Description

    [Commodore M[atthew] C[albraith] Perry]. Francis L. Hawks. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan... Washington: Nicholson, 1856. First edition, House issue. With the suppressed plate.


    More Information:

    Three quarto volumes. xvii, [1, errata], 537; [8], 414, [4], [14], xi, [1, blank], [1, list of charts]; xliii, [1, blank], 705 pp. Volume I with six maps or charts (of which two are folding) and ninety lithographic plates (most tinted), including three colored facsimiles of Japanese paintings (of which two are folding) and the rare "Public Bath at Simoda" plate at p. 408 (not listed in the list of plates). Volume II with two (out of sixteen) folding maps or charts, sixteen meteorological diagrams with color, and a total of twenty-six lithographic plates, (lacking two ichthyological plates and one ornithological plate). Both Volumes I and II with numerous woodcuts in text. Volume III with 352 paginated full-page astronomical charts, accompanied by 352 pp. of explanatory text.  Volume III has title: United States Japan Expedition. Observations on the Zodiacal Light, from April 2, 1853, to April 22, 1855, Made chiefly on board the United States steam-frigate Mississippi during her late cruise in eastern seas, and her voyage homeward: with conclusions from the data thus obtained; by Rev. George Jones.  Bound in twentieth-century half brown calf over marbled boards, spines ruled and lettered in gilt. Some edgewear to bindings, title-page of volume I restored at upper corner (no loss of text), one chart and one plate bound upside-down, in volume II, one of the conchological plates has a short tear, in volume III page 279 has a chip at the fore-edge with minor loss. Volume III has a gift inscription on the title-page from Robert McClelland, Governor of Michigan (from 1852-1853) and Secretary of the Interior under Franklin Pierce (from 1853-1857). Overall, a good set. 

    "In March, 1852, Commodore Perry was appointed commander of a naval expedition to be sent to Japan to induce their government to establish diplomatic relations with the United States. Perry felt that the only way to force Japan to cease her isolationist foreign policy would be through exhibiting superior naval forces.[T]he Japanese were eventually forced to accept a treaty that stipulated better treatment of shipwrecked seamen and permitted American ships to obtain fuel and supplies at two Japanese ports, Hakadate and Shimoda. The most important result, however, was that the visit contributed to the collapse of the feudal regime and to the modernization of Japan. Hawks, the editor of this work, was rector of Calvary Church, New York City. The Commodore, underrating his literary powers, declined to write the official report of the expedition. Instead, Hawks was engaged as editor and the two worked together in preparing this report using a number of journals written by men on the voyage" (Hill).  "Although this expedition was not projected nor organized for scientific purposes, the artist, William Heine, made many valuable zoological collections at various points in the course of the voyage. The birds are described in Vol. II, pp. 219-48, by John Cassin, with six colored illustrations." (McGill/Wood). 

    Copenhagen/Anker 93. Hill I, pp. 230-231. McGill/Wood, p. 517. Nissen, ZBI, 3132. Sabin 30968.                 



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    10th Wednesday
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