MEARES, John (1756?-1809)

MEARES, John (1756?-1809)

$7,500.00Price

Printed at Logographic Press, London, 1791, First Edition Octavo printing. Two Volumes, Vol. 1: 363 pages, Vol. 2: 332 pages plus appendices, Complete with stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait of Meares, 9 engraved folding maps and plans, 4 engraved plates, 2 of which are folding, 3 with aqua tint. Pages uncut, half titles, large chart and balance sheet present. Light toning and typical light offset of plates. Original paper-backed boards with new spines and spine labels by master binder Richard Smart.   

  • Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789 from China to the N.W. Coast of America…to Which are Annexed, Observations on the Probably 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 Octavo Edition “One of the early and fundamental books on the Northwest Coast of America in general and on Alaska in particular.”

                                                                                     (Lada-Mocarski)

     

    Meares sailed from Calcutta on March 12, 1786 in the Nootka, a vessel of two hundred tons, with which he explored part of the coast of Alaska. He spent the winter of 1786-1787 in Prince William Sound with poor provisions. His men suffered from the weather and scurvy with 23 men dying of scurvy. The others were saved by the timely arrival and assistance of Captain George Dixon sailing the Queen Charlotte. Meares gave Dixon his bond never to trade in the Northwest again and returned to China after visiting the Sandwich Islands. Showing no gratitude to Dixon, Meares proceeded to sue him for allegedly overcharging him for the supplies that saved his life.

     

    Meares returned to Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and used it as a base of operations trading for furs in present day British Columbia. Meares later claimed that Maquinna, a chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) people sold him some land on the shore of Friendly Island in Nootka Sound. A building was erected and these claims would become a key point in Britain’s position of the Nootka Crisis that almost resulted in a war between Britain and Spain. 

     

    In 1790, Meares published Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789, from China to the West Coast on America. It gained widespread attention especially in light of the developing Nootka Crisis.  Meares not only described his voyages to the Northwest Coast but put forward a grand vision of a new economic network based in the Pacific.

     

    Printed at Logographic Press, London, 1791, First Edition Octavo printing. Two Volumes, Vol. 1: 363 pages, Vol. 2: 332 pages plus appendices, Complete with stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait of Meares, 9 engraved folding maps and plans, 4 engraved plates, 2 of which are folding, 3 with aqua tint. Pages uncut, half titles, large chart and balance sheet present. Light toning and typical light offset of plates. Original paper-backed boards with new spines and spine labels by master binder Richard Smart.   

     

    Hill pg. 195-6, Lada-Mocarski 46, Sabin 47261