The John Askin Papers, 1747-1820 - Rare Book Insider
book (2)

Askin, John; Quaife, Milo (editor)

The John Askin Papers, 1747-1820

Detroit Library Commission, Detroit: 1931
  • $375
Two volumes, pp 657, 829, with illustrations, maps, fascimiles, in original binding of three-quarter black leather and tan cloth. Scuffing to extremities, frontispiece laid in loose in Volume II, else about fine. John Askin was a pominent fur trader and merchant who came to North America from Ireland with the British Army in 1758. After the British took over New France, he entered the fur trade and operated a trading post at Fort Michilimackinac. Later, he moved to Detroit, where he continued as a fur trader and was also involved in shipping and land speculation. These personal papers illustrate almost every aspect of life and times in the Old Northwest, including excellent documentation of the Great Lakes fur trade. Oversized; shipping cost will be more than standard for priority or international orders.
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Statement Respecting The Earl of Selkirk’s Settlement Upon the Red River, in North America; Its Destruction in 1815 and 1816; and the Massacre of Governor Semple and His Party, with Observations Upon a Recent Publication, Entitled “A Narrative of Occurrances in the Indian Countries,” & C.

Second edition, following the privately printed edition issued earlier the same year. 8vo, pp. viii, 194,c, [4] (publisher's ads), with folding map by A. Arrowsmith titled "Sketch of a Part of the Hudson's Bay Company Territory," in paper-covered boards with paper spine label. Front board original, spine with restorations, rear board professionally replaced. Map and title page have some offsetting, binding sound, text very clean. Housed in a cloth clamshell box with paper spine label.The Red River Settlement was an agricultural colony located in present-day Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota established in 1811 by Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk, on about 120,000 square miles of land granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company. Selkirk had become interested in settling the area after reading Alexander Mackenzie's 1801 book on his travels in the region. Poverty was on the rise in Scotland, and Selkirk believed he could give settlers a chance at a better life in the new colony he called "Assiniboia." His chief opponents in this plan were the partisans of the Northwest Company, who had long traded without interference in the territories now claimed by Selkirk and the Hudson's Bay Company. Although the colony was not very successful agriculturally, the lure of free land added new settlers every year, and scarce resources and disputes over land rights led to conflict with trappers and traders from the North West Company. This work, written by Lord Selkirk's brother-in-law, defends Selkirk's actions in response to aggressions instigated by the North West Company that ultimately culminated in the 1816 "Massacre at Seven Oaks," and the death of the colony's governor, Robert Semple. The Appendix contains legal documents in support of Selkirk's case. This edition also includes a rebuttal to the North West Company's response (A Narrative of Occurences in the Indian Countries of North America Since the Connexion of the Right Hon. Earl of Selkirk with the Hudson's Bay Co. etc.) to the first edition, as well as some additional documentation. TPL 1093; Streeter 3673; Sabin 20704.
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Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, Performed in the Years 1819, 1820, Under the Command of Maj. S.H. Long, of the U.S. Top. Engineers. Compiled from the Notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and Other Gentlemen of the Party, by Edwin Thomas, Botanist and Geologist to the Expedition

James, Edwin First British edition, bound in original brown paper-covered boards, re-backed with plain paper spines. Each volume in a separate cloth chemise, the three volumes together housed in a cloth slipcase with marbled paper spine label. Complete with very good folding map, nine plates (three colored, one folding), half-titles in Volumes II and III. Private library stamp of Lewis W. Macnaughton on each front free endpaper, some foxing to endpapers, otherwise very clean. This important government-sponsored expedition, led by Major Stephen Harriman Long of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers, was tasked with conducting a military and scientific reconnaissance of the central plains for the first time. The part included men with training in geology, botany, zoology, and ethnology, as well as a naturalist, an artist, and a topographer. Eight guides and hunters and a seven-man military escort completed the twenty-two man detachment. Edwin James served as botanist, geologist, and surgeon. According to Wagner-Camp (25:2), he based his account on "his own records, the brief geological notes of Major Long, and the early journals of Thomas Say" (the expedition's zoologist). Field (948) notes that "in all of Major Long's explorations, the natives of the territories through which he passed received the largest share of his attention.A great part of Volume III is devoted to observations upon the Shienne, Arapaho, Pawnee, and other tribes of the Plains. Of the eight plates, seven are illustrative of Indian life and manners." Wheat, Transmississppi, 353 (noting that the map was one of the "progenitors of an entire class of maps of the American Transmississippi West"); Sabin 36583; Streeter Sale 1784; Howes H-41.
  • $4,500
  • $4,500
Travels Round the World

