Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1857. 1st edition (Howes S-183; see Field 1379, for a complete assessment of the entire series and its worth). , [i - vi], vii - xxviii, 25 - 756, [4 (blank)] pp. Frontis of Schoolcraft + 57 inserted plates in various conditions, in color and b/w, many by Capt. S. Eastman, George Howe, F. B. Mayer, and J. M. Stanley, among others. 6 Woodcut illustrations (including folding chart). All illustrations accounted for. Large 4to. 13" x 10-3/8". Later red cloth binding, gilt stamped lettering to spine reading "History of the Indian Tribes of the United States --- Schoolcraft" Binding slightly worn and rubbed, gilt still bright. Bookplate to front pastedown, POI to front flyleaf. Paper foxed, damp stained (but not warped) & age-toned (especially to some of the illustrations). Binding - VG. Text block & plates - Good to About VG. Item #39434
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft began his true career in 1819 with an expedition through Missouri and Arkansas examining the mineralogy of those regions and correctly identifying the potential for lead deposits in those areas. This notoreity brought him to the attention of the Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, who promptly recommended him to be the leading geologist on an American geographical study known as the Lewis Cass expedition. His further expeditions led him all over the United States, and eventually he settled in Michigan after his 1822 marriage to Jane Johnston, the granddaughter of a leading Ojibwe chief. The couple had two surviving children.
During this period, probably due chiefly to his new wife's ethnicity, Schoolcraft began his intense Native American & Ethnological research. After being elected to the legislature of the Michigan territory, he continuously interacted with the natives (the Ojibwe and Sioux tribes) of his region to maintain peace and harmony between the indigenous peoples and other citizens of Michigan.
Some of Schoolcrafts most notable endeavors were his founding and contribution to the first US journal on public education, The Journal of Education, and the publication of Michigan's first literary magazine, The Souvenir of the Lakes. Of course, his most famous work, this six volume set on North American Indians, was "a vast mass of really valuable material"... and "has indeed performed a very important service for Indian history, in collecting and preserving an immense amount of historic data" (Field). This work, while published by J. B. Lippincott in 1851 - 1857, was commissioned by Congress in 1846 which tasked Schoolcraft to develop a comprehensive reference work on American Indian Tribes. This set is considered an essential piece of Native American history.
This stand-alone volume scarce in the trade.