• £3,700.00 GBP

Beltrami, [Giacomo Costantino]

Pilgrimage in Europe & America


Published: Hunt and Clarke, London, 1828.

In two volumes. A pilgrimage in Europe and America, leading to the discovery of the sources of the Mississippi and Bloody River; with a description of the whole course of the former, and of the Ohio.

Contemporary full green morocco with panelled boards embellished with floral, foliate and stem tools and cornerpiece decorations; spines with banding blindstamped, raised and gilded; aeg; inner dentelles gilt; 8vo.

First English Edition which contains the first appearance of the author's map of the “Headwaters of the Mississippi”. This map illustrates Beltrami's route and details his view of the geography of the “Headwaters”; it was included in response to criticism he received for not providing a map in the first edition. Aquatint portrait frontispiece, two folding plans, three etched plates of Indian ornaments, and one large folding map of the length of the Mississippi River.

Provenance: Bookplate of Glynde Place [Sussex].

A handsome copy in good condition of this seminal work in the history of early American exploration.

The majority of this work is written in the form of a series of letters to the Comtesse Compagnoni dated between April and December 1823, from various sites on the river, including St. Louis, Fort St. Anthony, and Fort Charles. There is considerable discussion of Lord Selkirk's Red River Settlement, the rivalry between the Hudson's Bay and North West Companies, and the manners, customs and beliefs of the Indian tribes of the regions traversed.

Volume one contains an account of the author's travels in England, Germany, France and Italy. Sabin 4605, erroneously calls for only one plan. ''The author accompanied Major Long in his second expedition, who remarks: An Italian whom we met at Fort St. Anthony [i.e. Fort Snelling] attached himself to the expedition, and accompanied us to Pembina. He has recently published a book which we notice merely on account of the fictions and misrepresentations which it contains. The Revue Encyclopedique (1826) criticized the work severely, and doubted the discovery. The author replied in a 'Lettre sur la decouverte d'un manuscript Mexicain', which was printed... in the English edition of his Pilgrimage.

Volume two is almost entirely devoted to the author's travels among the Northwestern Indians, of whom he gives some novel particulars. The narrations of what he witnesses are tinged with the peculiar glow of the author's temperament. Beltrami must have moved in a gigantic world, if he saw external objects through the same media with which he viewed his own person and accomplishments.''

Sabin 4605; Howes B338; Field 111; Wagner-Camp 26a.2; Clark II, 182; Pilling, Algonquin, p. 42.

Dimensions (height / length / width )

21.5cm / 7cm / 14cm

19th Century First Edition Green Leatherbound Library Set

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