“THE MOST VIVID ILLUSTRATIONS OF AMERICAN PATRIOTISM, ENTERPRISE, AND COURAGE”
COOPER, James Fenimore. The History of the Navy of the United States of America. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1839. Two volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century green cloth, brown morocco spine labels. $300.
First edition of Cooper’s history of the U.S. Navy.
"The work of an unsurpassed writer; it is so full of interest and so abounds in the most vivid illustrations of American patriotism, enterprise, and courage, that it cannot be too widely circulated" (Allibone I:425). Cooper, who had joined the navy at age 16, was already famous for his Leatherstocking Tales when he wrote "his long-projected History of the Navy of the United States of America. During the winter of 1838-1839, the Coopers lived in Philadelphia, where he researched the book. Published in 1839, it is still a valid history, but it too was soon involved in controversy. A feud had long before developed between partisans of Oliver Hazard Perry and those of Jesse Duncan Elliott, his second in command, concerning Elliott's conduct during the battle of Lake Erie. Although Cooper sifted the evidence and tried hard to be impartial, his account did not satisfy Perry's supporters, and Cooper was once again attacked in the Whig press" (DAB). Cooper was to answer his critics with the publication of The Battle of Lake Erie in 1842. Frontispiece map in each volume. Sabin 16442. Howes C748. BAL 3888. Owner blindstamps.
Scattered foxing to text, inner paper hinges experttly reinforced; cloth with modest rubbing, spines toned to brown. A very good copy.