KENTUCKY GEOLOGY MAP BOUND IN VOLNEY'S VIEW OF THE CLIMATE. Neele. 1804.
[Foldout plate (Pl. I.) showing the composition of the soil at various depths in Kentucky.]
5 ¼”w x 7 ¼”h. Lower right: S. J. Neele sculp. Strand. Very good condition. Engraved by Samuel John Neele (1758-1824).
Bound in C. F. Volney, View of the Climate and Soil of the United States of America: to which are Annexed some Accounts of Florida, the French Colony of the Scioto, certain Canadian Colonies and the Savages or Natives: Translated from the French of C. F. Volney. London, Printed for J. Johnson, 1804. 504 pages. With 2 folding engraved maps and 2 folding engravings. The book ends with an eleven-page “Vocabulary of the Miami Language.” Howes V141.
Foldout plate (Pl. I) above, found in chapter IV, “Internal structure of the soil”. Reportedly the first geological map of North America.
Folding map (Pl. II.): “Map of the Continent of North America to illustrate the System of the Winds and Currents. For Volney’s View of the Climate & Soil of the United States.” 10”h x 13”w. 4-inch tear at bound edge. Short split at one fold line. Engraved by Samuel John Neele. Shows wind currents and the Gulf Stream. Phillips, Maps, p. 596.
Foldout plate (Pl. III): “Fig. 1. Section of the Fall in the middle of the River” (Niagara Falls) and “Fig. 2. The Falls of Niagara with the adjacent Country.” Upper right: “Pl. III to face page 99.” Engraving by Joseph P. Bye. Volney visited the falls in 1796 and devotes the entire chapter to them. Phillips, Maps, P. 546.
Folding map (Pl. IV.): “Map of the United States of North America For Volney’s View of the Climate & Soil of the United States.” 16 ½”h x 21”w. Torn from stub but stitched to the remnant. Fold repairs. Engraved by Joseph P. Bye. Shows the Cumberland Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains extending to the Mississippi River. Gives the locations of southern Indian tribes and the numbers of warriors. Phillips, Maps, p. 874.
Constantin-Francois de Volney (1757-1820) was a historian and philosopher who left France in 1795 for a three-year stay in America. In his translated words, “I visited successively almost all parts of the United States, studying the climate, laws, inhabitants, and their manners, chiefly with regard to social life and domestic happiness.” Volney sent Thomas Jefferson at least two of his works including this one. In 1805 Jefferson wrote to Volney about the present book, contrasting European and North American climates and discussing yellow fever at length.