London: Cadell & Davies, 1801. First Edition. Hardcover. Large quarto (8-1/4" x 11") bound in attractive modern full tan calf in antique style, with heavily gilt-decorated spine with contrasting gilt-lettered morocco spine labels, gilt dentelles and marbled endpapers;  viii, cxxxii, 412 pages + errata leaf. FIELD 967: "No writer upon the subject of Indian customs and peculiarities has given us a more minute, careful and interesting relation"; GRAFF 2630; HILL, pp. 187-88: "This is the first and finest edition of one of the most important of Canadian books"; HOWES M-133; LANDE 1317; NEW HOWES M-133 "dd": "First crossing of the continent from ocean to ocean by a white man.... The account of the fur trade--first ever published--is attributed to Roderick Mackenzie"; SABIN 43414; WAGNER-CAMP 1; WHEAT 251: "Mackenzie was the first white man to cross the continent, and his journal of this expedition is of surpassing interest." One of the greatest books in the field of Travel and Exploration and a classic of Canadiana and Western Americana. Illustrated with a frontispiece engraved portrait of Mackenzie by P. Condé after Thomas Lawrence and three large folding engraved maps, the largest measuring 31" x 19". The "Map of Mackenzie's track from Ft. Chippewa to the Pacific Ocean in 1793" was a milestone and, as Wheat says, "At once questions began to be raised about the now patent inadequacies of all prior maps of the American Far West." Lacking the half title, as usual. Minor occasional foxing; some offsetting from portrait to title page and on maps which, except for one neat repair and two minor marginal closed tears are fine; slight bowing of boards. A very attractive, Near Fine example of this important text. Item #020272
This book had an enormous impact on the future of the United States. Thomas Jefferson and his secretary, Meriwether Lewis, read it, and Mackenzie's recommendation that the British fur trade set up shop at the mouth of the Columbia River spurred Jefferson to reaffirm U.S. territorial rights to the Pacific Northwest and led to the most important expedition in the history of North American exploration, the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-06.