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2010-04-27 20:04:46
PURSH, Frederick (1774-1820)
Flora Americae Septentrionalis; or, A Systematic Arrangement and Description of the Plants of North America. Containing, besides what may have been described by preceding authors, many new and rare species, collected during twelve years travels and residence in that country . Second Edition
London: printed for James Black & Son, 1816. 2 volumes, octavo. (8 5/8 x 5 3/8 inches). 6pp. advertisements at the back of Vol. 1, 24 hand-coloured stipple-engraved plates (1 plate signed as being by W, Hooker after Pursh, a second signed as by and after Hooker, the others unsigned). Publisher's purple cord-grained cloth, letterpress paper label to each spine Provenance: C. Allen (early pencilled signature) A fine copy of the rare second edition of the highly-desirable coloured issue of the first botanical record of the Lewis and Clark expedition. A landmark work in early American botany, the first to publish the findings of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and a book which has been styled by one botanical historian as "amazingly brilliant." Born in Grossenhain in Saxony, Pursh came to America in 1799. Aided by Benjamin Smith Barton he made two memorable journeys of botanical exploration in 1806 and 1807. On his return from the second journey in 1807, he took over the running of David Hosack's Elgin Botanic Garden in New York. He remained in the United States until 1811, when he sailed for England in an attempt to arrange for the publication of the present work. In 1806 Pursh had met Meriwether Lewis, who gave him a collection of dried plants gathered on the expedition, "in order to describe and figure those I thought new, for the purpose of inserting them in his travels, which he was then engaging for the press." It is unclear why Lewis chose to turn the specimens over to Pursh. He may have intended that they go to Barton, for whom Pursh then worked. In any case … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA) [New York, NY, U.S.A.]

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