PORTER, Captain David (1780-1843). Journal of a Cruise made to the Pacific Ocean... in the United States Frigate Essex in the years 1812, 1813, and 1814. Second Edition. To which is now added,... the capture of the Essex; the fate of the party left at Madison's Island. New York: Wiley & Halsted, 1822. 2 volumes, 8° (243 x 153mm). Lithographic frontispiece portrait and 7 plates, folding table and folding map. (A few browned). Uncut and untrimmed in original publisher's grey boards, (recased with original endpapers, one printed paper spine label renewed, Vol. II damp-stained in some margins), red cloth box.
A fine set of the second, best and only complete edition of the suppressed account first published Philadelphia, 1815. The reported brutal treatment of Porter and his crew by the English in the naval war of 1812 and the brutal review in the Quarterly Review are recounted here with explanation and justification of his actions in time of war. He was the only American commander to sail against the British in the Pacific during the war, rounded the Horn without authority and took British whalers, causing costly damage to British shipping. He annexed the main port of the Marquesas for the United States, before being captured off Valparaiso by the British. He returned to America a hero but faced a court martial. Hill, p. 239. Sabin 64219; together with:
David PORTER. Giornale di una crociera fatta Nell' Oceano Pacifico.... Milan: Giambattista Sonzogno, 1820. 3 volumes bound in 1, 12° (167 x 108mm). Lithographic portrait, folding map, single-page map and 10 engraved plates with fine, contemporary hand-colouring. Contemporary calf backed marbled boards. First Italian edition, preceding the corrected English edition. Not in Sabin. (3)