Auction 99, Lot 644

"Mission of the North American People", Gilpin, William

Subject: History - American West

Period: 1873 (published)

Publication: Lippincott & Co. (publ.)


6.3 x 9.3 inches
16 x 23.6 cm

An important treatise on Manifest Destiny written by William Gilpin, a former governor of the State of Colorado and follower of Thomas Hart Benton. Gilpin believed, as had Benton, that North America was at the height of a progression of empires, and that each movement westward carried the empire to increased greatness. Gilpin saw the Pacific railway as the means by which to fulfill the "untransacted destiny" of the America people. Gilpin invoked the German geographer Alexander von Humboldt's notion of the "isothermal zodiac" as further support for his vision of the American future. This book is a revised edition of his previous work "The Central Gold Region…" (1860), the first to appear with this title. Includes six folding, hand colored, maps - 3 maps of North America exhibit Gilpin's theories of climate, geology and civilization; one map of the world delineating Humbolt's Isothermal Zodiac; and two maps illustrating the System of Parcs [sic] in Colorado and the western territories. 217pp. Original maroon cloth boards, gilt stamped spine.

References: Howes G192; Sabin #27468.

Condition: B

Bookplate of previous owner on inside pastedown. All maps have previous owner's ink stamp on verso. Five maps with short binding tears, closed with archival tape. World map has 6 inch, unrepaired, binding tear. Text fine.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $475

Closed on 6/12/2002