Title History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark to the Sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed during the Years 1804-5-6. Volune One only
Book Condition Fair
Edition First Edition
Size 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
Publisher Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. Bradford and Inskeep 1814
Seller ID 007305
NOTE: This is Volume One only of two and consists of the text block plus later boards. Prepared for the press by Paul Allen, Esquire. Philadelphia. Published by Bradford and Inskeep, 1814. J. Maxwell, Printer. True first edition. One octavo volume, 9 x 5.75 inches. xxviii and 470 numbered pages [p. 89 not numbered]. Age-darkening and spotting to the preliminaries. Old stain, about 1 square inch, to the upper corners of the pages starting on the title page and disapperaing about half-way through the book. This copy lacking the spectacular folding map (the frontispiece of Volume I). That map was not inserted in all copies of the original but obviously had been in this copy inasmuch as there is a frontispiece map remant of about 4 square inches present. Title page with previous owner name in a faded ink hand, "J. H. Walker from [illegible] July 1910." This volume includes a "Life of Captain Lewis" by President Jefferson, who commissioned the expedition. Opposite p. 63 is a full-page, uncolored, engraved map, Fortification [aka Ancient Fortification on the Missouri River, opposite Bonhomme Island], the map with off-setting from the opposite page, otherwise very good. 18 x 11 cm., scale 1 to 17,000. The map shows remains of a fortification on the Missouri River. Opposite p. 261 is a full-page, uncolored, engraved map, The Falls and Portage, the map with off-setting from the opposite page, otherwise very good. 18 x 11 cm., scale 1 to 133,000. This map shows the falls along the upper Missouri along with the portage route (17 miles) used by the Corps of Discovery. Off-setting to all the pages, as is typical with this edition. Page v with a pasted-on clipping below the end of the preface and measuring about 5.75 x 2.5 inches. Clipping titled, "John Colter's Hell." Colter was one of the privates under Lewis and Clark. The fore- and bottom page edges bruised, as the volume had been issued in deckled format and the edges were compressed over time. Rated a Fair copy overall and worthy of conservation. "Most important of all overland narratives," and "the definitive account of the most important exploration of the North American continent" (Wagner-Camp). With thanks to PBA for the following commentary: "First edition of the official account of the most famous and most important expedition of exploration in U.S. history, a monumental undertaking executed with unbelievable skill and bravery forever embedded in the American consciousness. Derived from the journals of Lewis and Clark and other members of the expedition. Originally expected to be published shortly after the return of the expedition in 1806, the work was delayed by a number of circumstances, including Lewis's death in 1809, and Clark's various government appointments. Although Paul Allen is listed as the editor, the major work was actually done by Nicholas Biddle, a gifted young Philadelphia lawyer who was unable to complete the final portion of the work due to his election as a state legislator, and he enlisted Paul Allen for the task. Allen's major contribution, according to Cutright, was to induce Thomas Jefferson to write a biographical sketch of Captain Lewis in tribute to his former secretary and hero of the expedition who took his own life (some say he was murdered) four years before the publication of this history." Howes L317; Sabin 40828; WC 13; Wheat 316.