London: Printed for A. Bell, et al. 1714. ,xxi,,191,194-205,pp., plus folding map. Contemporary speckled calf, boads ruled in gilt, expertly rebacked, with original gilt backstrip with raised bands laid down, gilt morocco label. Boards moderately rubbed. One- inch closed tear in foredge of titlepage (just touching printed border). Lightly tanned, a few spots of foxing, small ink stain just touching the edge of last few leaves. Repair to map at mount, small closed tear to margin (no text affected), map trimmed to the border at the upper, lower, and left edges. Very good overall. Item #WRCAM56234
The first translation into English of the version of Joutel's narrative edited by De Michel, first published in Paris the previous year, including the account of LaSalle's Texas colony and the return of the remainder of his party to Canada. Of the three major narratives of the journey, this record, by LaSalle's closest subordinate, is the most valuable. The party embarked in 1684, ostensibly to establish a French base at the mouth of the Mississippi as a headquarters for operations, but also to push as far as possible into the region to gain a foothold against the Spanish. In fact, and via a conscious deceit, the base was established at Espiritu Santo Bay, in Texas, from whence the party spent two years making excursions into the surrounding territory. When promised reinforcements failed to appear, LaSalle and his men determined to return to Canada via the Mississippi; however, one of the company assassinated LaSalle when they reached the Trinity River, and the company split up. Some of the survivors, including Joutel, pressed on, reaching Canada by way of the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers. His account is highlighted by the splendid map, based on Joutel's own observations. This is the first map showing the results of LaSalle's journeys and gives, for its time, a very accurate delineation of the course of the Mississippi from its northern headwaters to its mouth, as well as that of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, complete with a beautiful engraved vignette of Niagara Falls.
Joutel's JOURNAL is one of the major works of the period on the region, and "of the three narratives of this journey, those of Joutel, Cavelier, and Douay, the first is by far the best" (Francis Parkman). "An important feature of this English translation is that it gives the text of the grant of Louisiana by Louis XIV to Crozat" - Streeter. HOWES J266, "b." SABIN 36762. WAGNER SPANISH SOUTHWEST 79a. CHURCH 859. RAINES, pp.130-31. GREENLY, MICHIGAN, pp.20-21. HARRISSE NOUVELLE FRANCE 750. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 714/70. STREETER SALE 112. REESE, BEST OF THE WEST 3 (note).