30 April 2008
WELD, Isaac (1774-1856). Travels through the States of North America and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, during the years 1795-1797. London: John Stockdale, 1799.
4° (269 x 197mm). 5 engraved maps and plans including folding map of the United States, hand-coloured in outline, and 11 plates after Weld including frontispiece. With four final advertisement leaves. Erratum slip pasted to foot of plate list. (Some browning and waterstaining to plates and maps, slight tear to folding map.) Contemporary mottled calf gilt, black morocco spine label, green silk marker (joints cracked, chipping to covers and spine compartments).
FIRST EDITION. The plates include three views of Niagara Falls, 'View of the Natural Rock Bridge in Virginia' (frontispiece), 'Mount Vernon, the Seat of George Washington' and an 'American stage waggon'. During 'little over two years in America' Weld was 'often guided by Indians' in his explorations of 'the vast forests and great rivers'. But as a gentleman traveller 'he mixed in the best society' while in the towns and met George Washington. 'His descriptions were influential because they were relatively early and were long included in compilations of travellers' reports on the United States ... despite his general lack of sympathy with the American patriots' (ODNB). The 2-volume second edition was also published in 1799, and a third and fourth edition in 1800. Howes W-235; Sabin 102541.
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