Cleveland’s Narrative of Voyages


Richard J. Cleveland. A Narrative of Voyages and Commercial Enterprises. Two volumes in one. Cambridge: John Owen, 1842. First edition. 8vo. Dark brown cloth over boards. Ex-library with original labels on two front free end papers; remains of label on rear free end paper with some damage from removal, including small hole in page, lower left. Some wear to spine and boards. Heavily foxed throughout, with dark stain at bottom corner causing some wear to paper, pp. 101-178. Binding secure. Fair condition. Howes: C485; Sabin, 13665.

SKU: 102-1 Categories: ,


An important marine narrative written by Richard J. Cleveland, an adventurer merchant. The DAB described Cleveland as “one of the greatest of the great race of New England sea captains—intrepid, skilful, clean, temperate, honest—[although] regard for Spanish trade regulations and for the nice conduct of neutrals in wartime was no part of his code. He was a thorough gentleman and a born writer.” This narrative was drawn from Cleveland’s journals and letters of his many years sailing out of Salem and around the world, beginning in the late eighteenth century. Cleveland had many adventures and won and lost several fortunes. His account details his expeditions to China, California and the American northwest coast, Alaska, Hawaii, and South America. Its scope makes this an invaluable documentation of America’s growing might as a marine power. Of considerable interest is the account of Cleveland’s partnership with William Shaler, who served as an American agent on these voyages and later in Texas. Reprinted several times, this first edition is rare.