Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books
Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books.
By Michael Stillman
From Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books of the Netherlands comes their latest catalogue: Travel. This includes books from what were far away lands to most Europeans over a century or more ago. One of those lands was America, and we note an unusually large number of American works in this the Dutch bookseller's 133rd catalogue. We will focus primarily on these items since we usually do not see such material in a Bestebreurtje catalogue, but Dutch and other European collectors will, as always, find plenty of interesting works within the latest collection. Now for a few samples of the 200+ items available.
One of the earliest major American agitators against slavery was Anthony Benezet of Philadelphia. Benezet studied the slave trade in the Americas and wrote about what he discovered in Some historical account of Guinea, its situation, produce, and the general disposition of its inhabitants. With an inquiry into the rise and progress of the slave trade, its nature, and lamentable effects. Benezet's work was particularly influential in England, where it was published (London). Offered is a "new edition" from 1788. Item 11. Priced at 1,100 (Euros or approximate US equivalent of $1,613).
Item 61 is another strong attack on slavery by the Ohio abolitionist congressman Joshua Giddings. The title of this 1858 book is The exiles of Florida: or, the crimes committed by our government against the Maroons, who fled from South Carolina and other slave states, seeking protection under Spanish laws. Giddings minces no words in his indictment of the United States government for chasing slaves who escaped to Florida, both while it was still under Spanish dominion and after being acquired by the U.S. However, Giddings not only focuses on the wrongs done to former slaves, but to the miserable treatment of the native Seminoles, who were brutally beaten into submission despite their determined efforts to resist encroachment into their lands. 160 (US $234).
For those interested in early mining in the American Southwest, item 6 is The Silver Country or the Great Southwest. This work covers not only mining but other physical features, agriculture, climate, topography and more about Mexico and the territory acquired in the Mexican cession - California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Written by Alexander D. Anderson and published in 1877. 175 (US $256).
Item 64 was an attempted modification to the discovery of the headwaters of the Mississippi by Willard Glazier, then President of the American Geographical Society. Henry Schoolcraft had finally discovered the great river's source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota in 1832, but Glazier concluded that it actually began in a smaller lake above it, which he modestly named "Lake Glazier" (it is now known as "Elk Lake"). He announced his discovery in Headwaters of the Mississippi…and a full account of the discovery and location of the true source in a lake beyond Itasca. While it is true that Elk Lake drains into Itasca, and a couple of small streams drain into Elk Lake, Lake Itasca is still recognized by most as the source of the Mississippi River. This is an 1894 edition of a work first published in 1893. 125 (US $183).
Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books
William Francis Lynch led the American expedition to the Dead Sea.
Here is the unofficial report of a mostly forgotten U.S. mission of a century and a half ago: Narrative of the United States' expedition to the river Jordan and the Dead Sea. It was written and published in 1849 (the official report came out three years later) by the expedition's leader, naval officer William Francis Lynch. This might seem like an unusual location for an American exploration, but Lynch managed to convince the head of the Navy that it was a worthwhile mission. The official purpose was to learn more about the Dead Sea and its altitude below sea level, but Lynch was a very religious man and hoped to make discoveries confirming Biblical history. His crew, with the aid of camels, dragged three boats overland to the Jordan River, which they rode down the Jordan to the Dead Sea. They would later visit Jerusalem and Nazareth before returning to America. Item 113. 225 (US $330).
Item 22 is Dagverhaal eener reize naar Temboktoe, the first Dutch edition from 1831 of a book originally published in French the prior year. It is Rene-Auguste Caillie's report on his trip to Timbuktu, a legendary African city many Europeans believed held great wealth. Caillie was the first non-Muslim to visit the city and live to return (he disguised himself as a Muslim to accomplish this). However, what he found was not a city of gold, but a city that was in a long decline and state of disrepair from its heyday centuries earlier. 950 (US $1,394).
Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books is found online at www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com, telephone +31 (0)347-322548, email firstname.lastname@example.org.