1851-7 Historical and Statistical Information respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States
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An Important Work, Author's Presentation Copy, First Edition, Illustrated, Publishers' Original Binding, Uncommon
The most extensive work on Native Americans published in the 19th-century containing "a vast mass of really valuable information" (Field). This title was commissioned by the US Congress. This set has an excellent association. All volumes belonged to Buckingham Smith. Buckingham Smith was a diplomat and historian of Spanish exploration in Florida and the Americas. Schoolcraft acknowledges his use of Smith's transcripts of documents held in the Archivo-General in volume III. Smith made these transcripts during his posting as secretary of legation in 1850-2. Schoolcraft also made use of Smith's translation of 'Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vava' for this work. Schoolcraft and several other contemporaries assisted Smith in securing his position of secretary of legation in Madrid (Dipple, Catlin and His Contemporaries P.254). To the first volume there is a presentation inscription to Buckingham Smith from Luke Lea as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The introduction to volume II is addressed to Lea. To the second and fourth volumes there are presentation inscriptions to Smith from the author himself to the front pastedown. To the third volume the gift inscription to Smith is from Seth Eastman, one of the main illustrators to this work. Inscription to volume V is from Charles E Mix. Charles Mix was an American civil servant. He served as the Chief Clerkof the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1838-1868. Volumes 5-6 are published by Lippincott and Company. With half titles and additional engraved title pages to volumes I-V. Engraved portrait frontispiece to volume VI. With 330 lithographic, chromolithographic or engraved plates and maps mostly after Seth Eastman. Inconsistencies in the numbering of the plates have led to records' also calling for 327 or 332 plates, this last figure counting 'plates' 17, 32, 33 and 36 in volume five as individuals, although they appear on two sheets. The list of plates to the contents pages of all volumes states that there should be 334 plates. This set has 330/334 plates. To volume I there are seventy-three chromolithographic plates by Ackerman, Bowen or Duval. Many of the plates to this volume are hand-coloured. Lacking plates 40, 42, 52 and 70 to volume I, however plates 42 and 70 were reprinted and are present to volume VI as numbers 27 and 15 as called for. According to plate numeration volume I is lacking plate 52. However, plate 52 'Wabeno Songs' is present and numbered as plate 51. This volume is lacking 'Meda Songs' which is listed at plate 51 to the contents. With eighty plates to volume II (Including the two alphabet plates), With forty-two plates to volume III. Volume IV has forty-two plates. To volume V there are thirty-five plates. Plates 17, 32, 33 and 36 are on two sheets, but are counted separately here as is to the contents pages. There is no page number for the plate 'Comparison of North and South American Mounds (plate 9)' to this volume, and therefore the plate isn't present. With fifty eight plates to volume VI. Plates 22-24 inclusive mentioned to volume III are actually in volume IV as called for in the list of illustrations. The majority of plates to volume VI have appeared in the previous five volumes, as called for. To the front pastedown of volume I the inscription reads 'Buckingham Smith Esq with the respects of L Lea Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Inscription to the half-title of volume I 'To John Cunningham of Sevilla a token of esteem from his friend Buckingham Smith of Florida 1864.' Notes in a contemporary hand in pencil to the margins of volume II, mostly to the final third of the volume and regarding the subject of skull shape of the Native American people. Ink-stamps of Michelina Gorgolini, Rome, to engraved title page and p. 22 of each volume. Bookplate of Jay Snider to the verso of front endpaper to volume I and to the front pastedown to volume II. This work was published from 1851 to 1857 and was commissioned to write it by Congress. This major study outlines his hard work as a geographer, geologist and ethnologist. It provides many early studies of Native American cultures and the indigenous people. A smart set, with a scarce association.
With volumes I-V In the publisher's original cloth bindings. Volume VI is in a modern binding in the style of the original binding. Volumes I-V have been rebacked with the original boards preserved and the spines laid down. Small loss to the original spines. Externally, generally smart with bumping to the extremities, and patches of light rubbing. Some repairs to the board edges. The spines have discoloured as is very common with this work. With new endpapers to volume I. Front endpaper to volume V is creased. Internally, all volumes are firmly bound. Pages are generally bright. Ink-stamps of Michelina Gorgolini, Rome, to engraved title page and p. 22 of each volume. Small loss to the front pastedown of volume I. To the first volume there is a presentation inscription to Buckingham Smith from Luke Lea as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. To the second and fourth volumes there are presentation inscriptions to Smith from the author himself to the front pastedown. To the third volume the gift inscription to Smith is from Seth Eastman, one of the main illustrators to this work. Inscription to volume V is from Charles E Mix. Contemporary inscription to the title page of volume VI. Notes in a contemporary hand in pencil to the margins of volume II, mostly to the final third of the volume. Occasional scattered spotting to pages and plates, which also suffer the odd browning and offsetting as is usual. Plates 22, 44 and 34 to volume I are slightly creased to the edges. Volume VI is rather clean compared to the other volumes.
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