Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America, in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768


Carver, Johnathan, Esq. (1710-1780)

In stock


Carver, Johnathan, Esq. (1710-1780). Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America, in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768 ; By J. Carver, Esq., Captain of a Company of Provincial Troops During the Late War in France; Illustrated with Copper Plates. Dublin: Printed for S. Price, R. Cross, W. Watson, W. and H. Whitestone, J. Potts, J. Williams, W. Colles, W. Wilson, R. Moncrieffe, C. Jenkin, G. Burnet, T. Walker, W. Gilbert, L.L. Flin, J. Exshaw, L. White, J. Beatty, and B. Watson, MDCCLXXIX 1779. First Irish Edition. pp. 10, xiii, 508. 8vo., measuring 5″ x 8″. An attractive copy rebound in tasteful period-style, quarter, tan-leather over plain gray boards, gilt rules and lettering over maroon spine label; five blind-stamped rules, six compartments. Complete with both copper-engraved plates present, as called for in Sabine; the first depicting “The Falls of St. Anthony”, and, the second, illustrating Indigenous weapons of war, and an Indigenous peace pipe. Lacking the map which has been neatly excised. Light edgewear, expected faint occasional foxing, circular mark to the upper-margin of pages 41-45 (entirely unaffecting legibility of the text), otherwise, text-block remains overwhelmingly bright, clean, and unmarked with firm, sound binding. Originally published by Walter & Crowder, 1778., our offering is the Second Edition, and the First Irish Edition of this enormously popular work of travel and exploration, and which would see over thirty separate iterations printed in the ensuing years. Sabine 11184 (pp. 382); Howes C-215. Leather Bound.

Setting out from present-day Mackinaw City, Michigan in the spring of 1766 with the intention of discovering the long-sought North-West Passage, Carver’s work is a most remarkable recounting of the author’s expedition deep into the heart of North America, complete with vivid descriptions of the natural landscapes, the rivers and falls, and the myriad natural resources ripe for exploitation with references to rich deposits of metals, furs, and lumber; with a further exposition of the potential “probability of the Interior Parts of North America becoming commercial Colonies”, and the “means by which this might be effected”, a “Dissertation on the Discovery of the North-West Passage”, and “The most certain way of attaining it”. Indeed, it has also been posited that it is one of the first works, if not the first, to make reference to the Rocky Mountains. Moreover, it would serve as an indispensable, early, written account, of European contact with the Indigenous inhabitants of North America. Indeed, Carver’s book would and does serve as a rich source of a European’s observations of the numerous Indigenous groups he would encounter on his travels including vital anthropological accounts of their customs as recorded in: “Manners, Qualifications, of the Indians”, “Peculiar Customs of the [Indigenous] women”, “The Circumspect and Stoical Disposition of the Men”, “The Liberality of the Indians, and their Opinion Respecting Money”, “Their Method of Reckoning Time, etc., and the names by which they distinguish the Months”, “Their Idea of the Use of Figures”, “Of Their Government”, “Their Division of Tribes”, “The Chiefs of their Bands”, “Of their Feasts”, “Their Usual Foods”, “Their Manner of Dressing and Eating their Victuals”, and much, much else. A remarkable travelogue, indeed. (#4621) $1,295.00