An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi and Through the Western Parts of Louisiana, To the Sources of the Arkansaw, Kans, La Platte, and Pierre Juan, Rivers; Performed By Order of the Government of the United States

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Author: Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813)

Year: 1810

Publisher: C. & A. Conrad, & Company; Somervell & Conrad of Petersborough; Bonsal, Conrad, & Company of Norfolk, and Fielding Lucas Jr of Baltimore

Place: Philadelphia, Petersborough, Norfolk and Baltimore


5+[3]-277+[5]+65+[1]+53+[1]+87+[1] pages with frontispiece, 3 folding tables, a chart (on 5 separate leaves) and 6 maps (5 folding). Octavo (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") rebound in red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and lettering in gilt with five raised spine bands in custom enclosure. (Howes P-373, "b"; Wagner-Camp 9:1; Graff 3290; Wheat Transmississippi 297, 298, 299; Field 1217; Streeter Texas 1047C; Bradford 4415; Rittenhouse 467; Sabin 62936; Jones 743; Braislin 1474; Jenkins Basic Texas Books 163; Hill 1357; Reese, Best of the West, # 32) First edition.

Zebulon Pike, U.S. army officer and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado was named. In 1805 Pike, then an army lieutenant, led a 20-man exploring party to the headwaters of the Mississippi River with instructions to discover the river s source, negotiate peace treaties with Indian tribes, and assert the legal claim of the United States to the area.

Pike traveled 2,000 miles by boat and on foot from St. Louis, Missouri, to Leech and Sandy lakes, in northern Minnesota. He erroneously identified Leech Lake as the river s source.

In July 1806 Pike was dispatched to the Southwest to explore the Arkansas and Red rivers and to obtain information about the adjacent Spanish territory. Pike established an outpost near the site of present-day Pueblo, Colorado, and then led his party northwest, where they encountered the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. After trying unsuccessfully to scale the mountain peak later named for Pike, the party proceeded southward to northern New Mexico, where they were apprehended by Spanish officials on the charge of illegal entry into New Mexico. They were escorted across Texas to the Spanish American border at Natchitoches, Louisiana, where on July 1, 1807, they were released.

Pike s report on Santa Fe, with information noting particularly the military weakness of the capital and the lucrativeness of the overland trade with Mexico, stimulated the expansionist movement into Texas.


Rebound. Frontispiece stained and toned, title with two inch by half inch chipped at head corner, internally very good house in a custom enclosure.

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