Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1855. First Edition. Hard Cover. Good. Item #027450
127 pages. The illustration listing page 'Note' states that "The above named views, portraits, and inscriptions, are careful representations of the originals. They were drawn by H.B. Mollhausen, artist to the expedition." These 42 numbered illustrations are collated complete and include small maps and tinted view plates, portraits of Native peoples and artifact remains. Civilian author Thomas Ewbank (1792 - 1870) was a commissioner of patents, inventor, and historian of technology; whose "...concern with the arts of the earliest occupants of the New World was an attempt to demonstrate through historical investigation the laws of progress that governed the "miracles of the workshop, uniting the past, present and future." The writings and public career of Ewbank are important for an understanding of how an important segment of mid-nineteenth-century public intellectuals viewed technology and its place in an expanding industrial society..." (William A. Bate in the ANB) The third-named author and friend of Ewbank in this work, Prof. William Wadden Turner (1810 - 1859) a philologist and librarian "...was "pre-eminently distinguished at Washington as the highest authority in all matters appertaining to the knowledge of the languages of the aborigines of America..." He "mastered easily and rapidly the principles of comparative philology which have become in the present period the surest guides in tracing the histories and affinities of different races." When Turner died prematurely in Washington, D.C., Joseph Henry, then secretary of the Smithsonian, mourned "a ripe scholar, a profound philosopher, and an honest man..." (Martin J. Manning, also in the ANB) The report was part of the explorations and surveys for a railroad route across the U.S., which had been conducted during the years 1853 and 1854. Contents include chapter material on the "...localities, numbers, modes of subsistence, &c. of various tribes upon the route"; Indian residences, portraits and dress; traditions, superstitions, pictographs; Indian antiquities and arts; vocabularies of North American languages; condition of the aborigines of New Mexico upon its discovery by Spaniards; history of the Apache nation and other tribes. Approx. 9" x 11 3/4" size, bound in full heavily-textured sober dark brown cloth; small spine title-label gilt, rubbed. Covers with a little edge, tips wear; front and back endpapers scraped, chewed some; boards very good; title page with a few small holes & spotty; contents darkened some; in good condition.