Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1814. First Edition. Full-Leather. Item #7439
Two volumes, octavo (8 1/2" x 5 1/2"); xxviii; ix522 pages. Original publisher's tree sheep, red leather lettering pieces on spines. With the large engraved FOLDING MAP from an early printing (1842, which is the second earliest map available only after the 1817 Dublin edition), as well as the eastern one fifth of the original map, and 5 engraved plans and charts. An exceptional copy, larger than usual with wider margins; internally very good, with minimal browning and foxing; expertly rebacked with original spine and labels laid on. Short closed marginal tear, volume I, page 61 and 119 and volume II, page 201, none affecting text. The folding map was not issued with all copies and actually was separately priced, nearly as much as the book. Thomas Jefferson had first proposed exploring the west to George Rogers Clark in 1783. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 spurred Jefferson to implement his idea - Lewis and Clark covered nearly 8 thousand miles in just over 28 months. Their hope was to find a water route across the continent, but they did not. "The definitive account of the most important exploration of the North American continent." (Wagner-Camp 13, Howes L-317).