COUES, Elliott (1842-1899). The Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike. New York: Francis P. Harper, 1895.

$ 600.00

3 volumes. 8vo., (9 ½ x 6 ½ inches). Half-titles (a bit toned). 7 fine lithographed maps, of which 6 are folding (some toning). Original publisher's green cloth, the smooth spines lettered in gilt, mostly unopened (corners bumped).

First edition thus. Coues's annotated reissue of Pike's Travels. Howes's "best edition." In 1892, Coues requested a copy of Pike's Travels from publisher Francis Harper. "Their correspondence during the winter of 1893-94 indicates that Harper had agreed to Coues' proposal for a reissue of Pike. By February, 1894, editor and publisher had come to terms on financial matters. A contract was signed in which it was agreed that Coues was to receive a $1,000 honorarium and a royalty of 10 percent of the retail price of each copy sold…

"[His work consisted of] providing annotation for the original published journals, as well as such addenda as a preface, a biographical memoir of the explorer, allied documents, index, and maps. And once more he was bombarding Harper with requests for books and maps as well as with suggestions for publicizing the forthcoming volumes… He reorganized Pike's account into what to him was a more logical order, and although he did 'not that that any editor may feel free to re-write his author,' he did feel free to make improvements on what he called the 'non-essentials,' such as misprints, punctuation, and grammar" (Paul Russell Cutright et al., "Elliott Coues: Naturalist and Frontier Historian," pp. 366-367). Howes P373 "aa." Basic Texas Books 163. Rittenhouse 467.