DescriptionEdwin James. Account of the Expedition From Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, Performed in the Years 1819, 1820. By Order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, Under the Command of Maj. S. H. Long, of the U. S. Top. Engineers. Compiled from the Notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and Other Gentlemen of the Party. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1823.
First British edition. Three octavo volumes, complete. vii, 344; vii, 356; vii, 347 pages. Illustrations. Folding map. Fold-out Indian battle map (color). Fold-out geographical chart. Two frontispieces (one in color).
Full polished calf with covers bordered in gilt, spines decoratively tooled in gilt with burgundy and black morocco gilt lettering labels, turn-ins stamped in blind. Marbled endpapers. Light wear to edges and extremities. Volume I cracked at first signature. Discoloration to fore-edge of Volume I. Bookplates in each volume. The folding map splitting along some folds. The word "Portico" is rubber stamped on maps, title-pages, and two of the Table of Contents pages. A handsome, tight set, in very good condition.
"Notable government expedition (commanded by Maj. Stephen H. Long), supplementing earlier discoveries of Pike and of Lewis and Clark, and pronouncing the plains region as nothing but a desert, incapable of cultivation!" (Howes J41) The expedition across the Great Plains from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains was the first expedition to include artists who provided an important visual record. The expedition resulted in the first detailed mapping of the area which Long famously described as "The Great American Desert."
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