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2020-09-28 16:45:12
Xántus, János
Utazás Kalifornia déli Részeiben
Kiadjak Lauffer es Stolp, Pesten [i.e., Budapest], 1860. [10],191,[3]pp., plus eight lithograph plates and folding map. Original green cloth, spine gilt. Minor scuffing to boards, light wear to edges and spine ends, corners bumped. Contemporary ownership inscription on front free endpaper; small, later ownership stamps on front pastedown and title page. Light foxing. The second book of letters, and the first actually authorized by the author, composed by an early Hungarian observer of California and the American West. Janos Xantus escaped Hungary to the United States in 1851 after being involved in the Hungarian Revolution against Austria during the late 1840s. He first fell in with a Hungarian colony in Iowa, then joined the Army in the mid-1850s, through which he met Dr. William Hammond and Spencer F. Baird, who recruited him to collect plant and animal specimens of the West for the Academy of Natural Sciences and the new Smithsonian Institution. "Baird arranged a transfer for Xántus to Fort Tejon, California, so that he could obtain natural history specimens. Xántus would report biweekly and would prepare and send all specimens to the Smithsonian; Baird would furnish collecting materials. At Fort Tejon, Xántus's relations with officers and fellow enlisted men were unhappy. His letters to Baird were a litany of complaints, but they also provide insights into the natural history of the region; many include charming, accurate watercolors of birds. By contrast, his letters home were full of grandiose achievements" - ANB. The present volume comprises a combination of letters … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: McBride Rare Books LLC [New York, NY, U.S.A.]
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