PERRIN DU LAC, Francois Marie (1766-1824). Voyage dans les deux Louisianes, et Chez les Nations sauvages du Missouri, par les Etats-Unis, l'Ohio et les Provinces qui le bordent, en 1801, 1802 et 1803; Avec un apercu des Moeurs, des Usages, du Caractere et des Coutumes religieuses et civiles des Peuples de ces diverses Contrees. Paris: Capelle et Renand,... Et, a Lyon, chez Bruysset aine et Buyand, 1805.
8vo., (7 7/8 x 5 inches). Half-title. Large engraved folding map "Carte de Missouri levee ou Rectifiee dans toute son Etendue. Par F.ois Perrin du Lac l'An 1802" (full margins, showing the platemark) and folding plate of a mammoth both on thick light blue paper. 19th-century cloth backed marbled paper boards (a little scuffed at the extremities).
Provenance: with the bookseller's ticket of Sommet in Bordeaux on the front paste-down; with the ink library stamp of P. Drut at the foot of the title-page; with the red morocco, gilt library label of J.C. McCoy on the front paste-down; from the important cartographical library of Warren Heckrotte, his sale, Rare Cartography, Exploration and Voyages, Part I, 29th October, 2015, lot 68
First edition. Two French editions were issued in 1805, one in Lyon and the present Paris edition. With an important and early map the "earliest published map of the trans-Mississippi region which can be said to display even the faintest semblance of accuracy" (Wagner). Described by F. J. Teggart in his "Notes Supplementary to any Edition of Lewis and Clark" (1908) at p. 189 as "substantially the same as the Mackey map which Lewis and Clark took with them. Here there are many familiar names which perhaps appear for the first time on a printed map of this region, such as R. Platte, R. des Kances, and its affluent Fourche des Republiques, R. des Fowke, R. de Chagayenne (i.e. Cheyenne) and so on" (Streeter).
"Important for details concerning the early fur trade with the Indians on the upper Missouri, but that information was probably obtained from Pierre Menard at St. Louis and there is little doubt that Du Lac lied like a horse-thief in claiming to have gone on a trading expedition up the Missouri" (Howes).
Perrin du Lac entered the colonial administration in 1789 and was attached to the treasury department of Santo Domingo. He took part in the rebellion of Cape Francais, fought under Mauduit du Plessis in the royal volunteers named Les Pompons blancs, and acted as secretary to the government commissioner that presided over the debates of the colonial assembly of St. Marc.
In 1791 Perrin du Lac accompanied Palissot de Beauvais to the United States to demand the help of congress against the negro insurgents, and remained in the country after the return of Palissot to Santo Domingo. Having obtained, through the influence of his cousin, a member of the convention, the erasure of his name from the list of emigrants, he recovered his former estate in France. The war between England and France preventing his immediate return to France, so he travelled through the United States and explored the southern and western states, visiting Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Toward the end of 1803 Perrin du Lac returned to France, and in 1800 he was attached to the prefecture of Hamburg, but he soon resigned and retired to live a private life untill the accession of Louis XVIII when he was seconded to the department of the navy in Paris. In 1810 he was appointed "sous prefet" of Sancerre, Cher, but subsequently transferred to Rambouillet. He published "Voyage dans les deux Louisianes, et cnez les nations sauvages du Missouri, par les Etats-Unis. l'Ohio, et les provinces qui le bordent, en 1801, 1802, et 1803" (Paris, 1805), and translated into French the poem of "Solomon" by Matthew Prior (Paris. 1808). Clark, "Old South" 2:52, 114; Field "Indian Bibliography" 1204; Graff 3254; Howes P-244; Monaghan 1176; Rader 2647; Sabin 61102; Streeter sale III:1773 (second, Paris, issue); Wagner-Camp-Becker 3:1; Wheat, "Mapping the Transmississippi West" 256. Catalogued by Kate Hunter