Travels in the interior of America, in the years 1809, 1810, 1811.
by BRADBURY, John (1768-1823).
Liverpool:: Printed for the Author by Smith and Galway, 1817., 1817. 8vo. xii, -364 pp. With appendix of the Osage language; Oration Delivered by the Big Elk . . . ; Narrative . . . of the Expedition of Mr. Hunt. . . ; Description of the Missouri Territory; Remarks on the States of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with the Illinois and Western Territory. . . ; Catalogue of some of the more Rare or Valuable Plants . . . on the Missouri; [Letters]; Observations on the Nature of Animalcules, and Principles of Vegetable Physiology, with Errata slip; former rubber-stamps on title and rear diminished or erased. Modern half antique-style calf, marbled boards, extra-gilt spine, red leather gilt-stamped label, original paste-downs and end sheets preserved. Early ownership inscription, "Chas. Bradbury's, [date], 1818[?], Price bound 10/-. Near fine. RARE. FIRST EDITION. "A thorough, detailed description of travel along the Mississippi Valley, done with an eye toward settling in New Orleans. Considerable commentary on life in that part of America." Bradbury's account of exploration and collecting specimens around the Missouri River: "Living in Manchester in 1808. . . he applied to the trustees of the Liverpool Botanic Garden for funding to visit America and collect plants. His sponsors were also interested in having Bradbury work to improve the supply of cotton from America to Liverpool. Upon arrival in the Unites States in 1809, Bradbury met with Thomas Jefferson who recommended that instead of setting up his base of operation in New Orleans, Bradbury should go to St. Louis. Jefferson wrote to Meriwether Lewis on 16.8.09 introducing Bradbury, but by the time Bradbury reached St. Louis on 31.12.09 Lewis was dead. . . . In 1811 Bradbury and Nuttall joined the expedition of Wilson Price Hunt and other Astorians up the Missouri as far as the Arikara villages. . . " – Howgego. "After arriving safely in New Orleans, Bradbury dispatched his last collection of plants to Europe with the idea that he would soon follow them. Since his relationship with his Liverpool sponsors had dissolved, Bradbury sent his package to his son, John Leigh Bradbury, who mistakenly forwarded it to Liverpool. Unfortunately, before Bradbury could arrange passage home, the War of 1812 broke out, effectively ending all traffic across the Atlantic and stranding him in American until 1816. Bradbury appears to have waited out the war in New York, all the while anxiously waiting for the moment of his return to England and reunion with his family and the botanical findings that he planned to publish. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, William Roscoe was dividing Bradbury's plants among several members of the Linnaean Society. Through this process, Bradbury's discoveries came to the attention of another botanist, Frederick Pursh (1774-1820), perhaps the most unscrupulous naturalist of the era. When he returned to England, sometime during 1816, Bradbury discovered that Pursh had already published his plants in a book entitled Flora Americae Septentrionalis (1814). . . . Though unable to publish a book on his plants, Bradbury did manage to publish his Travels in London during August 1817. – Daniel Patterson, ?Roger Thompson, ?J. Scott Bryson, Early American Nature Writers: A Biographical Encyclopedia, 2008, pp. 70-75. SOURCES: Waldman, Carl and Alan Wexler. "Bradbury, John, 1768-1823." In Who Was Who in World Exploration. New York: Facts on File, 1992; "Bradbury, John." In The New Encyclopedia of the American West, edited by Howard R. Lamar, 122. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998; A Tribute to John Bradbury. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, 2000. (August 12, 2003); Yatskivych, George. Missouri's First Botanists. Conservation Commission of Missouri, 2002. (August 12, 2003). PROVENANCE: Though inscribed with the name of "Chas. Bradbury", there is no evidence of a familial tie here to John Bradbury, who produced eight children. Thus far I have not found the names of all the relations and none of those found are named "Charles." John's parents were Elizabeth and Edward Bradbury. John married Elizabeth Littisa Bradbury, and the names of the children were: Henry (1800-1870), Mary (1799-1856), John L. (1785-unknown), and five others not named in the sources checked. REFERENCES: Graff 383; Howes B695; Raymond John Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration 1800 to 1850, (2004), p. 66; Streeter Sale 1779; Wagner-Camp-Becker 14:1. See: Christopher G. Bates (ed.), The Early Republic and Antebellum America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, Routledge, (2010), p. 338; Eric Jay Dolin, Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America, W. W. Norton, 2011; Thomas Nuttall, A Journal of Travels Into the Arkansas Territory During the Year 1819. Reprinted by University of Oklahoma Press, 1980 (Inventory #: LV2303)
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