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The Lewis and Clark Expedition

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. 5 plates; second impression of the large folding map. Original printed boards, backed in calf at an early date. Boards quite worn, foxed. Very rare in original condition

FIRST EDITION. “The definitive account of the most important exploration of the North American continent” (Wagner-Camp-Becker). This book 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).

Many of the 1417 copies printed were issued without the map, which was available at a premium, and the map has disappeared from others. This set is accompanied by the second impression of the map, handsomely framed. The map was printed from the original copper plate in 1979 for the American Philosophical Society in an edition of 160 copies on fine rag paper. We understand that the plate suffered and that no further printings will be made. Engraved from Clark’s manuscript, this map showing the 8000-mile trek is one of the greatest landmarks American cartographic history. “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).

Sets of Lewis and Clark in the original printed boards, untrimmed, are very scarce.

Printing and the Mind of Man 272. Grolier 100 American Books 30.

$40,000