Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789 from China to the North West Coast of America.
MEARES John (1790.)
£12000.00 [First Edition]
To which are prefixed an Introductory Narrative of a Voyage performed in 1786, from Bengal, in the Ship Nootka; Observations on the probable existence of a North West Passage, and some Account of the Trade between the North West Coast of America and China, and the Latter Country and Great Britain.
First edition. 4 stipple portraits, 3 folding & 7 single sheet engraved charts, 7 engraved views, 6 of which are aquatints (4 of these folding), and 7 aquatint coastal profiles (4 of these folding). 4to. Handsome contemporary calf, elaborately gilt, Macclesfield bookplates to front pastedown and free endpaper, some minor toning and spotting. viii, [xii], xcvi, 372, [42, 64]pp. London, Logographic Press,
John Meares "was sent out in 1786 from Calcutta, by a group of merchants, to enter into the fur trade of the Northwest coast of America. Establishing himself at Nootka Sound he built the first vessel to be launched in northern waters, made important discoveries, and explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The discoveries by Meares were part of the basis for the claim of Great Britain to Oregon The Spanish seizure of his ships led to the convention by which the Spanish claims to any northern territory were finally disallowed" (Hill).
Subsequently, in the arbitration on the Oregon question, England finally yielded to the United States much territory claimed under discoveries made by Meares. Like his French contemporary, Capt. Peron, Meares was also engaged in the fur trade between British Columbia and Canton. The Nootka controversy arose here. His vessels were seized at Nootka Sound by the Spaniards, who claimed all that coast as Spanish. War nearly broke out between England and Spain over the question, and the latter had to give way. In addition, Meares' account provides a detailed description of the Indian nations in the North-West Pacific, including their customs, language, and manners.
Abbey Travel, 594; Sabin, 47260; Hill, p195; Lada-Mocarski, 46 (long note).
Stock Code: 228374