James Pattie’s West: The Dream and the Reality.
By Richard Bateman. Nor-man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984. Map. Illustrations. Notes. Index. 416 Pages. $12.95 Paper.
Since Sylvester Pattie was one of the first Anglo-Americans to visit San Diego, and since he died here, the Pattie expedition of the 1820s has always been of considerable interest to San Diegans. When you add to that the fact that the story of the Pattie enterprise and son James’ subsequent narrative is a rousing good western adventure yarn, then a good book on the subject cannot fail to be an exciting enterprise. Richard Bateman’s book, originally published as American Ecclesiastes: An Epic Journey through the Early American West, is certainly that. It is both a biography of the Patties, an account of the expedition west, and a running comment on the 1831 Personal Narrative and other sources. Well researched and colorfully written, this is both a major contribution to the scholarship of the topic and a popular biography of James Pattie. The University of Oklahoma Press has now reissued the book in a paperback edition, with the new title of James Pattie’s West: The Dream and the Reality.