Travels Round the World, in the Years 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771

Pagès, Pierre-Marie-François de First edition in English. 8vo. Vol. I: xiv, 2-289, with folded aquatint frontispiece; Vol. II: iv, 261, [3] (ads). Ex-library copies in recent three-quarter leather and marbled boards, new endpapers. Library ink stamps on three pages in each volume, foxing to first and last few pages of Vol. I and first few pages of Vol. II, otherwise sound and clean. "Pagès, an officer in the French Navy, was posted to Santo Domingo in 1766. The next year he apparently received a commission to search for a northwest passage by way of the eastern coast of Asia. He sailed first to New Orleans and proceeded to explore the Louisiana territory by traveling up the Mississippi and then taking a canoe up the Red River to Natchidoches. He traversed Texas on horseback to San Antonio and Laredo, then crossed Mexico, visiting Saltillo, San Luis Potosi, Mexico City, and Acapulco. From that port, Pagès sailed on the Manilla galleon to Guam and to the Philippines. This work offers much information on the Spanish colonial empire in North America and in the Orient. Unable to visit China, Pagès proceeded to Batavia on Java, Bombay and Surat in India, Muscat in Oman, then on to Persia. He then joined a caravan to Mesopotamia, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. From Acre, he sailed via several Mediterranean isles to Marseilles" (Hill 1285). The two volumes offered here cover all of the travels just described. A third volume, published in 1792, describes further travels in the polar regions. The veracity of Pagès account has been questioned by some scholars. Henry Wagner, in The Spanish Southwest, says "Pagès is supposed to have made a journey through Texas on horseback in 1767, passing from Natchitoches to the Rio Grande. The book contains numerous observations on Texas and the missions, but I have never been able to persuade myself that the author ever saw Texas. The work has all the appearance of being one made up in Paris, simulating a real journey, a common enough trick of the times." Thomas Streeter, however, argued that the work must be authentic because Alexander von Humboldt. in his Political Essay on New Spain, refers to Pagès being in Saltillo in 1767, "and there are two biographical sketches of Pagès.both of which record at some length this around the world journey and two later expeditions" (Bibliography of Texas 1027). Marilyn McAdams Sibley ("Across Texas in 1767: The Travels of Captain Pagès" Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 1967) states that this first London edition "is generally accepted as the first book in the English language which describes Texas."
  • $750
Original Photograph of Rafael Carrera

Original Photograph of Rafael Carrera, President of Guatemala

Buchanan, W.C. Rare carte-de-visite (CDV) photograph, 6 x 10 cm, of Guatemalan President Rafael Carrera, with the backstamp of itinerant American photographer William C. Buchanan, one of the first photographers to work in Guatemala. Carrera (1814-1865) was one of the most powerful figures in nineteenth century Central America. A mestizo with no formal education, he served in the military, where he developed strong conservative beliefs and rose rapidly through the ranks. With the support of the peasantry and the lower clergy (who opposed the anti-clerical liberal government), he captured Guatemala City in 1838 and seized power. In 1840, he established himself as dictator and withdrew Guatemala from the United Provinces of Central America, proclaiming it an independent republic. Recalling the Jesuits, he re-established the Roman Catholic Church in 1852. In 1854 he abolished elections and became President for Life. Under Carrera, adventurers from Nicaragua led by William Walker were repulsed, two attempts by Mexico to annex Guatemala were thwarted, and the territorial expansion of British Honduras was limited. He intruded frequently into the affairs of neighboring nations in behalf of their conservative forces. Although Carrera was crude and brutal, the clergy and upper classes appreciated his regime for its stability, respect for property, and support of the church. The country made some economic progress under his rule, becoming a major coffee exporter. Guatemala also attained a measure of ethnic equality under Carrera's leadership, which included appointing Indians and mestizos to political and military positions (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica). Because of the limited number of photographers operating in Central America during Carrera's lifetime, photographs of him are quite scarce. William C. Buchanan first traveled to Central America in 1853, working as a portraitist in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. In early 1854, he opened a studio in Guatemala City, and for several months worked in partnership with another American photographer, William Fitzgibbon. He appears to have left the city for Mexico late that year, and his whereabouts are unknown until 1859, when returned Guatemala City, remaining through 1865.
  • $750