A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America
A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America
A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America
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A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America

GILBERT IMLAY, 1797

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A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America
Gilbert Imlay, 1797
IMLAY, Gilbert (1754-1828). A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America: containing a Succinct Account of its Soil, Climate, Natural History, Population, Agriculture, Manners and Customs. … the Third Edition, with Great Additions. London: J. Debrett, 1797.

Kingan-Streeter copy of the third and "most complete version of the work, in which form it was the most informative compilation on the West at the end of the 18th century, untrimmed in original boards" (Streeter). The present edition is expanded to include new information on the trans-Allegany frontier and "some of the best maps of the period" (Federal Hundred). It "stands with Carver as the most extensive and widely consulted description of the western country in this period" (Best of the West). Its contents were put together to promote settlement of the North American interior by Gilbert Imlay, an American diplomat in France who is also well-known for his affair with Mary Wollstonecraft which produced Mary Shelley's half-sister, Fanny Imlay. ESTC T55140; Federal Hundred 69; Field 747; Howes I-12; Sabin 34358; Streeter sale 1525 (this copy). See Best of the West 13 (note).

Octavo (220 x 125mm). Half title and ad leaf at end. 4 folding maps (occasional faint spotting, first map with neat tear at fold). Contemporary boards, untrimmed (repaired with losses to spine panel, text block cracked). Provenance: a few ink underlines and some pencil annotations – Samuel L. Kingan (Arizona lawyer and Americana collector; his sale, Anderson Galleries, 20 February 1928, lot 190) – Thomas Streeter (1883-1965; his sale, 25 October 1967, lot 1525).

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