"A Very Important and Rare Work on the
Urey Lisiansky (Iurii Fedorovich Lisianskii). A Voyage
Round the World, in The Years 1803, 4, 5, & 6; performed, by
Order of His Imperial Majesty Alexander the First, Emperor of
Russia, in the Ship Neva, by Urrey Lisiansky,
Captain in the Russian navy, and Knight of the orders of Ast.
George and St. Vladimer [sic]. London: Printed for John
Booth...and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown...by S.
Hamilton, Weybridge, Surrey, 1814.
History of Alaska in General and
Sitka in Particular" (Lada-Mocarski)
First edition in English (first published in Russian in two volumes, at St. Petersburg, 1812). Large quarto (10.625 x 8.375 inches; 271 x 213 mm.). xxi, [1, blank], [1, "List of the Officers and Seamen belong to the Ship Neva"], [1, "Directions to the Binder" and "Errata"], 388 pages. Line-and-stipple engraved frontispiece portrait of the author "Drawn, & Engraved by Cardine;" two superb hand-colored aquatint views by I. Clark from drawings by the author, "Harbour of St. Paul in the Island of Cadiack [Kodiak]" (facing page 191), and "Harbour of New Archangel in Sitca [Sitka] or Norfolk Sound" (facing page 218); and three engraved plates of artifacts, etc. by Smith. Eight hand-colored engraved charts (three folding) "Surveyed by Captain Lisiansky" and "Engraved under the Direction of Mr. Arrowsmith," including a large folding "Chart of the World Shewing the Track of the Neva in the Years 1803 4. 5. 6." The plates and none-folding charts with tissue guards.
Contemporary sprinkled calf, rebacked. Covers with central gilt stamp of The Society of Writers to the Signet (Signet Library Edinburgh, Stamp 4: "Arms Quarterly 1 and 4. Scotland 2. England 3. Ireland on an escutcheon of pretence the arms of Hanover ensigned with an imperial crown, Legend THE SOCIETY OF WRITERS TO THE SIGNET, see University of Toronto Libraries, British Armorial Bindings, at https://armorial.library.utoronto.ca/stamps/SIG001_s4). Spine ruled in blind in compartments, with five raised bands and reddish-orange leather gilt lettering label; board edges decoratively tooled in blind; marbled endpapers. Binding rubbed and worn, with a few small areas of surface loss on front cover and larger areas of loss on rear cover due to biopredation; hinges repaired; endpapers browned at the edges from turn-ins. Occasional foxing and spotting (including to frontispiece portrait); offsetting and slight discoloration to both charts and text. Marginal staining to S1-S4 (pages 129-136); staining in the text on pages 262 and 263; small hole lower corner of 2R4 (pages 311/312); pages 339/340 and 341/342 adhered to one another. A very good copy, larger than the Streeter copy (which measures 262 x 212 mm.). Early ink ownership inscription on front free endpaper: "Ex lib: / Bibl. Scribar: Sig: Reg: / 1815 / [flourish]." Blue paper shelf label, covering an earlier ink shelfmark, on front pastedown, with printed shelfmark ("35 : :") crossed out, and "25 : h : 22" written in pencil beneath it.
Laid in is an Autograph Note Signed on printed letterhead of Robert Lynn Batts Tobin [1934-200] / San Antonio: "Gilbert: / Warren claims that this is 'tres / recherché.' I hope that he is right! / To say that I never spent a / more marvelous two weeks than those in the Islands would / be a serious understatement. I / never felt better, ate better / or was better entertained. My Thanks go to you and [Maaken?] / As always, / R. L. B. T. / If he wasn't [right], ship it back to him for an exchange. We spent hours / discussing it, but I don't really / trust one Warren Howell."
Abbey, Travel, 4; Arctic Bibliography 10209; Forbes 443; Graff 2506; Hill 1026; Howes L372; Judd 110; Kroepelien 740; Pilling, Proof-Sheets, 2294; Sabin 41416; Streeter 3507; Wickersham 6261. See Lada-Mocarski 68 (describing the 1812 first Russian edition).
"A companion account to the Kruzenshtern [or Krusenstern] narrative of the first Russian circumnavigation...The Neva and the Nadezhda left Kronstadt and remained together until their stop at Hawaii in 1804, at which point Lisianskii [or Lisiansky, 1772-1837] proceeded directly to Kodiak, where he confirmed reports of the destruction of the settlement at Sitka by Kolosh Indians. Lisianskii sailed into Baranov [Sitka], repulsed the Indians, and took possession of a new hill, which he named New Archangel (and which is illustrated in this account). He spent more than a year at both Sitka and Kodiak, and the text proves him to have been a keen observer. His account of the Marquesas differs from that of Kruzenshtern. Lada-Mocarski calls this work 'a very important and rare work on the history of Alaska in general and Sitka in particular.' The Neva arrived at Hawaii June 8 and departed June 20, 1804, and Lisianskii's account is brief but includes visits to Kealakekua Bay and to Waimea, Kauai. The appendix of this edition contains Pacific, Northwest Coast, and Alaskan vocabularies, including 'A Vocabulary of the language of Noocahiva,' pages -325, and 'The language of the Sandwich Islands,' pages 326-328. The colored views Harbour of St. Paul, in the Island of Cadiack (15.3 x 23 cm), page 191, and Harbour of New Archangel in Sitca [sic] or Norfolk Sound (15.5 x 23 cm), page 218, both dated March 1814, are particularly beautiful" (Forbes).
"Originally published in Russian in St. Petersburg, 1812, this English translation of 1814 is by the author. Lisiankskii, deputy commander of Kruzenshtern's expedition around the world, received word of the massacre at Sitka upon reaching Kodiak in 1804. The Kolosh Indians had attacked the settlement of the Russian-American Company and slaughtered almost the entire garrison. Lisianskii laid siege to the Kolosh stronghold and ultimately drove the Indians into the back country. Lisianskii, commanding the Neva, followed a different route from Kuzenshtern, in the Nadezhda, the two ships separating at the Hawaiian Islands. He called at Easter Island and the Marquesas, and discovered Lisianski Island in the Hawaiian chain. Appended are vocabularies of the language of Nuku Hiva, the Hawaiian Islands, the Islands of Kodiak and Unalaska, the Bay of Kenai, and Sitka Sound" (Hill).
The excellent hand-colored charts are from Lisiansky's own surveys, and in addition to the large folding "Chart of the World Shewing the Track of the Neva in the Years 1803 4. 5. 6." (facing page ), include detailed charts of the coastline and islands off Alaska: "Harbour of St. Catherine 1804" (facing page 40); "Washington Islands 1804" (facing page 61); "Harbour of St. Paul. 1805" (facing page 144); "Island of Cadiack [Kodiak] with its Environs 1805" (facing page 169); "Chart of the Coast from Behrings Bay to Sea Otter Bay, with different Settlements of the Natives" (facing page 221); "Sitca [Sitka] or Norfolk Sound Surveyed by Capt. Lisiansky 1805" (facing page 235); and "Lisiansky's Isle 1805" (facing page 256).
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