LEWIS, Meriwether (1774-1809) and William CLARK (1770-1838) - Hubbard LESTER, pseudonym (publisher).
The Travels of Capts. Lewis & Clarke [sic], by order of the government of the United States, performed in the years 1804, 1805, & 1806, being upwards of three thousand miles, from St. Louis, by way of the Missouri, and Columbia Rivers, to the Pacific Ocean: containing an account of the indian tribes, who inhabit the western part of the continent unexplored, and unknown before. With copious delineations of the manners, customs, religion, &c. of the Indians. Compiled from various authentic sources, and documents. To which is subjoined, a summary of the statistical view of the Indian Nations, from the official communication of Meriwether Lewis
Philadelphia: published by Hubbard Lester, 1809. 12mo bound in sixes. (7 1/8 x 4 1/4 inches). 1 folding engraved map (11 1/4 x 9 inches), 1 stipple engraved frontispiece by W.R. Jones, 4 unsigned etched plates with roulette work.
Contemporary marbled sheep, neatly rebacked to style, the flat spine divided into six compartments by gilt fillets, the original black morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment
Provenance: J.C. Smith (early inscription noting the purchase of the book from "an itinerant bookseller at the price of one dollar"); Floyd B. Smith (bookplate)
First edition of the first Lewis and Clark "Apocrypha" complete with plates and the rare map - "the first in a long and mostly related series of unauthorized published accounts of the expedition" (Literature of Lewis and Clark).
In response to the growing curiosity of the public regarding the findings of Lewis and Clark and the delay in publication of the authorized account of their expedition, this compilation of information from previously published works, including Gass, Mackenzie, Carver, and Jefferson's Message of 1806, was published in 1809, with a London edition following the next year. "The dearth of information on the adventures of the Corps of Discovery spawned a remarkable literature: the creation of seemingly authentic, but not quite honest accounts of the travels of Lewis and Clark ... It is probable that 'Hubbard Lester' is a pseudonym. Whoever this publisher was, he was clever. The 'Recommendation of the President' in this volume appeared to be Thomas Jefferson's endorsement, though it was nothing of the kind. It was merely a subterfuge to entice purchasers" (Literature of Lewis and Clark). The work contains five plates, purporting to be of western Indians. One of these is based on the frontispiece of Bartram's Travels...; the others have no earlier appearance that we can trace but are likely ficticious representations. The present copy includes the rare folding map, which Wheat notes as "the earliest published map with legends stemming from Lewis and Clark." The map is largely based on the Arrowsmith and Lewis 1804 map of Louisiana This first Philadelphia edition is quite rare, and is almost invariably found in terrible condition and almost always without the map or plates.
Howes 1321; Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 4a.1; Pilling Proof-sheets 2282; Sabin 96499; Shaw & Shoemaker 17911; Streeter sale 3122; Wagner-Camp 8:1.