PIKE, ZEBULON MONTGOMERY. 1779-1813.
An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and through the Western Parts of Louisiana, to the Sources of the Arkansaw, Kans, La Platte, and Pierre Jaun, Rivers; performed ... during the Years 1805, 1806, and 1807. And a Tour through the Interior Parts of New Spain ... in the Year 1807. Philadelphia: C. & A. Conrad, et al. John Binns, Printer, 1810.
5, , 105, , -277, , 65, , 53, [1 blank], 87, [1 blank] pp. With stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait by Edwin; 6 engraved maps and charts, 5 of which are folding (and the map of the Mississippi on 2 joined sheets). 3 folding letterpress tables. 8vo (214 x 124 mm). Period tree sheep, spine gilt-ruled, red morocco lettering-piece. Custom quarter morocco clamshell case. Light browning, offsetting from engravings, some foxing to maps, few stray edge tears, rebacked with original spine laid down.
FIRST EDITION FROM THE FIRST GOVERNMENT EXPLORATION OF THE SOUTHWEST. The maps were the first to describe the terrain of the Southwest based on first-hand accounts and are considered "milestones in the mapping of the American West" (Wheat). Setting out from St. Louis in 1806, Pike and his party proceeded overland to Arkansas, Kansas, and Colorado (failing to reach the summit of the Peak that now carries his name), before falling into the hands of the Spanish authorities and being escorted to Santa Fe, and then to Louisiana. He provides the first account in English of Texas as a whole and his very detailed information on the local Spanish government proved influential for federal territorial ambition. Three of the maps show Texas. Pike includes interesting interviews with colonial officers and with an agent of Aaron Burr's who had professed himself a mere farmer bound for the province of Texas.
Pike's narrative stands with those of Lewis and Clark as a cornerstone of Western Americana. Shaw & Shoemaker 21089; Jenkins 163; Field 1217; Howes P373; Graff 3290; Streeter Texas 1047; Sabin 62836; Wagner-Camp 9; Wheat Transmississippi West 297-299.
Acquisition: Laird Park sale, Sotheby's New York, Nov 29, 2000, lot 288, $19,150.