-- levelei Éjszakamerikából. Tizenkét eredeti rajzok után készült kő- és egynéhány fametszettel. Közli Prépost István. [Letters of János Xantus From North America. With Twelve Lithographs Made from Original Drawings and With Some Woodcuts. Edited by István Prépost.]
-- levelei Éjszakamerikából. Tizenkét eredeti rajzok után készült kő- és egynéhány fametszettel. Közli Prépost István. [Letters of János Xantus From North America. With Twelve Lithographs Made from Original Drawings and With Some Woodcuts. Edited by István Prépost.]
America in the Mid 19th Century – Illustrated

-- levelei Éjszakamerikából. Tizenkét eredeti rajzok után készült kő- és egynéhány fametszettel. Közli Prépost István. [Letters of János Xantus From North America. With Twelve Lithographs Made from Original Drawings and With Some Woodcuts. Edited by István Prépost.]

Pesten [Pest]: Lauffer és Stolp (Wodianer), 1858. With twelve tinted lithograph plates and two woodcuts in the text. First edition. Old entry of ownership on page 7 and 137. Editorial notes and corrections in pencil throughout by unknown hand. In contemporary cloth, gilt spine. (1) leaf of tinted lithographed frontispiece, 175 p., (11) tinted lithographed plates. Light foxing throughout. Otherwise in fine condition.

John Xantus de Vesey (1825–1894) was a Hungarian exile naturalist and zoologist. He was a Freedom Fighter in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and as a result a political refugee in the United States where he arrived in 1852. He became a stretcher-bearer in the US army where he met a surgeon William Alexander Hammond who acted as a collector for the renown zoologist Spencer Fullerton Baird. Through Hammond he became interested in natural history and became a talented collector. In 1859 he made an expedition to Baja California, which was almost unknown at the time. Xantus explored the entire surrounding region and many adjacent islands, he collected numerous unknown species of plants and animals. Baird stated that Xantus made “the addition of a larger number of new animals to our fauna than has been made by one person in any single region of North America before”. Several zoological and botanical taxa have been named for him. In 1862 Xantus was sent to the American consulate in the port of Manzanillo in southern Mexico. The consulate was closed two years later and Xantus returned to Hungary with part of his scientific collection that he later donated to the Hungarian National Museum. He became the appointed director of the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden and worked as a consultant and curator for the Hungarian National Museum. During these years he undertook several collecting trips through Asia and found more species previously unknown to western science.

“Letters of János Xantus” was the first book he published about the nature of North America. It contains information of the early period of his career in America and about his expedition in Minnesota in 1855. The 37 letters to his family are dated from various places of his expedition like New Orleans, the Gulf of Iowa (the Hungarian settlements), the Great Plains, Kansas Territory and California between December 1, 1852 to July 5, 1857. Xantus reported on the flora and fauna and also on the life of the Native Americans, even a short dictionary of the Comanche and Wichita Indian languages is given. Parts of these letters were translated into English and published in the “Quarterly of the Southern California Historical Society” in the early 20th century, but the entire work only in 1975 (Letters from North America. Detroit, Wayne State University Press).

The illustrations are reproductions of the original drawings of the author showing the customs and costumes of the Native Americans and detailed views of Los Angeles, San Gabriel and New York.

[Sabin 105715 and 35273 (under the name of the editor), Wagner-Camp 316.]

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Price: €2,300.00

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