Voyage Round the World

George DIXON   |   William BERESFORD

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Item#: 126240 price:$11,000.00

Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World
Voyage Round the World

FIRST EDITION OF DIXON’S CRUCIAL ACCOUNT OF NORTHWEST AMERICAN DISCOVERY, 1789, WITH 16 PLATES, FOUR CHARTS AND LARGE FOLDING MAP, IN FULL CONTEMPORARY CALF-GILT

DIXON, (George, editor). A Voyage Round the World; But More Particularly to the North-West Coast of America: Performed in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, in The King George and the Queen Charlotte. London: Geo. Goulding, 1789. Quarto, contemporary full brown calf rebacked with original gilt-decorated spine laid down, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $11,000.

First edition, first issue, of this important illustrated fur trade narrative, one of the essential early accounts of the American Northwest. With 16 copper-engraved plates (three folding), one plate of printed music, four folding charts, and large folding map, in full contemporary calf-gilt.

"The work previously done by Captain James Cook along the northwest coast of America was mapped more definitely by Dixon" (Hill I:23). Having first sailed to North America as gunner's assistant under Cook (1776-79), George Dixon received command of the Queen Charlotte for his own trading expedition in 1785, a venture undertaken with business partner and former shipmate Nathaniel Portlock, now master of the King George. "William Beresford, the trader assigned to the expedition, wrote that Dixon and Portlock had been chosen for their ability as navigators, their knowledge of the Indians and of the best trading spots and because they were 'men of feeling and humanity, and pay the most strict attention to the health of their ships companies, a circumstance of the utmost consequence in a voyage of such length" (Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online). Dixon and Portlock wintered in Hawaii before proceeding to Prince William Sound, where Portlock explored the Alaskan coast while Dixon journeyed to Nootka Sound. "Dixon was busily employed southward as far as King George's Sound, trading with the natives, taking eager note of their manners and customs, as well as of the trade facilities, and making a careful survey of the several points which came within his reach. Cook had already denoted the general outline of the coast, but the detail was still wanting, and much of this was now filled in by Dixon, more especially the important group of Queen Charlotte Islands, which, in the words of their discoverer's narrative, 'surpassed our most sanguine expectations, and afforded a greater quantity of furs than perhaps any place hitherto known" (DNB). Dixon published this work in London in 1789, supplying an introduction and appendix to a series of letters by Beresford. "Although there is no record that Dixon was ever again at sea, he retained an interest in the exploration of the northwest coast of America and the search for a northwest passage… [He was] an important figure in the history of the northwest coast" (Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online). First issue, with uncolored natural history plates. With half title. Howes D365. Sabin 64390. Streeter VI:3484. Hill I:23.

Occasional light foxing to and offsetting from plates. Attractive contemporary calf-gilt binding with expert restoration. A beautiful, wide-margined copy.

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