1683 | Book Hennepin, Louis. Description de la Louisiane, Nouvellement Decouverte au Sud'Oüest de la Nouvelle France, par Ordre du Roy. Paris: Chez la veuve Sebastien Huré, 1683. While serving with the LaSalle expedition, Father Louis Hennepin moved into country west of the Mississippi River and determined the Missouri River led to the Rocky Mountains. From the Rockies, Hennepin surmised, another navigable river made it easy passage to the Pacific Ocean. Hennepin's descriptions influenced several generations of scholars and explorers, including Jefferson. This French edition of Hennepin's work is available at canadiana.org or as part of Yale University's Western Americana: Frontier History of the Trans-Mississippi West microfilm series; an 1880 English reprint is available as part of the Western Americana microfilm series.
1697 | Book Hennepin, Louis. Nouvelle Decouverte d'un tres grand Pays situé dans l'Amerique, entre le Nouveau Mexique, et la Mer Glaciale, avec les Cartes, & les Figures necessaries, & de plus l'Histoire Naturalle & Morale, & les avantages, qu'on en peut tirer par l'établissement des colonies: le tout dédié a Sa Majesté Britannique Guillame III.. Utrecht: Chez Guillame Broedelet, 1697. Many editions of Nouvelle Decouverteinclude versions of LaSalle's maps of North America, several of which depict the Rio Grande and the Missouri River springing from the same source in the Rocky Mountains, a geographic assumption that became common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Allen, Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest, 9). This French edition of Hennepin's work is available at canadiana.org or as part of Yale University's Western Americana: Frontier History of the Trans-Mississippi West microfilm series; a 1698 English translation is online at Gale Group's Early English Books site and at americanjourneys.org.
1698 | Book Hennepin, Louis. Nouveau Voyage d'un Pais plus grand que l'Europe avec les reflections des enterprises du Sieur de la Salle, sure les Mines de St. Barbe, &c. enrichi de la carte, de figures expressives, des moeurs & manières de vivre des sauvages du nord & du sud, de la prise de Québec, ville capitalle de la Nouvelle France, par les Anglois, & des avantages qu'on peut retirer du chemin recourci de la Chine & du Japon, par le moien de tant de vaste contré es, & de nouvelles colonies: avec approbation & dédié à Sa Majesté, Guillaume III, roy de la Grande Bretagne.Utrecht: Chez Antoine Schouten, 1698. Another of Hennepin's influential works, Jefferson used this book while preparing his 1804 description of the Louisiana territory (Jackson, Thomas Jefferson & the Rocky Mountains, 89). See Hennepin's 1698 map in the archive. This French edition of Hennepin's work is available at canadiana.org or as part of Yale University's Western Americana: Frontier History of the Trans-Mississippi West microfilm series.
1705 | Book de Lahontan, Baron Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce. Voyages du Baron de La Hontan dans l'Amerique Septentrionale, qui contiennent une Rélation des différens Peuples qui y habitent; la nature de leur maniére de faire la Guerre: l'Intérêt des François & Anglois dans le Commerce qui'ils font avec ces NationsAmsterdam: François L'Honoré, 1705. Baron de Lahontan's works, which went through several English and French editions, helped spread the idea of a "Long River" that extended from the Mississippi into the Rocky Mountains near the headwaters of another river which ran into the Pacific. French editions of this work are available at canadiana.org and several English versions can be found at the Gale Group's Early English Books Online site.
1738 | Book Keith, William. History of the British Plantations in America. London: printed at the expence of the Society for the Encouragement of Learning, by S. Richardson; and sold by A. Millar, J. Nourse, and J. Gray, 1738. In 1771, Jefferson recommended this book and William Stith's History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginiato Robert Skipwith as part of a library suitable for a "common reader." History of the British Plantations in Americais available at the Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1741 | Book Coxe, Daniel. A Description of the English Province of Carolana. By the Spaniards call'd Florida, and the French, La Louisiane. To which is added a large and accurate map of Carolana, and of the river Meschacebe. London: Olive Payne, 1741. The idea of "symmetrical geography" was supported in Coxe's work, in which he asserted that interlocking river systems in the West, similar to those in the East, meant easy passage by water from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. See Coxe's 1722 map in the archive. Several editions of A Description of the English Province of Carolanaare available at the Gale Group's Early English Books Online site.
