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COLDEN, Cadwallader David (1769-1834). Memoir Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals. New York: Printed by the Order of the Corporation of New York, 1825 [1826].
COLDEN, Cadwallader David (1769-1834). Memoir Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals. New York: Printed by the Order of the Corporation of New York, 1825 [1826].

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COLDEN, Cadwallader David (1769-1834). Memoir Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals. New York: Printed by the Order of the Corporation of New York, 1825 [1826].

4o (248 x 198 mm). 45 engraved and lithographed plates (plus an additional 8 facsimiles of testimonial letters), including portraits (one after George Catlin), lithographed title to the appendix, 2 large folding hand-colored engraved maps, views (some folding). (Occasional offsetting, traces of spotting.) AN ELABORATE, SIGNED PRESENTATION BINDING ordered by the City of New York: contemporary straight-grained bright crimson morocco gilt, covers with broad gilt-tooled borders, upper cover gilt-lettered "Presented by the City of New York to Miss Rachel Ann Robertson, Jany. 1st 1827," spine richly gilt in compartments, gilt-lettered in two, signed by binder "Wilson & Nichols Bind. N.Y." at base of spine, edges gilt (slight wear at extremities). [With:] An original silk ribbon and two elaborate engraved tickets (Miss Robertson') to the celebration, neatly laid in.

THE OPENING OF THE ERIE CANAL. A spectacular and elaborate souvenir of the extravagant celebrations surrounding the official completion of the Erie Canal. Derided as "Clinton's Folly" when first proposed by Governor Dewitt Clinton (1769-1828) and voted by the state legislature, the Erie Canal "proved to be the key that unlocked an enormous series of social and economic changes in the young nation...spurred the first great westward movement of American settlers, gave access to the rich land and resources west of the Appalachians and made New York the preeminent commercial city in the United States." The work is one of the first books published in the U.S. to be extensively illustrated by lithography; an appendix pays tribute to "the most useful potentialities of Mr [Alois] Senefelder's great discovery." A few plates unfold to considerable extent, with panoramic views of New York Harbor crowded with shipping, a cross-section of the canal, locks, scenic views andornate fire-company pumpers drawn by horses. It is also distinguished as being the first book with illustrations by George Catlin. Miss Robertson executed the lithographic plate facing p.380 from "The Students of Colombia College," "by a young Lady"; a letter laid in acknowledges her contribution to the celebratory volume. Howes C-562.
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