4to., (10 ¼ x 8 inches). (Title page cropped, occasional staining throughout). 13 fine folding engraved maps and plans (some offsetting and spotting; one map has long tear). Contemporary quarter morocco, marbled boards, the smooth spine in six gilt-ruled compartments, gilt-lettered in one, ornaments in the rest (hinge split but holding, library label to spine, a bit worn overall).
Provenance: Contemporary manuscript ownership inscription and pen trials of Thomas Hunter Forest; ink stamps of the New Jersey Historical Society scattered throughout.
First edition. Ellicott's career as a surveyor "began in 1784 with his appointment as one of the commissioners for Virginia to clarify the boundaries between that state and Pennsylvania. He was commissioned with David Rittenhouse and Andrew Porter to define the western boundary of Pennsylvania, and in 1787 he completed a survey of the state's northern boundary. In 1789 Ellicott moved his family to Philadelphia and was employed by the federal government to survey the Presqu' Isle triangle, the tract north of the forty-second parallel and south of Lake Erie, a project that occupied him into 1791. In early 1796 President Washington commissioned him to undertake the survey of the boundary between the United States and the Spanish territory of Florida in accordance with a treaty with Spain. Ellicott kept a detailed account of all that came to his notice and obstruction he encountered from the Spanish. After completing the survey in the spring of 1800 he submitted his report to the State Department. Because President John Adams withheld it from the Senate, however, no appropriation was made for Ellicott's compensation, which left him in serious financial difficulties. After publication of his report in Philadelphia in 1803, he rose to considerable prominence in the world of science" (Silvio A. Bedini for ADNB). A contemporary pencil notation in this copy calls Ellicott "a faithful officer and a [sic] honest man" (p. 269).
The Fine engraved maps and plates are:
Plate A: folding map of Ohio River from Cincinnati to Pittsburg
Plate B: folding map Ohio River from Cincinnati to confluence with the Mississippi
Plate C: folding map of Mississippi from confluence with the Ohio to the confluence with the Arkansas River
Plate D: folding map of Mississippi from confluence with the Arkansas River to the Southern Boundary of the United States
Plate E: folding map of the Southern Boundary of the United State south to the mouth of the Mississippi
Plate F: folding map of the Southern Boundary of the United State south from St. Rose's Bay to East Florida and the mouth of the St. Mary's River at the Atlantic Ocean
The 8 folding plates in the Appendix are numbered 1-8, and record Ellicott's survey along the Boundary Line.
American Imprints 4147; Graff 1230; Howes E94; Rader 1295; Sabin 22216; Servies 768.