WARRE, SIR HENRY JAMES Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory.
[London]: Lithographed, Printed and Published by Dickinson & Co., . First edition. Contemporary half purple morocco over purple cloth boards, the spine with raised bands and lettered in gilt "Warre's Sketches in North America", gray endpapers. 20 3/4 x 14 1/4 inches (58.5 x 37 cm); with letterpress title, 5 pp. text, 20 hand-colored lithographed views on 16 sheets, hand-colored engraved map (without the dedication leaf not found in all copies per Howes). Joints and binding extremities rubbed and scuffed with exposed corners, faint stain to upper cover, foxing to plates which is heavy at places, occasional thumbsoiling or small stains, the lower corner of plate 2 nearly detached, an approximately 4 inch split into the gutter margin of plate 3, minor chip to edge of plate 5, bookplate of William Rathbone to pastedown.
THE SIEBERT COPY. In the spring of 1845, as tensions rose between the United States and England for possession of the Oregon Country (known in England as the Columbia Department), Captain Warre was ordered on a military reconnaissance from British controlled Montreal into the Pacific Northwest to prepare for a possible war (the route of which is charted in the map at rear). Since the Treaty of 1818, the Oregon Country had been jointly occupied, an arrangement which had grown intolerable, and the "Oregon Question" had become quite heated in Washington (leading to the intensified usage of the phrase "Manifest Destiny"). Warre's reconnaissance lasted 14 months but by the time he reached England with his report the Oregon Treaty had been signed and the border between the United States and British Canada was set along the 49th parallel.
The hand-colored plates of Warre's Sketches are highly regarded and, according to Howes, "they remain the only western color plates comparable in beauty to those by Bodmer." The plates depict dramatic views of Mount Hood and the Rocky Mountains, waterfalls in the Pelos and Kamanis Taquoih Rivers, Forts George, Carry and Vancouver, an American village and more, most with sensitive depictions of Native Americans situated deep within the landscapes. Abbey Travel, 656; Graff 4543; Howes W-114; Sabin 101455; Wagner-Camp 157; Bauer sale lot 508 (this copy); Siebert II; lot 860.
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