Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa: Performed under the direction and patronage of the African Association, in the years 1795, 1796, and 1797. With an appendix containing geographical illustrations of Africa by Major Rennell. Third edition.
Handsomely rebound in half leather & marbled boards with, to the spine, 5 raised bands, gilt titles on red labels & 4 gilt fleurets; beige end-papers. Third edn. published in same year as first & illustrated by frontis. portrait; 3 fold-out maps in very good condition; 2 botanical plates & 3 engraved landscapes plus 2 pages of music with lyrics of a 'Negro Song'. In 1794 Mungo Park offered his services to the African Association, then looking for a successor to Major Daniel Houghton, who had been sent in 1790 to discover the course of the Niger River and had died in the Sahara. Supported by Sir Joseph Banks, Park was selected. In May 1795, Park left England, on a vessel travelling to Gambia to trade for beeswax and ivory. Reaching the Gambia River he travelled 200 miles to a British trading station named Pisania, then. with two local guides, he started for the unknown interior. He chose the route crossing the upper Senegal basin and through the semi-desert region of Kaarta. The journey was full of difficulties, and at Ludamar he was imprisoned by a Moorish chief for four months. On 1 July 1796, he escaped, alone and with nothing but his horse and a pocket compass, and on the 21st reached the long-sought Niger River at Ségou, being the first European to do so. Turning back he took a route more to the south than that originally followed, keeping close to the Niger River as far as Bamako, thus tracing its course for some 300 miles. He eventually returned home to Scotland in December, 1797. He had been thought dead, and his return home with news of his exploration of the Niger River evoked great public enthusiasm. An account of his journey was drawn up for the African Association by Bryan Edwards, and his own detailed narrative, this book, appeared in 1799.
N.B. This copy lacks the half-title page & preliminary pages xxi to xxviii; also a small piece has been torn from the bottom outer corner margin of pages 59/60 & 277/278 not affecting text; some foxing to frontis. illust. & title page; 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall
Author Park, Mungo
Binding Hardcover (Half Leather)
Publisher W. Bulmer and Co. (printer); St James's, London
Illustrator Major Rennell
Pages xx + 372 + 92