Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 786

Description of Original Lewis & Clark Map and Early Report of Expedition

"[Lewis & Clark] “Lewis's Map of the Parts of North-America Which Lie Between the 35th and 51st Degrees of North Latitude, from the Missisippi and the Upper Lakes to the North Pacific Ocean [in] The Medical Repository...",

Subject: Document - Lewis & Clark

Period: 1806 (published)


Color: Black & White

5.4 x 8.9 inches
13.7 x 22.6 cm
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This volume, edited by Samuel L. Mitchill, contains a 4-page article entitled “Lewis’s Map of the Parts of North-America which lie between the 25th and 51st Degrees of North Latitude, from the Missisippi [sic] and the upper Lakes to the North Pacific Ocean” (pages 315-318). Mitchill was a physician, U.S. Congressman and Senator, founding editor of this first medical journal (Medical Repository) in the U.S., and an active correspondent of Thomas Jefferson who called him the “Congressional Dictionary.” Mitchill had a strong interest in maps and western exploration. As Jefferson’s friend and supporter in Congress, he apparently had access to the early reports sent to Jefferson by Lewis and Clark, and he published much of the information in this magazine. In this article, Mitchill describes in some detail the manuscript map by Lewis (likely Wheat Transmississippi West #270) forwarded to the War Department from which “other copies have been made for the inspection of Congress.” He notes that “Nicolas King, the draftsman, has performed his part with great elegance, on a scale of 50 miles to the inch. The map will not be engraved and offered for general use before the voyagers return from their expedition.” Mitchill then presents additional information “from the documents collected by Capt. Lewis” apparently before publication in Jefferson’s Report to Congress on February 19, 1806. Mitchell’s article confirms that there were multiple updated manuscript copies drafted by King in circulation in Washington at the end of 1805. In addition, Mitchill included a summary of the Dunbar/Hunter expedition and translations of French explorations by Soulard and Trudeau. Issue is bound with the complete volume III, 454 pages with index. Hardbound in black cloth over gray boards.


Condition: B

Uncut text is mostly clean with light toning and occasional scattered foxing. Original boards are moderately worn and bumped and the spine has been replaced with black cloth.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $200

Closed on 9/15/2021