London: E. Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1832. Octavo. Item #025670
Half-Title(ads on verso), xii, [v]-viii, 360 pages. Howes F93 calls this work "a valuable account of the Illinois and Indiana frontier". The author's real name was O'Ferrall. While de Toqueville's work remains the classic, there is much in this fascinating account that is not only more accessible but particularly insightful in that area known as the "new west" (usually ending with the Mississippi). He has accounts of Robert Owen and the New Harmony Community, the lawlessness which he says should be a warning to those who think merely acquiring land will prevent them from fraud and violence. His account of a wild-eyed preacher who saw in the Cahokia Mounds a proof of the Trinity. I found in reading this remarkable account a condition of life reminiscent of Lincoln's Prairie Years though more violent. For those who think the early American frontier beyond the eastern seaboard was being civilized, it is obviously true that the law of those with power, connivance, and greed determined who would succeed. Lincoln's character and remarkable morality is evinced even more clearly after seeing the world in which he lived. Bound in modern brown cloth, paper spine label lettered in black, endpapers renewed, page edges have toning. A very nice copy.