LOUISIANA. [WANTE, Charles Etienne?]
[Mem]oires sur la Louisiane et la Nouvelle-Orléans, accompagnes d'une dissertation sur les avantages que le commerce de l'Empire doit tirer de la stipulation fait par l'article VII du trait de cession du 30 Avril 1803.
Paris: Ballard, 1804. viii, 18, 31-176pp. plus folding table. Later 19th-century marbled wrappers. Library label on front cover from Shwartz Historical Library. Minor rubbing and edge wear. Bookplate on front pastedown. Loss to portions of thirteen leaves, affecting some text, reinforced with tape, dust-soiling to titlepage, dampstaining to some leaves toward the end of the text. Lacking pp.19-30. A battered copy of a great rarity.
An extraordinarily rare account of travels in Louisiana, the Mississippi Valley, and the Illinois-Ohio country, especially interesting in that the travels practically coincide with the Louisiana Purchase. The work has been attributed to either Wante or G. Boucher de la Richardiere. "The author - whoever he was - travelled extensively throughout the lower Mississippi Valley" - Howes. "There is also much on the Illinois-Ohio country, but the body of the work has to do with the Louisiana Cession" - Eberstadt. Incomplete, but quite rare, as Howes accorded it a "b" rating. The great Simon Shwartz library of Louisiana material had a copy, sold for $15 in 1926, in blue morocco with an inked name on the titlepage. This is perhaps an additional Shwartz copy not auctioned at the time. The only other copy we can find any record of selling is the one listed by the Eberstadts in 1953.
Eberstadt 132:412; Howes, W87, "b."; Sabin, 101246; Shwartz Sale, 622.