Views of Louisiana; Together with a Journal of a Voyage Up the Missouri River

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Author: Brackenridge, Henry Marie (1786-1871)

Year: 1814

Publisher: Printed and published by Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum, Franklin head Office

Place: Pittsburgh


304 pages with tables and appendices. Small octavo (7 3/4" x 4 3/4") bound in quarter grey cloth over marbled boards. (Howes B688 ("b"); Sabin 7177; Streeter sale III:1776 (discusses the contents in detail); Wagner-Camp 12:1) First edition.

Henry Marie Brackenridge was an American writer, lawyer, judge, superintendent and first federal forester and Congressman from Pennsylvania. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was a lawyer and journalist. In 1811 Brackenridge was the first recorded tourist to present-day South Dakota, hosted by fur trader Manuel Lisa. He was appointed deputy attorney general of the Territory of Orleans (Louisiana), and district judge of Louisiana in 1812. Brackenridge's published works include Views of Louisiana (1814), part of which was a source for Washington Irving's Astoria, and a pamphlet South America (1817), which puts forth a policy similar to the Monroe Doctrine. Sent to South America to study political conditions, he recounted his experiences in Voyage to South America (1819). His Recollections of Persons and Places in the West (1834) is considered a valuable historical source.

The "Views of Louisiana" are a series on the country included in the Louisiana Purchase, many of which were published in the Louisiana Gazette (later the Missouri Gazette), (St Louis), in the winter of 1810-1811. These essays are of interest but the book is especially desirable for its "Journal of a Voyage up the Missouri River," in 1811 . This is followed by appendices which include a reprinting from the Gazette of 13 May 1813, of the account of Hunt's overland journey to Astoria and back. The "Journal" gives Brackenridge's account of his accompanying Manuel Lisa, the moving spirit of the Missouri Fur Company, on the latter's 1811 expedition up the Missouri to the fort of the company located just above the Mandan villages. The party left St Charles on 2 April, overtook Hunt's Astorian party, with which Bradbury and Nuttall were traveling, on June 2d near "the large Cedar Island and reached the fort above the Mandan Villages "1640 miles from the mouth of the Missouri" on 26 June. The Hunt party was staying at the Aricara Villages, 200 miles or so down the Missouri which is told in print for the first time. (Streeter)


Later cloth-backed marbled boards, moderate wear; lacking free end papers; first title page heavily marked, minor foxing; early library markings on back-strip, title page, and elsewhere

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