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Stock# 86685

Rare Edition of Carver with Fantastic Cartographically Themed Bookplate of Carver's Bibliographer

With Colored Plates of Native Americans and a Fine Map of the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi 

Rare first Dutch edition of Carver's important American travels, which account paved the way for further western explorations by Lewis and Clark and others. Carver was one of the English soldiers wounded and captured at the massacre of Fort William Henry by the French and Native Americans in 1757. He includes a vivid eyewitness account of this battle in his book. The four color plates of Native American men and women in the present edition are particularly beautiful (men and women of the Ottigaumies and Naudowessies, respectively). The other two plates are a folding engraving of the falls at St. Anthony and an engraving showing a peace pipe, a dagger and tomahawk.

Carver penetrated farther into the West than any other English explorer before the Revolution...He was seeking a transcontinental waterway...his book stimulated curiosity concerning routes to the Pacific, later satisfied by Mackenzie and Lewis and Clark - Howes.

Carver's travels among the tribes around the upper Great Lakes region are among the earliest and best accounts of this area. The vocabulary of the Chippeway language is of course here translated into Dutch. The folding engraved map, which shows the Greak Lakes and Upper Mississippi regions, was re-engraved for this edition, with place names in Dutch. While the map does not extend west of the upper Mississippi, it stands as one of the earliest to show actual results of British exploration in the interior.

Carver accompanied the expedition as map maker. His commission was dated August 12, 1766. He was ordered to go via Green Bay and the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi, thence to the falls of St. Anthony to await further orders... No further orders were received, so Carver descended the Mississippi to Prairie du Chien, where he expected to receive supplies from Michilimackinac, and where he met Tutte... Tutte and Carver decided their only course was to return to Michilimackinac - Greenly.


This edition of Carver is extremely rare. Only a single sale record in RBH.  Bradford references a copy sold by Henkels in 1903.


Ex Libris John Thomas Lee (with his elaborate pictorial bookplate), engraved by W. F. Hopson, 1916. The bookplate incorporates a map of North America and the Caribbean, with a ship at sea, sunrise, and a Native American man at right regarding the entire scene. A member of the American Antiquarian Society, John Thomas Lee was a Wisconsin historian and bibliographer of Jonathan Carver.

Purchased by Lee at the Hubbard Sale, May 1914.

Condition Description
Octavo. Contemporary paste paper boards. Spine ends frayed away. Front cover detached. Front and back free endpapers excised. Two volumes in one. [2], xxvi, 248; [4], 280, [16] pages. Stipple engraved portrait vignette on title page of vol. 1. 6 plates (1 folding, 4 colored). Folding engraved map. A touch of foxing on a couple pages. Else very clean internally.
Howes C215. Sabin 11190. Bradford 808. Pilling 645. Vail 1056. Greenly 21 (ref).