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THE U.S. NAVAL ASTRONOMICAL EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, DURING THE YEARS 1849- '50-'51-'52.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., . 1856 - Four volumes (all published), consisting of volumes 1, 2, 3, and 6. xiii,[3],556pp. plus three maps and eleven plates; ix,[3],300pp. plus two maps and thirty-five plates of natural history subjects and Indian artifacts (many colored); cclxxxviii,492pp. plus one plate; xlviii,420pp. Quarto. First and second volumes in contemporary three-quarter calf and marbled boards, morocco labels, gilt. Third and sixth volumes in original gilt pictorial, blindstamped cloth, spine gilt. Bindings generally rubbed and edgeworn, corners bumped. Small library stamp on titlepage of sixth volume. Save for an intermittent tideline in first volume (not affecting plate images), internally very clean, with bright, fresh plates. A very good set. The first volume bears a presentation inscription on the titlepage: "W. Jeffries Wyman with compliments of the author." A full set of this landmark expedition, including the two seldom found volumes of astronomical observations and experiments. The fourth and fifth volumes were never published, and the last two volumes are very scarce. The first volume comprises a detailed account of Chile, covering geography, resources, history, and political situation, and a narrative of the expedition's travels in the country. The second volume contains a variety of reports, mostly on natural history subjects, as well as an account of Archibald MacRae's journey across the Andes and pampas of the Argentine Provinces, including a map of part of the Argentine Republic. The bird plates that illustrate John Cassin's report on birds in the second volume are beautifully colored. The appendices are on zoology, mammals (by Spencer Baird), birds (by John Cassin), reptiles, fishes, plants, and paleontology. The third volume records thousands of astronomic observations in tabular format, conducted at various places, including the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.; in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and in Santiago, Chile. The fourth volume (Volume 6) contains more astronomic observations and experiments, mostly from Chile, but also from other observatories around the world. The first volume includes a remarkable folding panoramic view of the city of Santiago, from the summit of Santa Lucia. "This expedition to South America, led by James Melville Gilliss (1811-65), was the third American Naval Scientific expedition; the first was that of Charles Wilkes to the Pacific and the second that of William Francis Lynch to the Holy Land. These scientific expeditions were notable successes and their published products are much appreciated. This expedition went overland to Panama City and then via the South Pacific to Callao, Valparaiso, and Santiago. A subsidiary expedition was sent to explore northern Chile as far as La Paz, Bolivia" - Hill. HILL 707. SABIN 27419. McGRATH, pp.95, 117.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2014-10-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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