Library acquires rare 18th Century historical book concerning Ohio Valley
December 27, 2011: Library officials of The Blade Rare Book Room of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library have acquired by purchase William Smith’s An Historical Account of Bouquet’s Expedition against the Ohio Indians, in the Year MDCCLXIV . Under the Command of Henry Bouquet, esq.
Michael Lora, the Library’s Special Collections Coordinator, said the book is a copy of the first English edition printed in London in 1766, and contains two plates by historical scene painter Benjamin West (1738-1820) that did not appear in the first edition published in Philadelphia during the preceding year.
“This book’s historical value is immeasurable. The content reveals the importance of what brought about the dawn of settlements in the Ohio region. The beginning of the beginning for early settlers,” said Lora.
Military cartographer Thomas Hutchins (1730-1789), who was also the first Geographer of the United States, produced a map for the first North American edition of the rare book, which was re-engraved for the British first edition.
Hutchins’ map depicts the country on the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers and includes the Indian villages with respect to the army of General Henry Bouquet, a British army officer who is best known for his victory over Native Americans during Pontiac’s War, which lifted the siege of Fort Pitt [Pittsburg PA].
The map includes an inset that reveals the route of Bouquet’s army march in 1764 and is considered to be the most accurate map of the Ohio Valley up to this time. The map also shows the western end of Lake Erie with what is now called the Maumee River flowing into it.
The success of General Bouquet’s action made it possible for the beginning of pioneer settlement in the region.
Within a few weeks after cataloging and processing, An Historical Account of Bouquet’s Expedition against the Ohio Indians, in the Year MDCCLXIV . Under the Command of Henry Bouquet, esq., will be available for examination by appointment in the Blade Rare Book Room, located on the third floor of Main Library in the Local History and Genealogy Department, 325 Michigan St. To schedule a future appointment or for more details, contact Michael Lora at 419.259.5233.
For additional information visit toledolibrary.org, or call the Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department at 419.259.5233.