Dorothy Sloan -- Books

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“The earliest official geographical image of the trans-Mississippi West”
“No more successful espionage operation has ever been conducted in recorded American history” (Goetzmann)

107. PIKE, Z[ebulon] M[ontgomery]. An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and through the Western Parts of Louisiana, to the Sources of the Arkansaw [sic], Kans, La Platte, and Pierre Jaun, Rivers; performed by Order of the Government of the United States during the Years 1805, 1806, and 1807. And a Tour through the Interior Parts of New Spain, When Conducted through these Provinces, by Order of the Captain-General, in the Year 1807. By Major Z. M. Pike. Illustrated by Maps and Charts.... Philadelphia: Published by C. & A. Conrad, & Co. No. 30, Chesnut Street, Somervell & Conrad, Peterburgh. Bonsal, Conrad, & Co. Norfolk, and Fielding Lucas, Jr. Baltimore. John Binns, Printer, 1810. Text: 5, [3], [1]-105 [1, blank], [10, meteorological observations], [107]-277 [3, blank], [2, meteorological observations], 65 [1], 53 [1, blank], 87 [1, blank] pp., stipple-engraved portrait of Pike (Edwin sc. | Lieut. Z. M. Pike), pasted, as issued, to flyleaf to face title page), 3 folded letterpress tables. 8vo (22 x 14 cm), contemporary full mottled calf, spine gilt, new sympathetic maroon gilt-lettered label (expertly rebacked, original spine preserved and laid down). Atlas: 6 engraved maps, 5 of which are folded. 8vo (22.5 x 14.4 cm), contemporary brown sheep over grey and beige marbled boards. Both volumes with less than usual uniform mild age-toning and offsetting. Binding of text vol. somewhat worn (at corners and spine), but expertly restored. One-inch tears with no losses to text pages (83/84 and 209/210). Contemporary ink ownership inscription of Philadelphia merchant William Priestman, Market & Ninth. In an 1800 U.S. Supreme Court case Priestman was accused of transporting without permit 203 silver watches, three gold watches, two enamelled watches, two metal watches, two hunting watches, and seven pinchbeck watches of foreign manufacture (Priestman vs. U S, 4 U.S. 28). Occasional contemporary pencil and ink notes in text. Atlas spine dry and chafed with extremities chipped, fragile old boards rubbed and with a few stains and voids to marbling, front hinge open, the maps untrimmed and lovely, very fine, with only a few minor flaws: two maps with short tear at juncture with book block, a few short splits at folds (no losses in either case), one map with old paper repairs to verso. Overall an excellent, complete, and desirable copy, very fresh with original endpapers. This work is increasingly found incomplete and in poor condition. Preserved in a new black morocco and dark blue cloth slipcase, each volume protected in chemise.


Falls of St. Anthony. 11.2 x 19.9 cm.

A Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana, Including all the hitherto Unexplored Countries, Lying between the River La Platte of the Missouri on the N: and the Red River on the S: the Mississippi East and the Mountains of Mexico West; with a part of New Mexico & the Province of Texas. by Z. M. Pike Captn. U.S.I. [above lower neat line] Plate II. Neat line to neat line: 43.4 x 38 cm. Compass rose.

The First Part of Captn. Pike’s Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana See Plate 2d. & References. [above lower neat line] Plate I. | Reduced and laid down on a Scale of 40 miles to the Inch. By Anthony Nau. Neat line to neat line: 44.4 x 45.5 cm.

A Sketch of the Vice Royalty Exhibiting the Several Provinces and its Aproximation [sic] to the Internal Provinces of New Spain. Harrison Sct. Neat line to neat line: 32.5 x 39.8 cm.

Map of the Mississippi River from its Source to the Mouth of the Missouri: Laid down from the notes of Lieut. Z. M. Pike, by Anthony Nau. Reduced, and corrected by the Astronomical observations of Mr. Thompson at its source; and of Captn. M. Lewis, where it receives the waters of the Missouri. By Nichs. King. Engraved by Francis Shallus, Philadelphia. Two sheets, joined at center, as issued. Neat line to neat line: 23 x 76 cm. Vignette of eagle with olive branch and lightning bolts beneath. Compass rose.

A Map of the Internal Provinces of New Spain. The Outlines are from the Sketches of, but corrected and improved by Captain Zebulon M. Pike, who was conducted through that Country, in the Year 1807, by Order of the Commandant General of those Provinces. 46.6 x 45.4 cm.


