This is the complete volume IV of the Medical Repository by Samuel Mitchill, covering the period from May 1806 - April 1807 in four issues. Samuel L. Mitchill was a physician, U.S. Congressman and Senator, founding editor of the first medical journal in the U.S. (Medical Repository) and active correspondent of Thomas Jefferson who called him the “Congressional Dictionary.” Mitchill had a strong interest in maps and western exploration and his medical journal presented many of earliest reports of trans-Mississippi explorations, many of which were communicated directly to Mitchill. As Jefferson’s friend and supporter in Congress, he apparently also had access to the early reports sent to Jefferson by Lewis and Clark, and he published much of the information in this magazine.
In issue 1 (May, June, July, 1806) Mitchill presents an “Extract from the manuscript journal of James M’Kay, Esq., relative to his travels in the interior part of North America…” which Mitchill himself translated. M’Kay was employed by the Spanish from 1795 to 1797 to explore the upper Missouri and seek a means for Spanish participation in the lucrative fur trade. Mitchell presents M’Kay’s journal of his travels and contacts with the Indian tribes. The same issue has a report from Capt. Stoddart from Upper Louisiana referencing M’Kay and letters he had received from Capt. Lewis. Issue 2 highlights the President’s Message reporting on the Lewis & Clark expedition and some commentary by Mitchill. Issue 3 contains Mitchill’s laudatory review of “Lewis and Clarke’s Journey Across the Continent…” (p. 288). Issue 4 contains a very lengthy summary and review by Mitchill of “An account of a voyage up the Mississippi River, from St. Louis to its source, made by Lieut. Pike of the U.S. Army, in the years 1805 and 1806….” The rare report may have been authored by Mitchill from Pike’s manuscript journal (see Howes #P-372). Issue 4 also includes reports on “Discoveries in the High Latitudes of North America” and trade on the West Coast of North America. 456 pages. Hardbound in contemporary leather. No past sales records located for this volume.
Text is very good with occasional light toning and foxing. Ex-library with an old bookplate on the pastedown and stamps on a few pages. Front board is detached. Covers are worn and the corners are bumped.