Arader Galleries

History of The Expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark. 1814

$ 8,500.00

History of The Expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed during the years 1804 5 6. By order of the Government of the United States.

Title: History of The Expedition under the command ...

Publisher: Bradford and Inskeep

Date of Publication: 1814

Binding: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good Condition

Edition: 1st Edition


First edition. Philadelphia: Published by Bradford and Inskeep; New York: Abm. H. Inskeep; J. Maxwell, Printer; 1814. Two volumes (married). Octavo in 4s (8 3/8" x 5 1/4", 212mm x 133mm). [Full collation available.] With five engraved plates (lacking the folding map). Bound in contemporary sheepskin; vol. I speckled, vol. II tree. On the spines, six panels divided by double gilt fillets. Title gilt to red morocco in the second panel (vol. I: "LEWIS & CLARKE'S/ EXPEDITIONS", vol. II: "LEWIS & CLARK'S/ TRAVELS"). On the edges of the boards of vol. I, a blind dashed roll. Married set. Vol. I: heavily rubbed. Fore-corners bumped and worn. Front hinge starting at the head. First free end-paper laid in. Lacking the folding map. Tanned and foxed throughout. Vol. II: front joint split, hinge starting from the tail. Rear board starting from the tail. Rubbed at the extremities. Fore-corners rubbed. Quite tanned and foxed throughout. On the title-page, the ink signature of "Thos: A. Cooper" (offset to adjacent leaves). Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838), both captains in the army (Clark in the Illinois militia; Lewis was Thomas Jefferson's private secretary), were commissioned by Jefferson to co-command the Corps of Discovery, a unit whose mission was the exploration of the newly purchased Louisiana Territory, with an ultimate view to reaching to the Pacific. In addition to their military corps, they were accompanied by civilians including Sacajawea, who served as an interpreter more often than as a guide, but also, crucially, "a token of peace" as "a woman with a party of men." Their achievement -- 8,000 miles in some 28 months, navigating the Missouri to its source, identifying land routes to the Pacific -- was not only of exceptional use to the government, it lit the fuse of the public imagination of the West. The official nature of the account make it exceptionally reliable, and provides the earliest evidence for some of the natural history and native people in the United States. The signature in volume two appears to be that of Thomas Abthorpe Cooper (1776-1849), an English actor who played in Philadelphia and eventually settled in New York, dubbed the "Father of the American Stage." His daughter Priscilla married the son of President John Tyler, and served eventually as First Lady because Letitia Tyler, the president's wife, was unable.