Rare Mining Book: Schoolcraft, Henry R.; A View of the Lead Mines of Missouri; Including Some Observations on the Mineralogy...1819
Item Number: Book 696-D
Schoolcraft, Henry R.; A View of the Lead Mines of Missouri; Including Some Observations on the Mineralogy, Geology, Geography, Antiquities, Soil, Climate, Population, and Productions of Missouri and Arkansaw and Other Sections of the Western Country. First edition, Charles Wiley, New York: 1819. Large octavo. pp. 299, 3 engraved plates (including frontispiece of Potosi), index.
This rare work is complete and in a 20th century full calf with gilt titles, raised bands and gilt spine panels. The binding is tight and clean. Light toning to title page from original frontispiece tissue guard which has been replaced with acid free tissue guard. Text is untrimmed and clean. Old AMNH stamp on title and verso of frontispiece. In very good condition.
Schoolcraft (1793-1864), an American geologist, ethnologist and explorer, undertook some of the earliest government studies of the mining districts of Missouri and Arkansas and explorations to discover the source of the Mississippi River. In 1817-18 he led an expedition to southern Missouri and northern Arkansas to examine the newly opened lead mines which opened following the Louisiana Purchase. The deposits had first been described in print by Moses Austin twenty years earlier. Schoolcraft’s observations on these mines formed his treatise which was also his first published work. This treatise also contains the first detailed description by a trained scientist of the Ozarks.
Schoolcraft provides an historical sketch of the mines and describes the lands where the mines are located. He describes the individual mines and ore deposits and their associated minerals and then details the mining methods. The second part of the work is devoted to the mineralogy, geology, geography of the Missouri Territory and includes the first published catalog of the minerals found in the “western territory”.