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Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842
Philadelphia.: Lea and Blanchard.. 1845.. FIVE VOLUMES as issued, 10 folding maps plus one single page map, in-text illustrations throughout, lvi+434, xi+476, xi+438+ads, xiii+539, xii+558pp, appendix, index, 9 3/4 x 6 1/4 inches (tall octavo), gilt decorative embossed cloth-covered boards (hardbound).The volumes are bound in ribbed brown cloth; embossed decorative pattern and title in gilt on spine with image of anchor at base; American emblem, featuring eagle, in gilt on each cover (all still bright). The heads of the spines are worn with a little loss of the cloth, foot of one spine has a little loss; bumping and light wear to corners of most volumes. Condition of maps: "Chart of the Viti Group or FeeJee Islands" (volume 3) has one extra vertical fold; "Groups in the Western Parts of the Pacific Ocean" (frontispiece of volume 5) has been misfolded (resulting in several fine creases) and has a thin vertical band of darkening where the sheet was originally exposed at the fore-edge. Otherwise the maps are in very good condition. The interiors are clean and tight; overall a good to very good set with faults as noted. This is a complete set of the first "popular" edition of this important American voyage of discovery, #3 in Haskell's bibliography "The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838 -1842 and its publications 1844 -1874," printed from the stereotype plates of the Imperial octavo edition. Haskell quotes a "Notice of the publishers" to elucidate the principal differences between this edition and its immediate predecessor: it "contains precisely the same type, page and reading matter, as the one in Imperial Octavo; - the difference between them being in the quality and size of the paper; the substitution of forty-seven wood-cuts for that number of steel vignettes in the other; the omission of the sixty-four plates, and the use of ten of the fourteen maps, three of which are on a reduced scale." Three thousand copies of this edition were printed. The Exploring Expedition, in addition to protecting American interests in the Pacific (whaling, trade, etc.) was responsible for expanding scientific knowledge relating to flora, fauna and native peoples and for advancing the cartography of the Pacific and Northwest Coast of America, accomplishments reflected in the volumes. The ten folding maps are as follows: Volume I — Map of the World (very good condition); Paumotu Group (very good condition). Volume II — Settled Part of New South Wales (very good condition). Volume III — Chart of the Viti Group of Feejee Islands (improperly folded but clean; no discoloration). Volume IV — Map of the Hawaiian Group (very good condition); Map of the Oregon Territory (edges browned and chipped; improperly folded but only moderately so; clean with no discoloration, generally very good). This volume also includes a single page Map of Part of the Island of Hawaii. Volume V — Groups in the Western part of the Pacific Ocean (misfolded creating pleats with browning on this fold); Map Illustrative of the Currents and Whaling Grounds (very good condition save for short crease the result of improper folding); Map of the Sooloo Sea (very good condition); Map of Upper California (very good condition). The five volumes are illustrated with hundreds of "woodcuts" (wood engravings) that include musical notation and several rough-copy maps. Volume V includes an informative Appendix and a General Index. There is an excellent discussion of this significant Expedition and the various publications that were the fruit of the Expedition on the Smithonsian Institution website. .
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Last Found On: 2015-03-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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