SAMUEL HEARNE (1745-1792)
A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay, to the Northern Ocean. Undertaken by Order of The Hudson's Bay Company, for the Discovery of Copper Mines, A North West Passage, &c. in the Years 1769, 1770, 1771, & 1772. London: A. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1795. 4° (294 x 241mm). 5 folding engraved maps and plans by S.J. Neele after Hearne, one hand-coloured in outline, and 4 plates by J. Saunders and Neele after Hearne, 3 folding. Retaining final advertisement/instructions to the binder leaf 3N2. (Occasional light spotting or marking, short tears on 2 maps, small flaw affecting one word on E4.) Contemporary calf gilt, boards with borders of broad and narrow gilt rules, gilt-ruled turn-ins, spine gilt in compartments, gilt leather lettering-piece in one, marbled edges, silk marker (rubbed and scuffed with small surface losses on boards and wear on corners, rebacked retaining original lettering-piece).
FIRST EDITION. HEARNE'S ACCOUNT OF HIS EXPLORATION OF THE COPPERMINE RIVER. Samuel Hearne was employed by the Hudson's Bay Company between c. 1765 and 1787, and in 1769 both he and the Chipewyan Matonabbee (his friend and guide), were sent north from Churchill by the Company, to investigate reports of coppermines. 'Hearne was the first white man to travel overland to the Arctic Ocean, and he is credited with the discovery of the Great Slave Lake and the Mackenzie river system. Much attention is given to the natural history and the Indian tribes of the region'. Hearne's manuscript was discovered at Fort Albany, Hudson's Bay by the French explorer Jean François de La Pérouse when he captured it: 'The fort was afterwards surrendered to the British, but La Pérouse stipulated for the publication of this work by the Hudson's Bay Company, which stipulation was honorably fulfilled in this beautiful volume' (Sabin). Brunet III, col. 71; Cox II, pp. 171-172; Hill 791 (not calling for final leaf); Lowndes p. 1021; Sabin 31181 (incorrect collation of plates and maps; not calling for final leaf).