London: H. Whitridge, 1748. Near Fine. First Edition. 8vo [8x5.5in]; xxviii, 1-96, 89-96 (repeated in [ ]), 97-336, 344 pp., frontispiece folding map of North West Passage and track of ships from England to Hudson's Bay [7x17.5in], nine plates of illustrations with five folding, chapter heading and ending designs; Contemporary mottle calf binding rebacked with ribbed and ruled gilt spine with original spine label, all edges trimmed, head and tail bands; Some shelf wear to edges, covers and corners, overall nice patina and wear, no foxing to map, illustrations or text, folding map and illustrations are in fine condition, hinges repaired and reinforced, binding glue offset to end papers, armorial bookplate of John Lewis along with modern bookplate of Beekman Pool on front end paper, small ink signature of J. Lewis on title page, contemporary, likely John Lewis, handwritten list of illustrations on p. xxviii [did not list illustration on p. 36]. [Hill 540, Sabin 22312]. Item #13580
Henry Ellis (1721-1806) was an explorer, author and colonial governor of Georgia. From Hill, "The first part contains a synopsis of twenty- three English voyages to discover the Northwest Passage, a history of the rise of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the discovery attempted from New England. The second part gives an account of a voyage under Captains Moor and Francis Smith, financed by private subscription, with Arthur Dobbs the leading subscriber. Ellis, also a subscriber, was hydrographer, surveyor, and mineralogist on the expedition, which proved, finally, the nonexistence of a Northwest Passage from Hudson Bay. The voyage led to a rapid decline of British interest in the search for a Northwest Passage, which was not revived until 1816. The work includes many valuable observations on tides, on the vagaries of the compass, and on the customs of the Eskimos, people then practically unknown."
The armorial book plate of John Lewis includes a Latin phrase that translates to "I scarcely call these things our own". A reference to the temporary nature of life and the ownership of books. Beekman Pool (c. 1908-2002), while in college, met Lincoln Ellsworth, a businessman and explorer, and became friends. They explored Labrador together and he wrote a book on the life of Lincoln Ellsworth in 2002 just before his death. Pool was a traveler to both the polar regions, and writer and lecturer on the life and art of the Canadian Inuit.