Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Grambo & Company, 1851. First Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very good condition. Item #018457
Six volume set. Expertly and beautifully rebound is quarter leather with raised bands and cloth covered boards (by Scott Kellar--Chicago). Two gilt-lettered leather spine labels per volume. Published between 1851 and 1857. One plate (facing page 94) in the fifth volume is supplied in facsimile; otherwise complete. The large folding map has an archival repair along one fold. Contains some 336 illustrations including maps (one large folding), figures, engraved titles, and is indexed. There is some staining to the first several pages (including title pages) of five of the volumes where an attempt was made to wash out the previous owner's name. The previous owner's name remains intact on the title page of volume 4, where it states "M C Meigs Capt of Engineers." This is Montgomery C. Meigs (1816-1892). There is minor to moderate foxing to many of the plates. Part VI has some water staining. Howes S183. Sabin 77849. Field 1379: "Schoolcraft's work was intended to be a great encyclopedia of information relating to the American Aborigines. Schoolcraft had but little learning and no scientific training ... the work contains a vast mass of really valuable material. A very large number of beautiful steel engravings, representative of some phase of Indian life and customs, are contained in the work, but the most valuable of its illustrations are the drawings of weapons, domestic utensils ... and every form of antiquities ... The six volumes contain 336 full-page plates, representing thousands of scenes and objects named. " The illustrations are by Seth Eastman (1808-1875), some after sketches by Schoolcraft, R.H. and E.M. Kern and others. Eastman graduated from West Point in 1829 and was sent to Fort Crawford, then Fort Snelling. He was transferred back to the Academy, spending the years 1833-9 teaching military draftsmanship. He studied painting for 5 of those years with the eminent Academy artist Robert W. Weir. He spent the next 7 years primarily at Fort Snelling, subsequently was transferred to Texas. During that time he carefully studied the Indians in the vicinity, especially the Sioux and the Chippewa, and learned their languages. From 1850-1855 he executed the illustrations for Schoolcraft's work under orders from the War Department and produced illustrations for works by his wife, Mary Henderson Eastman "Dahcotah" (1849), "American Aboriginal Portfolio" (1853) and "Chicora" (1854). First edition of this seminal work.