CHATEAUBRIAND, Francois Rene (1768 - 1848). Voyages en Amerique, par M. Le Vicomte de Chateaubriand. Paris: Societe Reproductive des Bons Livres, 1838.
8vo., (8 1/8 x 5 inches). Series half-title, and 3 sectional title-pages. Contemporary full flame calf, the spine gilt decorated in six compartments.
Provenance: with the near contemporary ownership inscription of "Reggio" on the half-title; Ex-Libris Jean R. Perrette, his sale, Christie's New York, 5th April 2016, lot 418
Chateaubriand's account of his brief time in America was first published in 1827. "Rejecting both sides in the French Revolution, the young nobleman sailed from Saint-Malo for America on 8 June 1791, and, after a pleasant interlude on the French island of Saint Pierre near Newfoundland, landed in Baltimore on 10 July. From there he hurried on to Philadelphia carrying a letter of introduction to President George Washington from the marquis de la Rouërie, who, as Colonel Armand, had fought with the Americans at Brandywine and Yorktown. Although in his Travels in America, published thirty-five years later, Chateaubriand described an interview with the American leader, we know from Washington's correspondence that the two never met. The young traveler did, however, go on to New York, perhaps to Boston, then up the Hudson and on to Niagara, where he broke his arm and remained for some time; but he did not, as he claimed, go down the Ohio and Mississippi, on to Florida, and back north overland. There are two reasons for being certain of that fact. First, since he began his return voyage to France from Philadelphia on 10 November, he had only four months in America, far too little time for such a journey; and second, as scholars such as Joseph Bédier and Gilbert Chinard have shown, in the Travels all of the material about the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Southeast is taken from William Bartram, Jonathan Carver, François Charlevoix, Gilbert Imlay, and other well-known travelers Chateaubriand read before publishing his own account in 1827" (Percy G. Adams for ANB).