Voyages from Asia to America, for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America. To which is prefixed, a Summary of the Voyages made by the Russians on the Frozen Sea, in search of the North East Passage…. Thomas JEFFERYS.
Voyages from Asia to America, for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America. To which is prefixed, a Summary of the Voyages made by the Russians on the Frozen Sea, in search of the North East Passage…
Voyages from Asia to America, for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America. To which is prefixed, a Summary of the Voyages made by the Russians on the Frozen Sea, in search of the North East Passage…

Voyages from Asia to America, for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America…
Voyages from Asia to America, for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America. To which is prefixed, a Summary of the Voyages made by the Russians on the Frozen Sea, in search of the North East Passage…

London: Printed for T. Jefferys, 1764.

Quarto, with four folding maps on three folding sheets; a very nice copy in old half maroon morocco gilt.

Bering, and Russian discoveries on the Northwest coast

The second and best edition of Jefferys's English translation, published the same year as the significantly shorter first: a 'most important contemporary account of Bering's discoveries, by a scientist attached to his second expedition' (Howes). The text, with additions by Jefferys, is based on Gerhard Müller's obscurely published account of Russian discoveries in eastern Asia and north America, which appeared in 1753 as volume three of his exhaustive study Sammlung Russischer Geschichte. This work, Müller's magnum opus, was published in St. Petersburg, where he was a lecturer at the Academy. Müller's publication contained the first full narrative of the Bering expedition, a 'most important contemporary account of Bering's discoveries, by a scientist attached to his second expedition' (Howes). The text has significant additions by Jefferys, and thus is not simply a translation of Müller's work. It represents the best contemporary geographical knowledge regarding the question of the Northeast Passage.

The second and best edition of Jefferys's English translation, published the same year as the significantly shorter first: a 'most important contemporary account of Bering's discoveries, by a scientist attached to his second expedition' (Howes). The text, with additions by Jefferys, is based on Gerhard Müller's obscurely published account of Russian discoveries in eastern Asia and north America, which appeared in 1753 as volume three of his exhaustive study Sammlung Russischer Geschichte. This work, Müller's magnum opus, was published in St. Petersburg, where he was a lecturer at the Academy. Müller's publication contained the first full narrative of the Bering expedition, a 'most important contemporary account of Bering's discoveries, by a scientist attached to his second expedition' (Howes). The text has significant additions by Jefferys, and thus is not simply a translation of Müller's work. It represents the best contemporary geographical knowledge regarding the question of the Northeast Passage.

Although the text was a vitally important addition to the information available in English, the work's glory are the four maps, in particular the first large map "Discoveries made by the Russians on the North West Coast of America", showing both Kamchatka and the Northwest coast. Whilst it closely follows the very scarce original (also by Müller and published by the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg in 1754), Jefferys' version does incorporate some changes, including topographical information about Siberia, as well as being annotated with descriptions of events on Bering's expedition. The second, a large folding map of Canada, shows discoveries from Canada to the west of Hudson Bay and some points on the western coast. The first of the two smaller maps depicts "part of a Japanese map of the World", taken from a manuscript in the famous Sloane collection; the second the discoveries relative to the search for a passage to the South Sea by Admiral de Fonte and other Spanish, English and Russian navigators, respectively.

These maps have an extra importance as we know that along with those in Staehlin's book they figured prominently in the planning for Cook's third voyage and were used by, and mostly confused, Cook himself during the progress of his final voyage (see Beaglehole, Life of Cook, pp. 486-489, 593-4, 599, 604-5, 613, 617, 627, 633).

Provenance: Private collection (Sydney).

Lada-Mocarski, 17; Lande, 1358; Sabin, 51285; Streeter (Sr.) sale, 210; Wickersham, 6332.

Price (AUD): $13,250.00  other currencies Ref: #4505109

Condition Report