Pike’s Explorations by Order of the U.S. Gov’t…


1889 reprint of Pike’s account of his explorations.

1 in stock

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In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson authorized the first U.S. government-sponsored expedition to explore the southern and western portions of the newly-acquired Louisiana Territory. James Wilkinson, the territorial governor, assigned the task to Lieutenant Zebulon Pike (he was soon promoted to captain). Joined by twenty other men, the group of twenty men set out from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis to map the territory, make contact with indigenous tribes, and find the source of the Red River.

They traveled through modern-day Kansas and Nebraska before arriving in Colorado and discovering Pike’s namesake peak. When returning through New Mexico, an unfortunate encounter with the Spanish led to the group’s imprisonment and a long march through Texas before being released in July of 1807, almost a full year after departing. Pike wrote and published an account of his epic travels in 1810 and its subsequent popularity saw several editions issued in German, French, and Dutch.

This is a lovely example of the 1811 English edition, originally issued in London by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown and republished in 1889 by W.H. Lawrence & Co. in Denver, Colorado. The volume includes reprints of Pike’s journals, copies of correspondence, maps, charts, and an extensive appendix. The introduction by the new publishers outlines their justifications for the new printing and concludes that –

“his [Pike’s] monument, than which no man has a prouder, looks down upon the scene of his daring western march. To us who know his story, the great “White Mountain” seems to gather a new dignity by the addition of his name, and for all yet to come shall the mighty peak yet preserve his memory even as it holds its everlasting snow. A soldier of the Republic when it and the century was young, earnestly devoted to his duty, he deserved well of his country. For it he lived, and for it he died.”

Sources: Wheat #297-298; Schwartz & Ehrenberg p.224; Wagner-Camp #9:3

Map Details

Publication Date: 1889

Author: Zebulon Pike

Sheet Width (in): See Description

Sheet Height (in): See Description

Condition: A-

Condition Description: 1889 reprint volume that measures approximately 9" x 11.5" and is bound in original gilt blue cloth boards. Both gutters are broken and the covers are mildly soiled, but otherwise the contents are complete and in good shape. 394 hand cut pages on laid paper with frontispiece engraving and four maps printed on onion skin paper. Very good overall.


1 in stock