George. Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North American Indians.
Written during eight years' travel amongst the wildest tribes of Indians in North America, in 1832, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39.
London: by the Author, 1841. Two volumes, octavo.
Two maps (one folding), one chart, and 309 illustrations. First
issue with "Frederick" for "Zacharias" on page
104. Recent 3/4 green morocco over contemporary marbled
boards. Very light rubbing to boards, some foxing as usual.
Overall a very handsome copy. $3,600
edition of Catlin's monumental work on the North American Indians.
Though his formal training was in law, not painting, in 1823 Catlin
abandoned law to devote himself to portrait painting. In 1826 he
was elected to the National Academy of Design; two years later, upon
encountering a delegation of Native Americans in Philadelphia, Catlin
resolved to document the ways and customs of what he recognized was a
fast-vanishing culture. His Letters and Notes, published in 1841
and with over 300 illustrations was the extraordinary result of his
arduous and high-minded project. It stands as one of the most
important and comprehensive studies of North American Indians published
in the 19th century.