London; London: for the Author; J. Almon, 1791; 1777. 4to. ii], x, [ii] 295; [iv], 187 pp. FIRST EDITIONS. I: With 4-page subscriber’s list. Fine folding engraved map, “Sketch of the Western Countries of Canada 1791.”
II: With frontispiece and folding map.
Two works in one. 4to. Contemporary diced russia, rebacked, marbled endpapers, flyleaves and edges; interior in excellent condition. From the library at Syston Park with the bookplate on the paste-down. Item #17492
I: First edition of a major source on Indian life and the fur trade. Long was engaged by the Hudson’s Bay Company as a fur trapper and trader between 1768 and 1787. He lived among and traded with the Indians for nineteen years, and "his relations are characterized by candor and intelligence" (Field). He details the natural history of the area, describing the lakes and rivers beyond Lake Superior. Long's account is also a valuable source on Indian vocabularies, and includes an extensive Chippewa lexicon. Little is known about the author with the exception of the material in this book.
II: First edition. In the form of 16 letters, the author details his travels from Gibralter to Spain where he visited Madrid, the military academy at Avila, the University of Salamanca, and ultimately to Lisbon. He discusses the political climate and military establishment, as well as the customs and manners of the people. The work ends with an account of the invasion of Algiers by the Spanish army and navy in July 1775 in an attempt to seize the city of Algiers. The invasion, ordered by King Charles III, was led by Alexander O’Reilly, who commanded a combined military and naval expedition of nearly fifty ships and more than twenty thousand troops. The assault was a spectacular failure and the campaign proved a humiliating blow to the Spanish military revival. Dalrymple (1736-1807) was a Scottish soldier and Member of Parliament (MP) both in Britain and Ireland. He served in the campaign against the Spanish invasion of Portugal (1762), and later moved to Canada. In 1768, he was placed in command of a detachment of two regiments sent to Boston, Massachusetts, to support embattled royal officials who were having trouble enforcing the unpopular Townshend Acts. Troops in his command (although he was not directly involved) were involved in the Boston Massacre.
Provenance: Syston Park Hall, built in 1775, was the seat of the Thorold baronets, who had relocated from Cranwell Manor. The 9th and 10th baronets both served as High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, in 1778 and 1822 respectively. The 10th baronet commissioned architect Lewis Vulliamy in 1822-1824 to build a new library which was then richly stocked with rare books and manuscripts, including a copy of the Gutenberg Bible. The contents of the house were dispersed in sales held in 1884 and 1923 and the house demolished soon afterwards.