Lot 161 of 522:
Mackenzie's Voyages from Montreal 1801  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$5,100
$4,000 - $6,000

Voyages From Montreal on the River St. Laurence, Through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans; In the Years 1789 and 1793. With a Preliminary Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Fur Trade in that Country

Mackenzie, Alexander


T. Cadell and W. Davies, et al.



[2], viii, cxxxii, 412, [2] errata pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait, 3 large folding engraved maps (1 with hand-colored details). (4to) 27x20.5 cm (10½x8¼"), modern three-quarter polished calf and tan cloth, gilt-decorated spine, red morocco spine labels lettered in gilt; marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. First Edition.

First edition of one of the landmark works in the exploration of North America. 

Alexander Mackenzie, a senior wintering partner with the North West Company, sought an overland passage from the fur-bearing regions of the Athabasca Country to the Pacific Ocean. Following Peter Pond’s speculation that the Pacific Ocean might be reached by a water route from Great Slave Lake, his first expedition in 1789 started out at Fort Chipewyan. This route did not take him to the Pacific as he had hoped, but to the Arctic “Frozen Ocean” down the river that would later become the Mackenzie River. In his second attempt to reach the Pacific, Mackenzie ascended the Peace River by canoe and on foot, and crossed over into the headwaters of the Fraser River. After being turned back by torrential currents, he and his party decided to make an overland attempt. They landed near the present site of Bella Coola, British Columbia. Mackenzie had reached the Pacific, and in so doing became the first white man to cross the American continent north of Mexico. Researchers now believe that the “Map of America… Exhibiting Mackenzie’s Track from Montreal to Fort Chipewyan from thence to the North Sea, in 1789 and to the West Pacific Ocean in 1793” was drawn by David Thompson. Warren Heckrotte comments on the maps: "MacKenzie's route in 1789 is mapped in Arrowsmith's Mercator's Chart of the World, 2nd issue, 1790. This was copied by Sotzman in his map of the north parts of America, 1791. These maps shown more detail than the maps in this book." Howes M-133. W-C 1:1. CS-G 2630. W-TW . Verner, Stuart-Stubbs, no 24, reproduces the general map; Hill 2: 1063; Peel 3: 55; Sabin 43414; Strathern 343; Streeter 3653; TPL 658. DCB V, 1801-20, p542.

Lot Amendments
Half-title page is not present.

Light wear and soiling to boards with some repair work at joints; slip with early catalog entry tipped in at front, interior with uniform toning as is usual, scattered light foxing, expert repair work to maps at folds; half title not retained when rebound; a handsome copy; very good or better.

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