London: Printed for the author and sold by J. Walter, 1778. 8vo. [xx], xvi, -543,  pp. FIRST EDITION. Complete with all blanks. With 2 folding engraved maps and 4 engraved plates. Contemporary calf, rebacked, morocco spine label; very small tear to folded crease on first map, some browning and soiling of leaves, but overall a good copy from the library of Hugh Montgomerie (1739-1819), 12th Earl of Eglinton, Scottish peer, politician, and well known composer, with his armorial bookplate. Item #14703
First edition. Carver’s work, a classic of American travel, is one of the earliest and best accounts of pre-Revolution exploration. He “penetrated farther into the West than any other English explorer before the Revolution” (Howes). Part of a small expedition to map uncharted territory west of the Mississippi, he visited many of the Native American groups residing in the area. “His positive, though generalized, portrayal of their manners and customs helped dispel the eighteenth-century image of Indians as savages. In some cases Carver’s is the earliest description published of the Sioux and Chippewa groups he encountered” (Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Library). In addition to his comments on the natural history and the Native Americans of the West, this work contains the first published mention of the word “Oregon.” Carver’s book helped to stimulate curiosity about routes to the Pacific.
Carver (1710-1780) was an explorer, mapmaker, author, and one of the first white men to explore and map areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin, including what later became Carcer Country. He kept a detailed journal account of his expedition to discover a Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean which became the focal point of his writing. After failing to find money to publish his journal, Carver went to London. He left his wife and seven children never to see them again. Although his journal(see above) was received with praise and popularity, he never received any money for his book and died in poverty. Howes, C215; Sabin, 11184.