Washington, D.C. Taylor & Maury. 1854.
16 duo-toned plates, hand-colored folding map 17 3/4 x 23 inches folding to 8 1/2 x 5 inches and tipped into back cover, iii+414pp, 9 x 6 1/4 inches, decorative embossed cloth covered boards with gilt lettering on spine (hardbound). Light rubbing to cover extremities exposing boards, shorts tears to head of spine, scattered foxing and soiling throughout, 1/2 inch paper loss to front endpaper, all plates present although bound in an order that differs slightly from the List of Plates, binding tight. Map: 4 inch split to one fold, 4 inch tear. Includes a very handsome "Map of the Valley of the Amazon to accompany Lt. Herndon's Report" showing the valley of the Amazon River with all its tributaries; the map extends from the Pacific Ocean to the mouth of the Amazon in the Atlantic Ocean. Under orders from the U.S. Navy Department, William Lewis Herndon led an expedition to explore the Amazon basin, which lasted almost a year in in 1851 to 1852. The orders stated that "the government desires to be put in possession of certain information relating to the valley of the river Amazon, in which term is included the entire basin, or water-shed.. this desire extends not only to the present condition of that valley, with regard to the navigability of its streams; to the number and condition, both industrial and social, of its inhabitants, their trade and products; its climate, soil, and productions; but also to its capacities for cultivation, and to the character and extent of its undeveloped commerical resources, whether of the field, the forest, the river, or the mine." Included in this volume are chapters I to XIX and an appendix, taking the expedition as far as Para. Although this is not marked as part 1, there is another volume not here present which completes the expedition travels. Item #40711