Lewis and Clark in the original printed boards
LEWIS, MERIWETHER and WILLIAM CLARK. History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, performed during the years 1804-5-6
Philadelphia: Bradford & Inskeep, 1814
Two volumes. Large folding map. 5 smaller maps and charts. Original printed boards, rebacked in paper, printed paper boards worn. Foxed. Rare in original untrimmed condition. Half morocco case.
First edition, a rare untrimmed copy in the original boards. This is “the definitive account of the most important exploration of the North American continent” (Wagner- Camp-Becker).
Thomas Jefferson had begun the planning of a western expedition even before his inauguration in 1801. Early that year he appointed Meriwether Lewis as his secretary, in part, as he wrote the army officer, because of “your knowledge of the Western country.” Early in 1803 Jefferson proposed the expedition to Congress, and soon thereafter the Louisiana Purchase removed the major obstacles blocking not only the expedition, but also westward expansion. The resulting expedition, to the headwaters of the Missouri River, across the Rocky Mountains, and on to the Pacific Ocean, covered some 8000 miles in twenty-eight months.
Many of the 1417 copies printed were issued without the map, which was available at a premium, and the map has disappeared from others. Engraved from Clark’s manuscript, this map showing the 8000- mile trek is one of the greatest landmarks American cartography. “More accurate than any previous western map, it rapidly became the source for a new generation of western maps” (Schwartz and Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 227).
This official account of the expedition is “the most important of all overland narratives … American explorers had for the first time spanned the continental United States and driven the first wedge in the settlement of our new far western frontier” (Grolier 100 American Books).
Lewis and Clark in the original printed boards is a cornerstone for any library of American books.
Printing and the Mind of Man 272. Grolier 100 American Books 30.