LEDERER, JOHN. b.1644.
The Discoveries of John Lederer, in three several Marches from Virginia, To the West of Carolina, And other parts of the Continent: Begun in March 1669, and ended in September 1670. London: J.C. for Samuel Heyrick, 1672.
[A]4 B-D4 F2. , 27 pp. Edited by William Talbot with his introduction and address to the reader. Imprimatur leaf. Folding engraved map: A Map of the Whole Territory Traversed by John Lederer in his Three Marches, by Cross, 177 x 220 mm. 4to (180 x 144 mm). Full red morocco elaborately gilt by Riviere & Son, dentelles, silk endleaves, top edge gilt and other edges uncut. Even toning, map just trimmed within plate mark but with margin remaining to neat line, silk starting to separate from f.f.e.p.
FIRST EDITION WITH A VERY FINE MAP AND THE RARE LICENSE LEAF. John Lederer was a German surveyor commissioned by Governor Berkeley to find a passage through the western mountains. He became the first European to explore west of the Blue Ridge and to see the Shenandoah Valley. Lederer made three marches to the west in 1669 and 1670, during the last of which he was deserted by his companions and left to continue with only an Indian guide. His reputation was maligned by those who abandoned him and it was due only to the patronage of Sir William Talbot that this work was translated from Lederer's Latin into English and published. Talbot optimistically enthuses that, "from this discourse it is clear that the long looked-for discovery of the Indian Sea does nearly approach; and Carolina ... is reserved for her," though Lederer in his conclusion is somewhat more circumspect. He describes his ascent of two "Apalataean" peaks and also of two passes in the Appalachians to the west. Further, he was a skilled diplomat and helped to open trade communications with the Indians in the area. Church 619; European Americana 672/158; Howes L178; Sabin 39676; Streeter sale 1097; Vail 161; Wing L835.
Provenance: book label of Thomas W. Streeter, in his sale, 1966; sold by Goodspeed's in 1967 to Frank T. Siebert.
Acquisition: Siebert sale, Sotheby's New York, Oct 28, 1999, lot 553, $134,500.