Description

    The First Government Exploration
    of the Southwest

    Z[ebulon]. M[ontgomery]. Pike. An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and Through the Western Parts of Louisiana, to the Sources of the Arkansaw, Kans, La Platte, and Pierre Juan, Rivers; Performed by Order of the United States During the Years 1805, 1806, and 1807. And a Tour Through the Interior Parts of New Spain, When Conducted Through These Provinces, by Order of the Captain-General in the Year 1807. Philadelphia: Published by C. & A. Conrad & Company, 1810. First edition. Two octavo volumes. [1-8, 8 blank], [1]-105, [106 blank], [1-10], [107]-277, [278-80 blank], [2], [1]-[66], [1 table]-53, [54 blank], [1]-87, [88 blank]; map volume with three large folding charts and six maps, five of which are folding. Engraved portrait of Pike used as the frontispiece. Later Stikeman & Company three-quarter red morocco over marbled boards with titles and floral decoration stamped in gilt, six compartments between five raised bands. Marbled endpapers. Top edge of text volume gilt. Light shelf wear to the boards at the edges and joints; some offsetting from the frontispiece to the title page; light uniform toning to pages, otherwise a handsome set, in very good condition. Sold in a custom cloth slipcase.

    The book includes three foldout tables and five foldout maps (with an additional one page map bringing the total to six). Texas, while not specifically named, is seen in several of the maps (particularly A Map of the Internal Provinces of New Spain) and includes the settlements of San Antonio and El Paso (labeled simply as "Norte"). The maps were the first to describe the terrain of the Southwest based on first-hand accounts and are considered "milestones in the mapping of the American West" (Wheat). Pike's account was the first complete account of Texas presented in English. Zebulon Pike joined his father's regiment as a cadet in 1794, earning a commission as ensign in 1799 and a first lieutenancy later that year. In 1806, Pike led what is now known as "the Pike Expedition" from Fort Bellefontaine to explore the American Southwest. Ironically, Pike never successfully reached the summit of the famous peak in modern-day Colorado that bears his name. He made it as far as Mt. Rosa to the southeast of Pikes Peak, and gave up the ascent in waist-deep snow after having gone almost two days without food. Pike served with the 4th Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Tippecanoe and in New Orleans, and as inspector-general during the War of 1812. Pike commanded combat troops in the successful attack on York, Ontario, on April 27, 1813. He was killed by flying rocks and other debris when the retreating British garrison blew up its ammunition.

    References: Streeter Texas 1047; Jenkins 163; Field 1217; Howes P373; Graff 3290; Sabin 62836; Wagner-Camp 9:1; Wheat Transmississippi West 297-299.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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