A Narrative of the Extraordinary Sufferings of Mr. Robert Forbes, His Wife and five children. During an unfortunate journey through the wilderness, from Canada to Kennebeck River, in the year 1784
Portland Printed, Reprinted at Exeter: Henry Ranlet, 1792. 8vo. (7 x 4 3/8 inches). 23, pp. Expert restoration with facsimile to half title and terminal leaf.
Contemporary paper wrappers, restitched. Housed in a red morocco box.
Very rare narrative of a man and his family abandoned in the wilds of Maine.
Robert Forbes, an American residing with his family in Canada on the Chaudiere river, departed overland in mid-March 1784 with three Dutch guides, intending to relocate his family to a settlement on the Kennebec. Ten days into the journey, Forbes, his wife and five children were tricked, robbed and abandoned by their guides. Struggling on alone, they were assisted by a local Native American, who supplied them with moose meat and directions. But by April 12th, with supplies dwindling and terrain too difficult for his wife and all but his oldest child, Forbes made camp and left his wife to seek help. Travelling by raft and foot and surviving on a couple of ounces of moose meat and their leather shoes, Forbes and his eldest son were found by hunters on April 22. A rescue party for his wife and children was immediately raised, but the camp could not be reached until June 2, fifty days since being left at camp with little to no supplies. Emaciated and weak, remarkably, Forbes's wife and one child survived.
Forbes' tale evidently struck a chord with the locals, and his narrative was set to paper by Arthur Bradman. The work was first published in Portland in 1791, followed by the present Exeter printing the following year. Editions in Windsor (1792), Norwich (1793), Worcester (1793) and Philadelphia (1794) followed. All editions prior to the Philadelphia edition are very rare; only three institutional examples of this Exeter printing located in OCLC.
Bristol B7942; Shipton & Mooney 46397.