Washington DC: Printed by William Duane & Son, 1804. First Edition. 8vo. (213 x 135 mm). , -8, -13 , -22 pp., 1 blank f. (pagination irregular but the text is complete). Modern sympathetic wrappers. Sig. A with pronounced foxing, considerably less so in sigs. B and C. Stab holes in gutter margin; first eight pages with contemporary ink notations shaved (some still readable), unimportant ink stain on final blank. With ink signature of Connecticut Congressman Samuel W. Dana on title page, as well as Eberstadt pricing notes ($50 in 1929) and codes in pencil on title and final blank. Overall, a crisp copy with an interesting provenance. Very good. Item #3386
Moses Austin's report on the lead mines in Missouri is one of the earliest selections in Becker’s fourth edition of Wagner-Camp’s Plains & Rockies: no. 2d (!)
This is Jefferson's 1804 State of the Union Address. Austin’s report third one herein. Howes calls it the “First United States’ book on Missouri,” even though it was never separately issued. The bespoke report is likely the first publication concerning mining west of the Mississippi River. It certainly precedes Henry R. Schoolcraft’s 1819 "A View of the Lead Mines of Missouri," sometimes considered the first book on the subject of Western mines. Austin reported to Jefferson that area he was then mining would be a choice acquisition for the United States. Austin utilized ingenious mining techniques of his own creation, and became extremely successful. However, in the end he had to declare bankruptcy, a setback which caused him to turn to Texas for a land grant. Thus, in one of the odd twists of history, a failed mining venture in Missouri eventually led to the Republic and State of Texas, a cause that was of course championed successfully by his son: Stephen F. Austin.
The other two documents in Jefferson's State of the Union message are of interest: the first expresses Spain’s abandonment of opposition to the Louisiana Purchase -- a welcome development. The second is a proclamation by the President establishing a Customs District and Port of Entry at Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf Coast. Other topics include the organization of the Louisiana Territory and measures taken against the Barbary pirates. Jefferson also reports that he is hoping to deal peacefully and productively with the area’s Native Americans, a policy that would be abandoned later in the century by other presidents.
PROVENANCE: Samuel W. Dana (1760-1830), Connecticut member of the U.S. House, with his inscription on the title-page and annotations in the margins of the first 7 pp.
American Imprints (1804) 7551. Graff 4405. Howes A401 (listed under Austin). Plains & Rockies IV:2d. Sabin 2419. Streeter Sale 1580. Tompkins, Bibliotheca Jeffersoniana p. 97 (W151).