MISSIONS TO THE NIGER [Four Volumes]. I. The Journal of Friedrich Hornemann's Travels and The Letters of Alexander Gordon Laing; II. The Bornu Mission, 1822-25 Part 1; III. The Bornu Misssion, 1822-25 Part 2; IV. The Bornu Mission, 1822-25 Part 3

(Cambridge: For the Hakluyt Society by Cambridge University Press, 1964-1966).

FIRST EDITION OF EACH VOLUME. Landmark works on the discovery and exploration of the Niger and its adjacent environs. Laing, whose letters are provided in Vol. I is credited with making the first recorded discovery of Timbuktu by a European. Laing's purpose was to explore the Niger itself and he traveled the ancient route from Tripoll in the north to Timbuktu in the south before setting off on the Niger passage. Hornemann's route, different than Laing's, began in Cairo and ended somewhat east of Timbuktu and farther down river than where Laing began his river journey. The first part of Vol. I prints The Journal of Friedrich Hornemann's Travels from Cairo to Murzuk in the years 1797-98, the second part prints The Letters of Major Alexander Gordon Laing from 1824-1826. Vol. II - IV provide a long and useful introduction and print the Narative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa in the Years 1822, 1823 and 1824 by Major Denham, Captain Clapperton and the Late Doctor Oudney Extending Across the Great Desert tot the Tenth Degree of Northern Latitude, and From Koouka in Bornou, to Sackatoo, the Capital of the Felatah Empire. Vol III being Major Denham's Narrative and Vol. IV the Journal of An Excursion from Kouka in Bornou Through Soudan, to Soccatoo, the Capital of Bello, Sultan of the Felatahs.
Denham and Clapperton, in the company of Dr. Walter Oudney, travelled from Benioleed, near Tripoli, almost due south to Lake Tchad, with excursions into the mountains west of Mourzuk in Fezzan. Dixon attempted to traverse the circuit around Lake Tchad but was unsuccessful. In the meantime, Clapperton and Oudney journeyed west from the lake toward the Niger, but the doctor only made it about a third of the way, and died in Murmur. Clapperton continued west, but was prevented from passing beyond Sackatoo by the local Sultan. He and Denham subsequently returned to Tripoli and crossed back to England
This narrative is compiled primarily from Denham's journal, with a chapter by Dr. Oudney on the excursion to the mountains west of Mourzuk. A final section by Clapperton relates the westward journey from Lake Tchad to Sackatoo and includes an account of Oudney's death. Among the several appendices are translations from the Arabic of various letters and documents brought back by Denham and Clapperton, including a document relating to the death of Mungo Park. Item #32297

4 volumes. First Edition. Profusely illustrated throughout with frontispieces, photographic plates and folding maps and charts and including a folding map stored in the pocket at the end of Vol. IV. 8vo, publisher’s original light blue cloth lettered in gilt on the spine, all volumes housed in their original printed dustjackets. [xiv], 406; xiv, 306; xii, [307]-[596]; x, [597]-798 + maps and illustrations pp. A very fine copy of each volume, essentially as pristine, the spine panels of the dustjackets just a tad mellowed.

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Price: $450.00