Dorothy Sloan -- Books

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Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
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Lot 65

Rare Metaphysical Memoir on America by the Royal Prince of the Two Sicilies

65. MURAT, [Napoléon] Achille. A Moral and Political Sketch of the United States of North America...With a Note on Negro Slavery by Junius Redivivus. London: Published by Effingham Wilson, etc., 1833. [iii]-xxxix [1], 402 pp., folding lithograph map with original full color (Map of the United States; below neat line: Lithographed & Printed by J. Netherclift | London. Published by Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange; 30 x 36.8 cm; 11-7/8 x 14-1/2 inches). 12mo, early twentieth-century brown library buckram. Front joint open but holding. Interior fine. The map, which was backed at an early date with old linen, is lightly foxed and somewhat wrinkled from clumsy folding. The Birmingham Library (England) copy, with their printed bookplate on front pastedown, and their small oval ink stamps scattered throughout. Rare.

     First edition in English of the author’s Esquisse morale et politique des États-Unis de L’Amérique du Nord (Paris, 1832; Sabin 51413). Clark, Travels in the Old South III:77: “Although Murat considered himself an American, he recent an arrival in this country that his work should be regarded as that of a traveler.... It is a philosophical account of American institutions, including political parties, the frontier, slavery, Indians, religion, law and justice, the army and navy, finance, manners, fine arts, and literature.... His sympathies were almost as exclusively Southern as if he had been a native. He considered agriculture as the primal and prevailing interest of the United States, advocated slavery on both practical and metaphysical grounds, and thought Charleston to be the center of all that was polished and superior in American society.” Howes M901. Monaghan 1121. Sabin 51417.

     The exiled Royal Prince of the Two Sicilies resided six years on a plantation near Tallahassee and commanded a militia regiment in a campaign against Native Americans. He expresses contempt for religious hypocrisy in the U.S.: "There is no country in which the people are so religious as in the United States; to the eyes of a foreigner they even appear to be too much so. The great number of religious societies existing in the United States is truly surprising: there are some of them to distribute the Bible; to distribute tracts; to encourage religious journals; to convert, civilize, educate the savages; to marry the preachers; to take care of their widows and orphans; to preach, extend, purify, preserve, reform the faith; to build chapels, endow congregations, support seminaries; catechize and convert sailors, Negroes, and loose women."

     The excellent map, which falls within the parameters of Wheat (Transmississippi West) is not listed there. ($1,000-2,000)

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