1744 | Book Charlevoix, Pierre François Xavier de. Histoire et Description Generale de la Nouvelle France, avec le Journal Historique d'un Voyage fait par ordre du Roi dans l'Amérique Septentrionnale. Paris: Chez Rollin Fils, 1744. Basing his assumptions on interviews with traders and Native peoples, Charlevoix endorsed the idea that from the Missouri explorers would have access to another navigable river leading to the Pacific Ocean. Charlevoix also supported the idea of "height-of-land:" rivers like the Mississippi and Missouri flowed to the cardinal directions from one point on the continent. The 1744 French text is available at Early Canadiana Online; a 1761 English edition is on the Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections Oline website.
1747 | Book Stith, William. History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia. Williamsburg: William Parks, 1747. In 1771, Jefferson recommended this book and William Keith's History of the British Plantations in Americato Robert Skipwith as part of a library suitable for a "common reader." History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginiais available on Google Books and at the Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1763 | Book Le Page du Pratz. The History of Louisiana, or of the West Parts of Virginia and Carolina: containing a Description of the Countries that lye on both sides of the River Mississippi: with an Account of the Settlements, Inhabitants, Soil, Climate, and Products. London: T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, 1763. Le Page du Pratz supported the idea of a water passage to the Pacific that would be interrupted only by short portages. See the interactive maps for Du Pratz' conception of North America. Lewis borrowed a copy of The History of Louisianafrom Benjamin Smith Barton and carried it across the continent. The 1763 English edition is online at Eighteen Century Collections Online or through Yale University's Western Americana microfilm series; a French edition is also available from the Yale Western Americana microfilm collection.
1765 | Book Rogers, Robert. A Concise Account of North America: containing a Description of the several British Colonies on that Continent, including the Islands of Newfoundland, Cape Breton, &c.. London: J. Millan, 1765. Rogers wrote of the "Ouragan" river and the "height-of-land" concept. Jefferson included this work on a list of recommended books for a national library that he prepared for Congress in 1783. An electronic version of A Concise Account of North Americais available at Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1771 | Book Catesby, Mark. The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants: ... with their descriptions in English and French. To which is prefixed, a new and correct map of the countries; with observations on their natural state, inhabitants, and productions. London: Benjamin White, 1771. Mark Catesby's massive work on the flora and fauna of North America's southeastern coast and the Bahamas was one of the msot comprehensive catalogs of the birds of the region. Jefferson used the work in Notes on the State of Virginia and Catesby was viewed as one of the primary naturalists of his day. The Natural History...is at Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections Online or as part of Yale University's Western Americana microfilm series; an earlier edition is available through University Microfilm's American Culture series.
1775 | Book Adair, James. The History of the American Indians; particularly those Nations adjoining to the Mississippi, East and West Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia containing an account of their origin, language, manners, religious and civil customs, laws, forms of government, punishments, conduct in war and domestic life, their habits, diet, agriculture, manufactures, diseases and method of cure...London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775. An English trader, James Adair collected native vocabularies and made ethnographic observations in the eighteenth-century tradition that stressed the "primitivism" and inevitable decline of native peoples. In The History of the American Indians, Adair presented his evidence that indigenous Americans were descendants of the tribes of Israel. This work is available as part of University Microfilm's American Culture Series, or at Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1778 | Book Hutchins, Thomas. A Topographical Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina, comprehending the rivers Ohio, Kenhawa, Sioto, Cherokee, Wabash, Illinois, Mississippi, &c. the climate, soil and produce, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral; the mountains, creeks, roads, distances, latitudes, &c. and of every part, laid down in the annexed map. London: Printed for the author and sold by J. Almon, 1778. Thomas Hutchins served as official geographer during George Washington's administration, following up on work he did before the Revolutionary War. Jefferson was very familiar with Hutchins' work, going so far as to offer detailed corrections to one of his maps (see their correspondence of 1784). Hutchins' 1778 map is in the archive section of the site. A topographical descriptionis available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online or through Yale University's Western Americana microfilm collection.
