London: Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, MDCCLXXV . 4to. [xii], 464 pp., including half-title. FIRST EDITION. With large folding map Jn. Lodge. Half morocco over marbled boards, spine in compartments with title in faded gilt; marbled end-papers, interior in excellent condition. Item #17601
First edition. This important work provides an in-depth insight to Native Americans on the eve of the American Revolution. Adair (c. 1709–c. 1783), a fur trader and frontiersman, lived among the Catawba, Chickasaw, and Cherokee tribes for forty years where he had unprecedented access to the cultures and histories of Native Americans. The present volume is the culmination of his observations living with the native peoples of North America, described by Sabin as the “best eighteenth-century English source on the Southern tribes.” The author treats everything from language, customs, forms of government, habits, diets, agriculture and diseases to an editorial on the benefits of all efforts made to “civilize” the Indians. The map shows the territories of multiple Native American Nations as well as geographical features on the eastern seaboard from Pennsylvania to Florida as well as the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the description of the land, people, and customs, Adair also argues that Native Americans were descended from the lost tribes of Israel.