New York: Mason Brothers, 1861. First edition. Hardcover. Olmsted is best known for his outstanding contribution to landscape architecture in the United States, it being said that he "... paints with lakes and wooded slopes; with lawns and banks and forest-covered hills; with mountainsides and ocean views". In 1857, he and his partner Calvert Vaux won the competition to design Central Park, still a cornerstone of New York City's conserved open space.
Prior to this, Olmsted was commissioned by the New York Daily Times (now The New York Times) to embark on an extensive research journey through the American South and Texas from 1852 to 1857. His dispatches to the Times were collected into three volumes -- A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States (1856), A Journey Through Texas (1857), A Journey in the Back Country in the Winter of 1853-4 (1860). These vivid first-person accounts of the antebellum South were abridged into the two-volume set "The Cotton Kingdom". In the introduction, Olmsted stated his views on the effect of slavery on the economy and social conditions of the Southern states: " My own observation of the real condition of the people of our Slave States, gave me an impression that the cotton monopoly in some way did them more harm than good." (from Wikipedia).
Two volumes, small 8vo; viii, 376pp; iv, 404pp. Folding, color map of the Southern States with Olmsted's facsimile signature printed in the bottom right. Bound in publisher's green cloth boards with bright spines & gilt title but water staining to the foredge of both volumes. There is a blind tooled stamp on the yellow ffep of the original bookseller Steele & Avery of Rochester NY and the signature of the original owner, Henry S. Hayward of Clarendon NY. There are some light indications that this set was a library copy but there is nothing on the text or title pages. Overall a bright clean copy. Howes O-76; Sabin 57240. Good + overall. Item #28269