1784 | Book Cook, James. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean: Undertaken, by the command of His Majesty, for making discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. London: W. and A. Strahan: for G. Nicol; and T. Cadell, 1784. James Cook's account of his final journey included geographic descriptions of the Pacific Coast,assertions of the abundance of furs and resources to be found in the region, as well as accounts of contact with indigenous peoples. Several versions of Cook's Voyagesare available as reprints, as microfilm, or online, including at Early Canadiana Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1784 | Book Filson, John. The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke: and an essay towards the topography, and natural history of that important country. Wilmington: James Adams, 1784. John Filson's work helped popularize the idea of Kentucky and the trans-Appalachian region as a garden waiting for settlement by hardy Americans like Daniel Boone, whose biography he also wrote. Filson recognized that the region would be linked economically to the West via New Orleans and St. Lous, rather than the East. See his 1784 map in the archive. The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentuckeis online at the Library of Congress' First American West website and as part of University Microfilm's American Culture series.
1787 | Book Cutler, Manasseh. An Explanation of the Map which delineates that part of the Federal Lands, comprehended between Pennsylvania West Line, the Rivers Ohio and Sioto, and Lake Erie; confirmed to the United States by sundry Tribes of Indians, in the Treaties of 1784 and 1786, and now ready for Settlement. Salem: Dabney and Cushing, 1787. An avid supporter of western settlement, Manasseh Cutler helped form the Ohio Company and served as that organization's representative to Congress as the body debated the Ordinance of 1787. This work is available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1791 | Book Bartram, William. Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida; the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges or Creek Confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws. Containing an account of the soil and natural productions of those regions; together with observations on the manners of the Indians. Philadelphia: James & Johnson, 1791. Although Jefferson did not own a copy of Bartram's work until 1805 (Jackson, 92), as fellow members of the American Philosophical Society and frequent correspondents, Jefferson was well aware of Bartram's reports on Native American life and the natural history of the southeastern United States. Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Floridais available online at Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections, or as part of University Microfilm's American Culture Series.
1797 | Book Barton, Benjamin Smith. New Views of the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America. Philadelphia: Printed for the author by John Bioren, 1797. Barton's parallel vocabulary of native words is presented here to provide evidence for his assertion of the Asian origins of Native American languages. A frequent correspondent of Jefferson's, Barton's work in natural history was wide-ranging and influential among his fellow American Philosophical Society members. As one of Meriwether Lewis' scientific mentors, Barton's views on botany and native life were surely impacted the expedition. New Viewsis found online at Gale Group's Eighteenth Century Collections and as microfilm from University Microfilms.
1797 | Book Carver, Johnathan. Three years travels through the interior parts of North-America, for more than five thousand miles. Boston, 1797. Carver's travelogue borrows from Hennepin, Lahontan, and other explorers to propogate ideas about "height-of-land" and the great river "Oregan." See his 1778 map in the archive for an illustration of the "height-of-land" concept. Editions are available at Early Canadiana Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
1801 | Book Vancouver, George. A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and round the world: in which the coast of north-west America has been carefully examined and accurately surveyed : undertaken by His Majesty's command, principally with a view to ascertain the existence of any navigable communication between the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans, and performed in the years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795, in the Discovery sloop of war, and armed tender Chatham, under the command of Captain George Vancouver. London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1798. Vancouver's work provided detailed charts and descriptions of the Pacific Coast and the landscape the Corps of Discovery would face while there. Several editions of A Voyage of Discoveryare available, see Early Canadiana Online and Yale University's Western Americana microfilm series.
1802 | Book Mackenzie, Alexander. Voyages from Montreal on the river St. Laurence, through the continent of North America, to the frozen and Pacific oceans, in the years 1789 and 1793 : with a preliminary account of the rise, progress and present state of the fur trade of that country. London: R. Noble, 1802. Mackenzie's work recounts his travel across North America, demonstrating the possibility of such a trek, and includes a passage from MacKenzie urging the British to develop a route across Canada to the Pacific and thence to Asia. In doing so, the British could control the fur trade and strengthen their hold on the continent through easier settlement. Lewis and Clark carried a copy of Voyageswith them. Mackenzie's 1781 map is in the archive section of this site. An 1801 edition published in Edinburgh is available at Early Canadiana Online and through University Microfilm's American Culture Series; an 1802 London edition is included in Yale University's Western Americana microfilm collection.