The Most Important Expedition in Western ExplorationMeriwether Lewis and William Clark. Travels to the Source of the Missouri River and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean. Performed by Order of the Government of the United States, in the Years 1804, 1805, and 1806. By Captains Lewis and Clarke [sic]. Published from the Official Report...London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1814. First English edition. Quarto. xxiv, -663, [1 publisher's ad] pages. Large folding map "A Map of Lewis and Clark's Track Across the Western Portion of North America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean" (approximately 26" x 13") and 5 copper-engraved charts on three sheets. Contemporary leather binding, with modern re-backed spine. Titles stamped in gilt on a morocco spine label. Replaced endpapers. The front board has some areas of repair along the lower edge and corner; map with splits in the folds and some old tape repairs; title page with a repaired hole; plates with light scattered foxing, one with a bit of damp; old photographic portrait mounted to front pastedown with pencil caption on the front free endpaper; internally very clean and in very good condition.
The first edition was published in Philadelphia in 1814. This edition, the first English edition, was edited by Thomas Rees from the American sheets sent to him. Apart from the omission of the American preface, the appendix, and Jefferson's "Life of Captain Lewis," Rees states that, "the only liberty that has been taken with the language, has been merely the correction of a few inadvertent grammatical or typographical errors" (page xiv). The English edition's preface by Rees does, however, include Jefferson's "Message on the Subject of this Expedition" of 19 February 1806 (pages viii-ix) and an extract from Lewis's "Fort Mandan" letter to Jefferson (pages x-xii).
References: Graff 2480 (American edition); Howes L317; Sabin 40829; Streeter 3128; Wagner-Camp 13:2.
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