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    Description

    First Edition of One of the
    Most Important Early Western Expeditions

    Edwin James. Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819, and '20, by order of The Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Sec'y of War: under the Command of Major Stephen H. Long. From the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and Other Gentlemen of the Exploring Party. Compiled by Edwin James, Botanist and Geologist for the the Expedition. In Two Vols. With an Atlas. Vol. I [-II]. Philadelphia: H. C. Carey & Lea, [1822]-1823. First edition. Together three volumes: two octavo text volumes (8.75 x 5.375 inches; 221 x 137 mm. and 8.75 x 5.25 inches; 222 x 134 mm.), plus one large quarto atlas volume (11.25 x 9.125 inches; 288 x 234 mm.). [2, title and deposit notice], [1, dedication], [1, "Corrections"], 5 (Preliminary Notice), [1, blank], [2, contents], 503, [1, blank]; [2, title], [2, contents], [2, supplementary chapters (verso blank)], 442, xcviii. Atlas volume complete with eleven engraved plates and maps, including two double-page maps after S. H. Long by Young & Delleker; one double-page plate of geological cross-sections; and eight plates (one hand-colored) engraved by C. G. Childs (two), Lawson (one), F. Kearney (two), W. Hay (one), Young & Delleker (one), after S. Seymour (six), T. R. Peale (one), and one unassigned. All plates mounted on guards; final folding geological plate affixed to following blank leaf. The text volumes are dated 1823, the atlas 1822. Appendix in Volume II, pages [i]-xcviii at end.

    Text volumes bound in contemporary polished sprinkled calf. Smooth spines divided into compartments by decorative gilt bands and two black leather gilt lettering labels. Bindings rubbed. Volume I spine has been inexpertly repaired with a heavy layer of glue, especially at head of spine; front joint still barely holding, and portion of spine pulling away, with horizontal tears. Binding rubbed and scuffed, with a few areas of surface loss on rear cover; boards exposed at corners and board edges; top quarter-inch of spine lost; hinges cracked. Some of the glue used to repair the spine has dripped onto the fore-edge, causing several leaves to become adhered to one another. Short (one-half-inch) tear to lower blank margin of title leaf; three-eighth-inch tear to outer margin of pages 109/110; a few additional short marginal tears or paper flaws; a few corners torn away; first leaf of "Preliminary Notice" (pages [1]/2]) becoming detached. Volume II joints cracked and repaired; small dark stain to lower corner of front cover, and front endpapers, front flyleaf, title, contents leaf, supplementary chapters leaf, and faintly through page 24. Book label removed from front pastedown of each volume. Foxing and reverse foxing throughout both volumes; some dampstaining. A few pencil markings and annotations; two words ("clitoris" and "labia") inked out on page 187 of Volume II.

    Atlas volume bound in contemporary quarter sheep over marbled paper-covered boards; smooth spine. Binding worn, with several areas of surface loss; joints and hinges cracked; rear board held by two threads; boards exposed at corners and board edges; endpapers quite foxed; book label removed from rear pastedown. Endpapers and text leaves quite foxed and browned. Some mostly marginal foxing, soiling, and staining. Large piece torn from outer blank portion of title (approximately 4.25 x 1.625 inches at widest point); slight vertical crease to title leaf and "List of Engravings" leaf due to the outermost fold of the first map. Folding maps with short splits at folds; first folding map with three-quarter-inch tear from lower edge entering image, but just affecting rule borders; a few plates with short marginal tears. Indian Record and "Insulated Table lands" plates attached to preceding plate at guard, and three tiny edge tears; last two plates with slight vertical crease from following folding geological plate; geological plate with three-eighth-inch split at lower edge fold and vertical crease from folds. Title label mounted on front free endpaper. Early ink ownership inscription at head of title: "John Weeks Moore -- / Author of Moore's / Encyclopedia of Music." Newspaper clipping laid in.

    A good copy, with the plates generally very good condition. The three volumes individually chemised and housed together in a quarter red morocco over maroon cloth slipcase. Slipcase spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt with five raised bands.

