Neva and Guy Littell (morocco label)
Parke-Bernet, February 6, 1945, lot 645
The James S. Copley Library, Sotheby's New York, October 15, 2010, lot 733
The expedition made its way from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back from spring 1804 through the fall of 1806. A myriad of circumstances—including Lewis's mysterious death—conspired to delay the publication of the official narrative of their travels for eight years, during which interval several unofficial and inaccurate accounts were published. The present edition was finally brought together from Lewis and Clark's journals by Paul Allen; Thomas Jefferson (who purchased twelve sets of the History of the Expedition) supplied a prefatory life of Lewis. Many copies were evidently issued without the large map tracing Lewis and Clark's 8000-mile trek, which is here preserved in a fine impression.
Clark's map of the region west of the Great Lakes was vastly superior to any previous western map: "The narrow single chain of mountains that characterized many earlier maps was replaced by a complex system of ranges, and the courses of the Missouri and Snake rivers were shown for the first time in their approximately correct position" (Schwartz & Ehrenberg). The five smaller maps and plans depict specific stretches of the Missouri and Columbia rivers.
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