Description de la Louisiane Nouvellement Decouverte au Sud’Oüest de la Nouvelle France. Avec la carte du pays: Les mœurs & la maniere de vivre des sauvages. Dediée a Sa Majesté par le R.P. Louis Hennepin, missionnaire recollet & notaire apostolique. LOUIS HENNEPIN.
Description de la Louisiane Nouvellement Decouverte au Sud’Oüest de la Nouvelle France. Avec la carte du pays: Les mœurs & la maniere de vivre des sauvages. Dediée a Sa Majesté par le R.P. Louis Hennepin, missionnaire recollet & notaire apostolique.
Description de la Louisiane Nouvellement Decouverte au Sud’Oüest de la Nouvelle France. Avec la carte du pays: Les mœurs & la maniere de vivre des sauvages. Dediée a Sa Majesté par le R.P. Louis Hennepin, missionnaire recollet & notaire apostolique.
Father Hennepin Among The Sioux
Paris, Sebastien Huré, 1683.

Description de la Louisiane Nouvellement Decouverte au Sud’Oüest de la Nouvelle France. Avec la carte du pays: Les mœurs & la maniere de vivre des sauvages. Dediée a Sa Majesté par le R.P. Louis Hennepin, missionnaire recollet & notaire apostolique.

8vo. [15 x 8.5 cm], (6) ff. including title, 312 pp., 107 pp., and with 1 folding engraved map, signed N. Guerard and Rousset. Bound in contemporary speckled calf with spine in five gilt compartments and with red morocco letterpiece; minor restoration at joints, head & tail of spine, abit of rubbing to the boards; light scattered foxing, but overall all a genuine, attractive copy. Excellent.

An attractive and genuine copy of the scarce  first edition of the “ most important” of Louis Hennepin’s writings (Howes),  his first published work, the first book to print the name “Louisiane,” and the earliest printed account of La Salle’s 1678-9 journey to what is now Illinois.  The word “Louisiane” also appears twice on the folding map, titled “Carte de la Nouvelle France et de la Louisiane,” which illustrates in great detail the Great Lakes region and French settlements along the upper Mississippi. “One of the most important volumes in the early history of North America” (Lande).

Hennepin’s journey down the Mississippi (then known as the River Colbert) begins in September 1679, after he had been traveling west through the Great Lakes with La Salle for nearly a year, beginning with their rendezvous at Fort Frontenac, Ontario.  The narrative is notable not only for its firsts—containing the first published descriptions of Niagara Falls and St. Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the Mississippi—but also for its detailed eyewitness accounts of the Iroquois, Huron, Miami, Fox and Illinois tribes with which whom La Salle’s party traded.  Hennepin also includes over 80 pages on his capture by the Sioux, who kept him and two companions for three months in 1680. 

The volume concludes with a shorter work on the customs, ceremonies and rituals of the Indian tribes Hennepin encountered, including a detailed account of Sioux buffalo hunts on the Great Plains.  The work was immediately popular, with three French editions published within five years, and numerous translations soon following.

Copies of the Description are commonly incomplete, with Hennepin’s map either missing or reproduced in photogravure facsimile.

* JCB.II.482; Ayer 127; Howes H415; Paltsits, Hennepin, p. xlix-l; Sabin 31347; Vail 222; Clements, One Hundred Michigan Rarities, 5; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West.

Price: $46,500.00

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