Item #5000327 Journal of a cruise made to the Pacific Ocean, by Captain David Porter, in the United States frigate Essex, in the years 1812,1813, and 1814…. David PORTER.

Journal of a cruise made to the Pacific Ocean…
Journal of a cruise made to the Pacific Ocean, by Captain David Porter, in the United States frigate Essex, in the years 1812,1813, and 1814…

Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1815.

Two volumes bound in one, octavo, frontispiece and 13 plates including two maps (one folding, with old tears repaired); contemporary dark marbled calf, flat spine with gilt bands and red label.

Damaging British shipping in the Pacific during the War of 1812

The 'scarce first edition of Porter's account of the first American naval expedition to the Pacific Ocean' (Hill). This important work is also known as a source for Melville's Typee, and its rarity is due to the fact that the publication was suppressed.

The 'scarce first edition of Porter's account of the first American naval expedition to the Pacific Ocean' (Hill). This important work is also known as a source for Melville's Typee, and its rarity is due to the fact that the publication was suppressed.

Captain David Porter was the only American commander to sail against the British in the Pacific Ocean during the War of 1812. After success in the Atlantic, he rounded Cape Horn without authority, capturing more than a dozen British whalers and doing damage to British shipping estimated at more than half a million pounds. Porter annexed Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas, after conducting a war against the local tribes - the islands are here depicted in the folding chart, which although damaged, is the correct issue for this first edition (this map is sometimes supplied from later editions). His annexation was never formally recognised by the United States government. He was later blockaded at Valparaiso, and forced to surrender. Nonetheless, when he eventually returned home he was hailed a hero and went on to have a lengthy and controversial career in the Americas.

Other editions followed after a suitable lapse, including editions published in Italy (1820), New York (1822) and London (1823). Like so many American editions of this date, this copy has the distinctive browning and some damage, but it does boast a full complement of plates in a work often known to be lacking individual plates, even pages.

Provenance: Frederick E. Ellis, Shaw Island (bookplate); Hordern House; private collection (Sydney).

Hill, 1371; Howes, p. 484; Sabin, 64218.

Condition Report: Worm damage to bottom of front endpapers but nowhere else; some foxing and browning, as always with American books of this period, but in that context a good copy.

Price (AUD): $4,450.00

US$2,979.02   Other currencies

Ref: #5000327

Condition Report