Elisha Kent Kane
Kane, Elisha Kent. THE U.S. GRINNELL EXPEDITION IN SEARCH OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN. A PERSONAL NARATIVE. 1853. New York. 1853. Harper Brothers. Frontis,
3 maps (one folding), steel-engraved and lithographed plates (a few tinted).
~This is one of the most difficult to find books on arctic exploration~
The ELUSIVE 1853 FIRST EDITION of Elisha Kent Kane’s THE U.S. GRINNELL EXPEDITION IN SEARCH OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN. A PERSONAL NARATIVE.
The legendary story of this book is that most of them burned up in a fire. But this story IS TRUE.
According to a letter written by Kane’s father to one Dr. Benton,
J. K. Kane stated ‘The copy I send you of my son’s book was ready to pass into your hands, when at the request of Harpers, who were anxious that their reprint should not be anticipated,
I held it back... This copy is one of the first edition, of which some 20 copies survived the fire.’
Indeed, Harpers quickly reprinted the book with an 1854 date on the title page. Even the 1854 reprint is not a common book.
For more information on this tragic fire at Harper Brothers, see the book ‘The Brothers Harper’ by Eugene Examan, N.Y., 1965, page 359.
The New York Times reported on the fire in their Dec. 12, 1853 issue: ‘Among many new books which were consumed is Dr Kane’s History of his Arctic Explorations,
a large octavo, profusely illustrated with engravings, which had been ready for some days, but was kept back until a larger supply could be secured. We believe that
Henry Grinnell, Esq, had recieved a copy of the work, so that it will not have to be rewritten as well as reissued.’
The Times stated that the stereotype plates for the book were destroyed in the fire.
original cloth. good condition. Spine chipped top & bottom and corners worn. Scattered foxing to the free end papers and throughout, but not bad. Generally clean. A nice copy of a book
that is highly desirable in ANY condition!
Arctic Bibliography: Narrative (by the surgeon) of the First Grinnell Expedition under Lt. DeHaven, on the Advance and the Rescue, to the Lancaster Sound-Wellington Channel region,
1850-51. Contains account (based mainly on Kane's day-to-day journal) of the organization and course of the expedition to Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Wellington Channel, the drift in ice
in that region, Sept.1850-June 1851, with comments on the Eskimos, animal life, hunting, ice conditions.
Appendices: A. Instructions of the Secretary of the Navy to Lt DeHaven.
B. Lt DeHaven's official report of the American Arctic Expedition.
C. Meteorological abstract (daily, May 1850-Sept. 1851, record of variation, current, drift, wind, temperature, etc., in Davis Strait, Baffin Bay, Lancaster Sound, Wellington Channel,
Barrow Strait, etc.
D-E. Winds [etc.]
F. Lecture on the access to an open polar sea . . . read before the American Geographical and Statistical Society by Dr. Kane, Dec. 14, 1852. (general discussion of the arctic seas,
the Franklin search, and of plans for Kane's Second Grinnell Expedition, 1853-55).
Truly a high-spot for the Polar collector!
[shelf locator: Glass Case #10 ] Inventory #1363
To order please email dick@AlaskaWanted.com
(below, see what another, one that was recased, brought at auction)
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