"AN ORIGINAL SOURCE OF THE FIRST CLASS": LA ROCHEFOUCAULT-LIANCOURT'S TRAVELS THROUGH THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA AND CANADA, SCARCE 1799 FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, WITH THREE MAPS OF AMERICA—A BEAUTIFUL COPY
LA ROCHEFOUCAULT-LIANCOURT, (Francois Alexandre). Travels Through the United States of North America, the Country of the Iroquois, and Upper Canada, in the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797; With an Authentic Account of Lower Canada. London: for R. Phillips by T. Davison, 1799. Two volumes. Quarto, contemporary full brown diced calf, raised bands, marbled endpapers; pp. xxiv, 642, (14); (2), -364*, 321-686, (10). $12,500.
First edition in English of "an original source of the first class for American history at the close of the 18th century" (Larned), with three engraved folding maps of North America and six folding tables. A desirable copy in handsome contemporary calf.
"The observations of this distinguished author, made during a three years' residence, extend to the political constitution of the country, the manners, etc., of the inhabitants, its physical state and natural history. The translator appears to have executed his task faithfully, and to be well acquainted with the country described. His notes frequently increase the information, and sometimes correct the errors of the original" (Sabin). The work became a standard source book for the history of America at the close of the 18th century.
An exiled French nobleman, the Duke traveled in all the Eastern states, in the Great Lakes region, and Upper Canada, visiting many towns from Maine to Georgia and making the acquaintance of people of all classes. He was especially interested in economics, but had much to say about the Indian tribes, natural history, and social and religious communities (Shakers, Dunkers, etc.). This work originally appeared in French in 1799; this first edition in English, translated by H. Neuman, appeared the same year. This copy complete with extra starred signatures *Tt-*3A in Volume II, causing a duplication in pagination for pages 321-364. Sabin 39057. Howes L106. Stevens 1870. See Field 939. Engraved armorial bookplate.
Only occasional foxing, marginal tear to page 613 of Volume II; lower corners of Volume I gently bumped. A handsome and most desirable copy in contemporary calf.