London, South Kensington
1 April 2015
HENRY ELLIS (1721-1806)
A Voyage to Hudson's Bay, by the Dobbs Galley and California, in the Years 1746 and 1747, for Discovering a North West Passage. London: H. Whitridge, 1748. 8º (198 x 121mm). Folding engraved map and 9 engraved plates, 5 folding. Contemporary calf, spine gilt with green morocco label (rebacked, extremities heavily rubbed, endpapers renewed).
FIRST EDITION. The first part of Ellis's work is a synopsis of English voyages to find the Northwest Passage. The second part describes the voyage for which he himself was agent, and wrote one of two rival accounts. This voyage had been organised by Arthur Dobbs, its object to re-examine Wager Bay, with two ships captained by William Moor and Francis Smith. Moor, Captain of the Dobbs, and Christopher Middleton had previously explored the bay in 1741-42; Dobbs believed it must lead to the Northwest Passage. However, after the two captains went in longboats to the head of the Bay, they correctly concluded that no Passage existed and interest in the subject declined rapidly. The illustrations form part of the ‘short natural history of the country’ that is announced on the title-page. Hill 540; Lande 1161; NMM 798; Sabin 22312; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 207.
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