FILSON, John (ca 1747-1788). The Discovery, Settlement and present State of Kentucke: and An Essay towards the Topography, and Natural History of that important Country: To which is added...The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon, one of the first Settlers, comprehending every important Occurrence in the political History of that Province... Wilmington, Del.: James Adams, 1784.
8vo in 4s (196 x 194 mm). Without the map, as usual. (Small tissue repair to gutter margin title page recto crossing a few letters but not affecting legibility, without final blank leaf P4, some browning or spotting throughout.) Modern calf.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK ON KENTUCKY, AND THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF DANIEL BOONE.
John Filson, one of the founders of Cincinnati, acquired 13,000 acres in Lexington, Kentucky, where he worked as a teacher and surveyor. Daniel Boone himself (along with Levi Todd and James Harrod) vouch for the authenticity of Filson's text: "at the request of the author of this book, and map, [we] have carefully revised them, and recommend them to the public, as exceedingly good performances, containing as accurate a description of our country as we think can possibly be given." Filson's text occupies 41 pages, followed by three appendices, the first of which is "The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon," dictated by Boone. Filson refines Boone's diction, but the resulting narrative stands as a classic account of the settlement and exploration of the frontier. Boone concludes that "This account of my adventures will inform the reader of the most remarkable events of this country." Included here are also descriptions of the discoveries of mammoth bones and burial sites are also recounted, as are descriptions of Indian customs and manners.
Tenoor Rook's map, mentioned on the title-page, was printed separately in Philadelphia and is virtually never found with the text. According to American Book Prices Current, no copy of the book with the map has been sold at auction since the Robert Hoe copy was sold as part of the stock of George D. Smith in 1921. Church 1202; Clark Old South II:23; Evans 18467; Field 536; Graff 1323; Howes F-129 ("d"); Jillson Kentucky 2; Sabin 24336; Streeter Sale III:1621.