“THEY CLAIMED THE COUNTRY AS THEIR OWN, AND DENIED THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES”: FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF IRVING’S INDIAN SKETCHES, 1835
IRVING, John Treat. Indian Sketches, Taken During an Expedition to the Pawnee and Other Tribes of American Indians. London: John Murray, 1835. Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown calf gilt, marbled boards. $950.
First English and “best” edition (Howes) of Irving’s fascinating account of the “life, traditions, history and the peculiarities of the Indian tribes of the Plains.”
This work contains descriptions of the Oto, Sac (Sauk), Shawnee, Delaware, Kickapoo, and Kansa (Kaw) tribes, as well as the Pawnee bands Chaui, Kitkehahki, Pitahawirate and Skidi. "The object of this expedition was of a higher humanitarian order, than those which the government has usually organized for Indian affairs. Under its direction there had been settled on lands claimed by the fierce tribes of the Plains, those unfortunate victims of civilization, the remnants of the Delawares and other eastern nations… between the exiles and natives there arose a fierce warfare… to induce peaceable relations the government sent out Elsworth as a commissioner. Irving accompanied the expedition, and his work affords us many interesting incidents of savage life, traditions, history and the peculiarities of the Indian tribes of the Plains" (Field). John Irving was Washington Irving's nephew. Published earlier the same year by Carey, Lea and Blanchard in Philadelphia, this English edition, however, is considered superior for its addition of tables of contents. Howes I79. Sabin 35117. See Field 764.
Text remarkably clean, with only a few stray spots of foxing to first few leaves, joints expertly reinforced, some rubbing to contemporary boards. An extremely good copy.