Recapitulation of Furs and Peltries, Fond du Lac department, Marks and Numbers as per margin. North West Company, 1804-5....

Abstract of the number, &c. of the Nations of Indians Residing on the Mississippi and its confluent streams, from St. Louis, Louisiana, to its source, including Red Lake and Lower Red River....

A Statistical Abstract of the nations of Indians who inhabit that part of Louisiana visited by Captain Z. Pike, in his tour of discovery in that country, in the years 1806 and 1807.

     First edition of the first U.S. government exploration of the Southwest. Basic Texas Books 163: "The beginning of serious interest in Texas." Bennett, American Book Collecting, p. 46. Bradford 4415. Braislin 1474. Eberstadt, Texas 162:603. Field 1217. Graff 3290. Hill I, p. 236. Hill II:1357. Howes P373. Jones 743. Martin & Martin 24. Palau 225874. Plains & Rockies IV:9:1: “For his report, Pike adapted without acknowledgment the map of Mexico left in Washington by the world-famous geographer Alexander von Humboldt, who complained of the plagiarism to Thomas Jefferson.” Raines, p. 165. Rittenhouse 467. Sabin 62936. Shaw & Shoemaker 21089. Streeter, p. 328 (citing the book as especially desirable for a Texas collection): "Its early date and its writer make it a foundation piece.... The account of Texas in the appendix to Pike is the first, in English, for Texas as a whole. Three of its maps show Texas"; 1047: "Pike's account of the journey and of the week he spent in San Antonio, where he was handsomely entertained by the Spanish officials, makes interesting reading." Streeter Sale 3125. Tate, The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Bibliography 2183. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 298-99 & II, pp. 20-24.

     This edition contains the first appearance in print of the first maps of the Southwest to be based on firsthand exploration–“milestones in the mapping of the American West” (Wheat). Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 97-99 (discussing and illustrating A Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana...): “In the hierarchy of significant westward expeditions, that of Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) ranks right below that of Lewis and Clark... While his was not the first official reconnaissance of the west, he provided ‘the earliest official geographical image of the trans-Mississippi West’... Pike’s map and journal...provided the first authentic information about the Upper Mississippi... On the Conejos River, an effluent of the Rio Grande, well into Spanish territory, Pike boldly constructed a fort. It was at this fort that he was arrested and taken first to Santa Fe and then to Chihuahua for a meeting with Don Nemesio Salcedo, the governor of New Spain. The authorities confiscated, among other documents, a manuscript map of the Santa Fe Trail... While in custody of the Spanish, Pike learned ‘just how many and what kind of troops the Spanish had on hand to defend the northern provinces,’ according to William Goetzmann, ‘and he was well informed on the character and personalities of all the Spanish military leaders. No more successful espionage operation has ever been conducted in recorded American history.’ Pike returned from captivity without his sketch maps, making the creation of his own map more difficult. He had managed to smuggle traverse tables in the rifle barrels that he and his men were allowed to take with them after being released. These tables enabled him to reconstruct parts of the upper Arkansas, and to his credit, his map is the first to accurately delineate the Arkansas and its tributaries. Nevertheless, large sections of ‘A Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana’ (1810), were based on Alexander von Humboldt’s map [see Humboldt herein]... It is paradoxical that Pike, who had actually explored the internal part of Louisiana, relied on the cartography of Humboldt, who had never been there.”

     “Pike has been suspected of complicity with the Aaron Burr conspiracy to establish an empire in the Southwest, carved from the Spanish provinces of northern Mexico and the western United States, but no firm evidence supports those charges. He remained, however, outspoken in his resistance to the democratization of the army during the Thomas Jefferson administration.... Pike published the journals of his explorations in 1810, supplemented with his correspondence with General Wilkinson, his speeches to the Indians, and detailed descriptions of the land through which he traveled, as An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi and through the Western Parts of Louisiana. Appearing as it did, four years before the publication of the journals of Lewis and Clark, Pike's book provided the American public with its first written description of the trans-Mississippi West.... He was killed in action at the storming of York, (now Toronto), Canada, on April 27, 1813, when the enemies' powder magazine exploded” (Handbook of Texas Online: Pike, Zebulon Montgomery). ($15,000-30,000)

Sold. Hammer: $17,000.00; Price Realized: $19,975.00

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