2 volumes, 8vo (8 ½ x 5 ¼ in; 215 x130 mm, uncut). Engraved folding map of the route, 5 engraved plates; some mostly marginal spotting, a few quires browned, early owner's notes on pages xv, 58, 150-151, 173, arithmetic calculations in pencil on rear flyleaf of vol. 1, the map with some light spotting strengthened at left margin with tissue and with tiny fold-tear in lower margin. Publisher's cream printed boards, in a modern brown half-morocco slipcase; backstrip of vol. 1 worn, that of vol. 2 gone, covers scuffed and rubbed, edges torn, upper hinge of vol. 2 weak.
The expedition was funded by Congress for the purpose of establishing trading ties with the Indians of the western region. Besides accomplishing this goal, the explorers greatly broadened the geographical knowledge of the West, and demonstrated the feasibility of transcontinental travel. The expedition made its way from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back between spring 1804 and fall 1806. A number of circumstances, including their appointment to official positions in the new Louisiana Territory and Lewis's mysterious death, conspired to delay the publication of the official narrative of their travels for eight years.
The American edition was compiled from the Lewis and Clark journals by Paul Allen and contains a prefatory "Life of Captain Lewis" by Thomas Jefferson.
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