the history of the Pacific Northwest, including The Piikani Balckfeet: A Culture Under Siege and Jemmy Jock Bird: Marginal Man on the Blackfoot Frontier. He is the coauthor with Thomas Danisi of Meriwether Lewis.