COLLOT, Georges Henri Victor (1751-1805). Voyage dans l'Amérique septentrionale, ou Description des pays arrosés par le Mississippi, l'Ohio, le Missouri et autres rivières affluentes...Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1826 [but printed in 1804-1805].

$ 285,000.00

3 volumes. 2 text volumes: 8vo (8 x 5 inches). Half-titles. Half tan calf, marbled boards, gilt (extremities rubbed); preserved in brown morocco backed slipcase and chemise. Atlas: Folio (15 x 12 inches). 4 letterpress leaves including the title-page and plate list in French and English. 11 fine folding engraved maps, 14 engraved plans, and 11 engraved plates (8 views, 3 figures of native Americans), all engraved by Tardieu (folding maps with some very mild offsetting, North America map with slight fold tear, paper flaw to Part II of Ohio River map with small loss to blank area, guards renewed, very mild occasional foxing or marginal spotting, text leaves toned). Contemporary half vellum, marbled paper boards uniform with text volumes, citron and red morocco lettering-pieces on the spine (extremities rubbed).

Provenance: John B. Stetson, his sale Parke-Bernet, 14 April 1953, lot 207; sold by Henry Stevens in 1953 to Frank T. Siebert; text volumes purchased by Siebert from Maggs Bros., his sale, Sotheby's New York, Oct 28, 1999, lot 819; with the signed bookplate of Bruce McKinney loosely inserted, his sale 2nd December 2010, lot 150

A PARTICULARLY FINE AND ATTRACTIVE COPY WITH A SUPERB PROVENANCE of the first edition, in French, with the RARE atlas volume which accompanies Collot's account of his extensive survey of the Louisiana region, including his celebrated map on three sheets of the Ohio River.

"The beautifully executed map of the Ohio River [on three sheets] depicts vividly the wilderness that this country was at the time of his journey" (Wagner-Camp).

The other remarkable maps include a general map of North America; the course of the Ohio from its source to its junction with the Mississippi; the road from Limestone to Frankfort in Kentucky; a stretch of a branch of the river Juniata; a map of the course of the Mississippi from the Missouri to its mouth; a map of Illinois country; a map of the Missouri and of the higher parts of the Mississippi and the plain where the waters divide to run north-east to Hudson's Bay, north-north-west to the Frozen Sea, and south into the gulf of Mexico, and showing Mackenzie's route of 1789; a chart of the sources of the Mobile and of the Yazoo.

Fine plans of most important forts are included: Erie, Niagara, Natchez, New Madrid or Anse a la Graisse, and Baton-Rouge. As are plans of the towns of Pittsburgh, St.-Louis, and a sketch of New Orleans.

Collot, who served under Rochambeau during the Revolutionary War, was commissioned to make a reconnaissance of the Mississippi valley by Pierre Auguste Adet (1763-1834), French ambassador to the United States. He was to report of the political, economic and military situation in the region, which was under Spanish control, in anticipation of the reacquisition of Louisiana by France from Spain. But as a result of the Louisiana Purchase, however, the "work was printed, both in French ... and English, but not published, at the time of Gen. Collot's death, which happened in 1805. More than twenty years afterwards, the whole impression came into the hands of M. Bertrand, an eminent publisher in Paris, who reserved 100 copies of the English and 300 of the French edition, and made waste paper of the remainder" (Rich, Bibliotheca Americana Nova, 2: p. 185). Howes C-601; Sabin 14460; Wagner-Camp 31a. Catalogued by Kate Hunter