    Bradford 2637; Graff 2188; Hill 877; Howes J41; Pilling, Proof-sheets, 1958; Sabin 35682; Streeter 1783; Wagner-Camp-Becker 25:1; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, 353, and II, page 80.


    More Information:

    "The account of Long's expedition ranks alongside those of Lewis and Clark and Zebulon Pike as one of the three great classics of Western exploration. This official account was compiled by Edwin James [1797-1861], a naturalist and physician to the expedition. Major Stephen Harriman Long (1784-1864), a Dartmouth graduate and U.S. Army engineer, was sent to explore the western portions of the Louisiana Purchase and the Rocky Mountains. The expedition discovered and climbed several peaks, including Long's Peak, and explored the regions of the Platte and Arkansas River Valleys. This work, with its fine atlas, is a most valuable contribution to geographical and ethnographical literature" (Hill).

    "The expedition consisted of Major Long, the commander; Captain J. R. Bell, official recorder; Thomas Say, zoologist; Edwin James, botanist, geologist, and surgeon; Titian R. Peale, assistant naturalist; Samuel Seymour, landscape painter; a corporal with six army privates, and assorted interpreters, hunters, and baggage men. Edwin James subsequently based his compilation upon his own records, the brief geological notes of Major Long, and the early journals of Thomas Say (his later journals and other manuscripts were lost before the end of the journey). Captain Bell's journal was not available to James, but it is heavily quoted in the published report by the Reverend Jedidiah Morse, our number 21b. The Bell journal disappeared for more than a century but is now in the library at Stanford University" (Wagner-Camp-Becker, pages 96-97).

    "In all of Major Long's explorations, the natives of the territories through which he passed received the largest share of his attention. This will be evident from an examination of the table of contents of each volume. Chapters vi. to xii. of Vol. I. are entitled: 'Account of the Konza nation-Councils with the Otois, Missouries, Ioways, Pawnees,' &c.-Sioux & Omahaw Indians. Account of the Omahaws, Manners, Customs & Religious Rites. History of Blackbird their principal chief. Of their Marriage, Infancy & Old Age, Diseases, Medical Knowledge, Vices, Ideas of God, Superstition and expiatory Tortures. Vol. II.: The subject of Mourning for the deceased. War, Legend, and Language is pursued in chapters i. to iv. Chapter xii.
    An account of the Kaskasias. A great part of Volume III. is devoted to observations upon the Shienne, Arapaho, Pawnee, and other tribes of the Plains. Of the eight plates seven are illustrative of Indian life and manners" (Field 948, describing the 1823 London edition).

    The maps are titled: "Country drained by the Mississippi, Eastern Section" and "Country drained by the Mississippi, Western Section." They are reproduced in Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, Volume II, with the concluding comment: "Long's map...represented a distinct step forward...Its use of 'Great American Desert' for the high plains country made for public apprehension over a generation...But the map cleared up a number of geographical errors...And the midmountain country of the easterly front wall of the Rockies was now correctly mapped from Long's Peak to the Spanish Peaks, with the country to the east correctly shown."

    The plates are titled: "War Dance in the Interior of a Konza Lodge;" "Oto Council;" "View of the Rocky Mountains on the Platte 50 miles from their Base;" "View of the Castle Rock on a Branch of the Arkansa at the Base of the Rocky Mountains;" "Indian Record of a Battle between the Pawnees and Konzas, as delineated on a Bison Robe" (hand-colored); "Moveable Skin Lodges of the Kaskaias;" "Oto Encampment;" and "View of the insulated table lands at the base of the Rocky Mountains." The final folding plate of geological sections has titles: "Vertical Section on the Parallel of Latitude 41 degrees North" and Vertical Section on the Parallel of Latitude 35 degrees North."

    John Weeks Moore (1807-1889) was an editor of musical publications. His Complete Encyclopædia of Music, Elementary, Technical, Historical, Biographical, Vocal, and Instrumental was published in 1854.



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