BOSSU’S ACCOUNT OF FRENCH LOUISIANA, 1751-62
BOSSU, Jean Bernard. Nouveaux Voyages aux Indes Occidentales. Paris: Le Jay, 1768. Two volumes bound in one. 12mo, contemporary full mottled calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, red and blue morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers and edges. $2500.
Second edition (published the same year as the exceptionally scarce first edition, of which Sabin found no record), with four engraved plates.
“A collection of 21 letters written by Bossu, a French army officer, telling of his life and travels from 1751 to 1762 in the vast Louisiana country to as far north as Fort Chartres in what is now Illinois, and as far east as the French post at Mobile. Bossu wrote well and his letters not only give an interesting picture of life and travels in the Mississippi Valley and the Mobile country to the east at the beginning of the second half of the 18th century, but incorporated also are many sketches of events of the preceding years. Bossu came to New Orleans only 33 years or so after its founding and only 80 years after La Salle’s journey down the Mississippi, and first- and secondhand recollections were still fresh” (Streeter III:1518). “For comments, too critical of the ministry, Bossu was imprisoned and his book banned for a while in France; this probably accounts for the scarcity of the first edition, of which Sabin found no record” (Howes B626). Sabin 6465. Graff 361.
Plates and text very clean, only minor wear to handsome contemporary calf.