CLASSIC OF NORTH AMERICAN EXPLORATION

Voyages from Montreal, on the River St. Laurence, through the continent of North America, to the frozen and Pacific Oceans; in the years 1789 and 1793. With a preliminary account of the rise, progress, and present state of the fur trade of that country.

London: Printed for T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies, Strand; Cobbett and Morgan, Pall-Mall; and W. Creech, at Edinburgh, 1801. 4to. [iv], cxxxii, 412, [2] pp. FIRST EDITION. Complete with half-title and errata leaf. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Mackenzie, 3 large engraved folding maps, including one showing Mackenzie’s route hand-colored in outline. Full calf, spine label; some spotting, but overall a beautiful copy. From the library of Edward Disbrowe of Walton, Derbyshire. Item #17027

First edition of the journal of the first overland expedition to reach the Pacific north of Mexico across North America. Mackenzie was the first white man to cross the continent from ocean to ocean. Many “firsts” occur here, including the detailed account of the fur trade in Canada, as well as vocabularies of several Indian languages. According to Wheat, the map of Mackenzie’s journey from Ft. Chipewyan to the Pacific Ocean in 1793 “was a milestone and raises questions about the patent inadequacies of all prior maps of the American Far West.” Mackenzie’s journals recount two expeditions undertaken on behalf of the North West Company in its attempt to break the Hudson's Bay Company monopoly of the fur trade. The first expedition, in 1789, from Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabaska down what is now known as the Mackenzie River to the Arctic constitutes the first trip to the Arctic from the Canadian prairies; the second, in 1792-93, was the first overland expedition, from Fort Chipewyan over the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific. A classic of North American exploration.

Price: $8,500.00

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