Catalog Archive
Auction 166, Lot 174

A Counterfeit Account of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

"The Travels of Capts. Lewis & Clarke, from St. Louis, by Way of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, to the Pacific Ocean...", Longman Co.

Subject: Western United States

Period: 1809 (published)


Color: Black & White

5.6 x 8.8 inches
14.2 x 22.4 cm
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This is the London edition of "The Apocrypha" - an 1809 unauthorized volume of the Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean. This spurious account was published due to strong public interest in the Far West combined with the fact that the authorized version had not yet been released (published in 1814). Given the limited information on the actual journey (only Patrick Gass, Sergeant of the Corps of Discovery, had published his account in 1807), the author was reliant on other information to patch together a report including Jefferson's Message of 1806, William Clark's letter from St. Louis, as well as plagiarized portions of Jonathan Carver's Travels and Alexander Mackenzie's Voyages. Included with the 309 pages of text is a frontispiece map entitled Map of the Country Inhabited by the Western Tribes of Indians (7.8 x 9.7"). According to Wheat, this map copies much of Matthew Carey's Louisiana first published in 1805. Wheat further notes that there are worthy additions on the Upper Missouri River reflecting Lewis & Clark's journey including the terms "Jefferson R.," "Madison R.," and "Gallatin R." Also notable is the appearance of Fort Clatsop at the mouth of the Columbia River. Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme at Paternoster Row in London. Octavo, hardbound in full maroon leather with gilt title and raised bands on spine. All edges gilt.

References: Howes #L321; Sabin #40827; Wagner-Camp #8:2; Wheat (TMW) #294 (map).

Condition: B+

The folding map is very good with a very light dampstain in the right third of the map and faint offsetting. The text is lightly toned with scattered foxing that is more prominent in the first half of the volume. The title page has moderate offsetting and a manuscript signature at top. Binding has only light wear with some minor cracking along the joint.

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000

Sold for: $3,000

Closed on 2/14/2018