London: Printed for the Author; and sold by J. Walter and S. Crowder, 1778. First edition. Hardcover. The first edition of the detailed journal of Jonathan Carver, of the British exploration of the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi region, which includes the map used by Benjamin Franklin in negotiations with the British for the boundaries of the new United States. Carver explored and documented an area further west than any British explorer had previously traveled and his journal includes the first published use of the word "Oregon".
The volume complete with plates and large folding maps, the first titled 'A New Map of North America, From the Latest Discoveries 1778', and the second, taken from Carver's manuscript map, titled 'A Plan of Captain Carver's Travels in the Interior Parts of North America in 1766 and 1767'. This map was relied upon by Benjamin Franklin as a delegate to the Paris negotiations with the British to determine the western boundary of the United States for the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. The source of the Mississippi was of crucial importance to the Americans in establishing the western boundary of the new United States; Carver's map in this volume shows White Bear Lake as the source of the Mississippi. The Treaty of Paris conceded the trans Appalachian area to the new country; for the British this concession was made with a view to creating a major trading partner.
Jonathan Carver (1710 - 1780), British mapmaker and draftsman, was third in command of an expedition to find a Northwest Passage to the Pacific, departing from Boston in 1766, and headed for Fort Michilimackinac in the Great Lakes. Carver was appointed to the expedition by Major Robert Rogers, the newly appointed governor commandant of British Fort Michilimackinac. From there the expedition proceeded to the Minnesota River, where Carver met and befriended the "Naudowessies" (Dakotas), spending the winter and recording their way of life in his journal. Carver eventually returned to the east, and not securing funds to publish his journal, sailed for Britain.
In London, Carver ended up self publishing his Travels in 1778, where it became an instant best seller, and where at some point Benjamin Franklin as American ambassador in Paris acquired the copy which contained the map he relied upon in his negotiations with the British.
8vo, , xvi, 543,pp. 2 folding engraved maps, 4 engraved plates. Manuscript marginalia included through out the volume but unfortunately the name of the author of the comments has been excised from the top of the title page, only visible in the offset and from some bleed through. Included are short vocabularies of Chippeway and Naudowessie language.
Modern full calf, raised bands, title piece on spine. First edition of this landmark work on the exploration of the American West. Howes, C215; Sabin 11184; Streeter III,1772. OCLC: 228758451. Very good condition. Item #21799