Möllhausen, Heinrich Balduin; Tagebuch einer Reise vom Mississippi nach den Küsten der Südsee. 1858

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Möllhausen, Heinrich Balduin; Tagebuch einer Reise vom Mississippi nach den Küsten der Südsee. Leipzig: 1st edition, Hermann Mendelssohn, 1858. Large quarto, pp. half-title, title with wood-engraved vignette,.[28],494, 2 plus sixteen plates (seven in color, six tinted, and three in black and white) and a folding map. Fine folding lithographed map after Henry Lange, printed in two colours with the route marked by hand. chromolithographed frontispiece mounted on card, engraved vignette title page (one or two spots), 6 chromolithographed plates mounted on card and 6 tinted lithographed plates, all after Möllhausen, 9 text woodcuts.

The work is complete and in a later black cloth with gilt spine titles, marbled text block edges. The binding is tight and clean, defunct college library book plate on front paste down. The text is very clean, light water stain to outer lower edge of first third of pages, minor foxing to outer edge of frontispiece (this is common to the work). Over all in very good condition.


Möllhausen, (1825-1905) was a Prussian artist, traveler and writer who visited the United States and participated in three separate expeditions exploring the western frontier in the 1850s. These travels "gave Möllhausen the material and experiences he used to produce illustrations, diaries, and fiction for nearly fifty years. In 1851 he accompanied Prince Paul of Wurttemberg on an expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Following several months in Nebraska Territory, Möllhausen visited St. Louis and New Orleans, returning to Europe in autumn 1852. In Berlin in January 1853 Möllhausen met explorer Alexander von Humboldt, who encouraged him to resume his Western travels. Möllhausen returned to the United States in May and went to Washington, D.C., and on Humboldt's recommendation he was appointed draftsman and topographer with First Lt. Amiel W. Whipple's transcontinental railroad survey along the 35th Parallel. From Fort Smith, Arkansas, the Whipple party set out on July 15, 1853, and traveled westward across Indian Territory, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, arriving at Pueblo de Los Angeles in March 1854. .Möllhausen produced the majority of the illustrations in Whipple's report” which was included in the twelve volume Reports of Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean..  In 1857 Möllhausen was invited to accompany the official U.S. survey of the Colorado River under First Lt. Joseph C. Ives.  Möllhausen's party reached Fort Yuma above the mouth of the Colorado in January 1858. From that point the explorers ascended the river some 530 miles. Afterward, Möllhausen retraced the route of his earlier travels via the Santa Fe Trail to Fort Leavenworth.  Some of Möllhausen views appeared in Ives's Report Upon the Colorado River of the West, issued in 1861, including the first graphic depiction of the Grand Canyon. 'Tagebuch' is Möllhausen's separate account of the expedition with Whipple and his expedition with Ives. In addition to the account in journal form of his experiences as topographer of Whipple's surveying expedition in 1853, there is an account of his experiences in the West in 1851 on the trip from St. Louis to Laramie with Prince Paul of Wurttemberg”.  ‘Tagebuch’ is by far  Möllhausen’s most important published work. Copies of the 1st edition are rare.