(London: For J. Osborn, 1735).
A VERY IMPORTANT EARLY ACCOUNT OF FRENCH NORTH AMERICA, WITH A GREAT DEAL ON THE NATIVE AMERICANS OF THE REGION. The work provides a thorough and detailed account of Lahontan's life and travels in New France, chronicling the nine years Lahontan spent exploring while a soldier in the French Army. 'Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan (9 June 1666 – prior to 1716) served in the French military in Canada where he traveled extensively in the Wisconsin and Minnesota region and the upper Mississippi Valley. Lahontan led his men to live with local habitants between 1685 and 1687 – himself dividing his time between hunting and classical literature. Just prior to a decision to return to France, Lahontan was ordered –at least in part because of his knowledge of the Algonkian language- to head a detachment of French and native troops towards Fort St. Joseph where he would launch another attack on the Iroquois. He was a restless commander and spent much of his time exploring the regions near his postings. But his conflicts with the governor of [Newfoundland] caused him to leave New France altogether.
Deprived of his inheritance and unable to return to France, he eventually arrived in Amsterdam on 14 April, 1693. During an unknown period of time in Saragossa, Spain until at least 1696, de Lahontan recorded his memoirs for the English government explaining how and why they should take French controlled Canada. Upon his return to Amsterdam he issued this enormously popular work. In it he recounted his voyage up the "Long River," now thought to be the Missouri.' He wrote at length, and in very positive terms about Native American culture, portraying Indian people as free, rational and generally admirable. The book is considered to be very highly ranked and among the best of the seminal works on Canada and the adjacent regions especially because of its detailed descriptions of the environment as well as its considerations of North American native society. Of note are the descriptions found in the author's writings of the two winters he spent hunting with a group of the Algonquin people. Lahontan's secular perspective and open mind relative to native customs and religions provides a very different approach and appreciation than the works of the Jesuits that were published during roughly the same time period. Item #30443
2 volumes. The second edition in English, "a great part of which never printed in the original." And with a new and correct map of Newfoundland issued here for the first time. Illustrated with 20 plates of maps and illustrations, 5 of which are folding and three small cuts within the text. The frontispiece map of Lake Huron, the New France and the "Long River" maps are present in very fine condition as is the Newfoundland map. The plates are all well engraved and with fine impressions. 8vo, very handsomely bound at the time in contemporary full dark brown calf, the covers with a double-ruled gilt framework, the spines with double-gilt framed compartments between raised bands, each with fine gilt tooling in a stylized floral motif, two compartments with contrasting light and dark brown morocco labels gilt framed and lettered, board edges hatched in blind, page edges speckled red. [xxii], 280; 304 pp. A surprisingly fine and fresh set, the paper is clean and bright with hardly a spot to be found, the plates all beautifully preserved as well, the text-block firm and tight, the hinges strong, the handsome bindings with only very light evidence of age or use, some cosmetic cracking to the soft calf along the hinges, the very handsomely designed spine panels still very pleasing to the eye. The original bindings with their original spine panels remain completely intact.
(London: For J. Osborn, 1735).