• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 233

    LEWIS, Meriwether 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. London: J.G. Barnard for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1814.

    Price Realised  

    LEWIS, Meriwether 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. London: J.G. Barnard for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1814.

    4o (271 x 214 mm). Folding engraved map after Clark by S. Lewis, 5 other engraved maps and plans on 3 plates (a few minor tears and some light creasing to folding map, lacks half-title). Contemporary polished calf gilt (rebacked preserving original spine, upper cover detached, corners repaired). Provenance: William Young (bookplate); The Rt. Hon. Viscount Eccles (his sale Christie's New York, 18 November 1983, lot 173).

    FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF THE AUTHORISED ACCOUNT OF "THE MOST IMPORTANT WESTERN EXPLORATION" (Howes). Lewis and Clark had intended to publish their journals upon their return from the expedition of 1804-1806 -- indeed, Lewis even issued a prospectus for the work -- but the execution of their official duties impeded publication and it was further delayed by Lewis's death in 1809. Following this blow, Clark chose Nicholas Biddle to edit the text, which Biddle did with the assistance of Paul Allen, and the first edition was published in Philadelphia in 1814. The present, 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" (p. xiv). The English edition's preface by Rees does, however, include Jefferson's "Message on the Subject of this Expedition" of 19 February 1806 (pp. viii-ix) and an extract from Lewis's "Fort Mandan" letter of "17" [i.e. 7] April 1805 to Jefferson (pp. x-xii). Brunet III:1039; Field 929; Graff 2480; Hill 1018; Howes L-317; Lowndes p. 1354; Sabin 40829; Wagner-Camp 13.


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