The Life Adventures and Unparalleled Sufferings of Andrew Oehler: Containing an Account of His Travels through France Italy, the East and West Indies and Part of the United States His Imprisonment in France Germany and Spain and The Latitude Soil Climate Productions Manners and Customs of the Different Countries.
Trenton: D. Fenton, 1811. 12mo. 226 pp.
Late nineteenth century half morocco. Title page toned, Life in title overwritten in ink.
First edition of this remarkable picaresque history, with many travels through the South between 1800 and 1808.
Born in Germany in 1781, Oehler claimed he arrived in Baltimore in 1800 as a bound tailor; escaped to become a dancing master in Alexandria and then a fencing master in Port Tobacco, Maryland; then went to Santo Domingo, where he says he served with Toussaint; Egypt; China; Charleston, South Carolina, in 1802; then Columbia, Augusta, and Nashville. In 1805 and 1806 he experimented with ballooning in Nashville and Natchez (an ad in a Natchez newspaper for 1806 corroborates this part of the sometimes incredible tale). In New Orleans he claims to have learned "Legerdemain," by which he paid his debts, but which got him thrown in jail in Mexico. He gives a long account of his sojourn, in and out of jail, in Mexico. Returning to the U.S., he made two trading expeditions to the west of the Mississippi, one to Natchitoches in 1807. He returned overland to Georgia in 1808, and later settled in New Jersey. Felcone records two issues printed in 1811 (the other issue published by the Author).
Felcone 1188; Howes O25; Shaw & Shoemaker 51124; Kaplan 4310; Sabin 56732; Clark II:110; Toole Stott 869.