A HISTORY OF THE VOYAGES AND ADVENTURES OF JOHN VAN DELURE. GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF HIS BEING LEFT ON THE N.W. COAST OF AMERICA...
by [Van Delure, John]
Montpelier: Wright and Sibley, 1812. 96pp. 16mo. Contemporary half calf and boards. Moderate to heavy wear to extremities, slight edge wear. Faint worming in end matter. One leaf with lower outer corner torn away, affecting text. Contemporary ownership signature on front and rear free endpapers. Overall very good. In a half morocco box. First Vermont printing of this entertaining, albeit apocryphal, story of Indian captivity and travel in the Northwest, after its first appearance in Boston in 1788. Though the structure of the narrative changed throughout its many editions, the tale remained the same. The author, a Dutchman, departed Amsterdam for China in 1783 and proceeded from there aboard a trading vessel to the northwest coast of America to participate in the fur trade. After a surprise attack by local Indians, Van Delure and his companion were hauled six hundred miles overland to a large city built on an island. Rescued from certain death by the local sachem, Van Delure married the Indian chief's daughter and lived among them for two years. In 1787 he encountered three white men who had supposedly travelled up the Mississippi from New Orleans. One of the men was Alonso Decalves, to whom this narrative is sometimes attributed. His meeting with the three men rekindled a certain homesickness, prompting him to extol the virtues of the Christian way of life to his native bride. The narrative ends with the textbook conversion of his wife and her father, followed by an account of his voyage home. "The fictitious account which includes the narrative of the Indian captivity of John Vandelure, Vandeleur, Vandeluer, or Van Delure, passed through many editions under varying titles. In most cases these bear the pseudonym of Alonso Decalves...In others, Vandeleur, himself, is given as the author. The narrative is also included in the 'Narrative of a Voyage...from Amsterdam to China and from there to...North America,' which purports to have been written by James Van Leason or Vanleason" - Sabin. The present edition is among the rarest of this oft- reprinted narrative. OCLC locates only four copies. McCORISON 1394. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 27374. SABIN 98466. AYER, INDIAN CAPTIVITIES 130. STREETER SALE 4232. VAIL 1188. HOWES V24, "b." FIELD 1593. OCLC 10248784.
(Inventory #: WRCAM32975)
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