Voyage of the United States Frigate Potomac, under the Command of Commodore John Downes during the Circumnavigation of the Globe in the Years 1831, 1832, 1833 and 1834; Including a Particular Account of the Engagement at Quallah-Hattoo, on the coas

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Author: Reynolds, Jeremiah N (1799-1858)

Year: 1835

Publisher: Harper & Brothrs

Place: New York


x+[11]-560+[2]+[30 ad] pages with 5 plates (4 folding) Thick Royal Octavo. Bound in grey cloth with gilt lettering to spine. First edition.

In February 1831, an American merchant vessel, the Friendship, called on the harbor of Kuala Batu, on the Pedir Coast of Sumatra. The ship was taking in a cargo of pepper when a Malay boat set off from the village, ostensibly to deliver part of the cargo. However, while the pepper was being carried aboard, the Malays, at a given signal, suddenly attacked the officers and crew. Owen Rutter, in his book The Pirate Wind said that every soul on board the vessel was killed in the raid and the pirates ransacked the ship, carrying off all its cargo and cash to the value of 8,000 dollars.

In response to this attack the Potomac, commanded by John Downes, attacked the Malays on the Island of Sumatra. In July when the news of this battle reached Congress they demanded an explanation and a justification of the action. Reynolds, having for the previous three years been sailing in the South Seas was asked to become the Captain's Private Secretary and compile the report. Using the Captain's log, the daily record kept by Lieutenant Pinkham, the charts, the commodore's private journal, the private journal kept by N K G Oliver, the commodore's former private secretary who died during the voyage, as well as other records and reports, including conversations with the participants, Reynolds compiled this report to send to Congress and give explanations to the American public to counteract the misleading reports. He also described the journey aboard the Potomac from Valparaiso, journeying to Rio de Janeiro, the Falkland Islands, Canton, Macao, Hawaii, Tahiti, the Galapagos, Lima and Capetown among other.


Rebound with new end papers and paste downs. Lacking the folding frontispiece and map, the fold out plate of Canton and harbor at Callao missing at the first fold, Only 8 of nine plates. Foxing through out, else a good copy.

SOLD 2019

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