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
by Lewis, Meriwether, and William Clark
Philadelphia: J. Maxwell for Bradford & Inskeep and Abm. H. Inskeep, 1814. Two volumes. xxviii,470; ix,522pp. plus five maps and charts. Large folding map with the western third of the sheet present, the rest supplied in excellent facsimile. Expertly bound to style in tree calf, gilt, spines gilt, black morocco labels. Browning to text as usual. Very good. Provenance: Robert Banning (signature on titlepage). The first edition of the "definitive account of the most important exploration of the North American continent" (Wagner-Camp). A cornerstone of Western Americana. The book describes the Government-backed expedition to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase undertaken from 1804 to 1806 by ascending the Missouri River to its source, crossing the Rocky Mountains, and reaching the Pacific Ocean. In total, the expedition covered some eight thousand miles in slightly more than twenty-eight months. Lewis and Clark brought back the first reliable information about much of the area they traversed, made contact with the Indian inhabitants as a prelude to the expansion of the fur trade, and advanced by a quantum leap the geographical knowledge of the continent. The large folding map of the West was not issued with all copies, and in fact was priced separately and cost almost as much as the book itself. This official account of the expedition is as much a landmark in Americana as the trip itself. The narrative has been reprinted many times and remains a perennial American bestseller. The observations in the text make it an essential work of American natural history, ethnography and science. It is the first great U.S. government expedition, the first book on the Rocky Mountain West, and a host of other firsts. It is among the most famous American books. WAGNER-CAMP 13:1. PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN 272. GROLIER AMERICAN 100, 30. HOWES L317. GRAFF 2477. TWENEY 89, 44. SABIN 40828. CHURCH 1309. FIELD 928. STREETER SALE 1777. STREETER, AMERICANA BEGINNINGS 52. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 31024.
(Inventory #: WRCAM3321DD)
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