Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jonathan Carver's "Travels Through The Interior Parts of North-America" (1778) - What's Available Online?

 
I. Introduction
II. Jonathan Carver and his Travels
III. Controversies
IV. The "Songs"
V. Bibliography
Literature


I. Introduction 

Digitization is - I think - one of the greatest watersheds in the history of research. Much of the older literature and sources have been scanned and are easily accessible online. Even the rarest books - if they have been digitized - are now immediately at hand. The use of digital facsimilés promotes transparency: every reader should be able to check the sources and references. 

Still some important questions remain: are these digital copies available in open repositories that everybody has access to or only in closed databases behind a paywall? In the latter case it is of course not possible to set a direct link to a source. Does a digital copy represent the original book in the best possible way so it can be used as a "surrogate" for the real book? Is it complete or is something missing? Unfortunately there are often problems particularly with what is offered by Google Books, the greatest open online repository. The uncritical use of a digital facsimilé is not advisable and therefore the quality and completeness should always be checked. Often many copies are available and it is necessary to search for the best one. 

Here I will try another case study. Jonathan Carver's Travels Through The Interior Parts of North-America in the Years 1766, 1767 and 1768 - first printed 1778 in London - was one of the most popular and influential travel accounts of its time. It was among the books "that revealed the Middle West to the minds of curious Europeans" (Blegen, p. 70). There were altogether 17 English editions - published in either Britain or the USA - as well as translations into German, French, Dutch and Swedish. But it was also a very controversial book and the author's reliability and credibility has been called into question. 

I needed to check this work because of the texts of some "songs" or orations that Carver claimed to have heard performed. They were later regularly reprinted or translated in both scholarly and popular publications as authentic representations of the song culture of the North American "Indians". One of them was even turned into a ballad by German poet Schiller. 

At first there will be a short introduction to Carver and his book as well as a discussion of these so-called "songs". The most important secondary literature will be referred to and in passing I will check how many of these works can be found online at the moment. This will be followed by an attempt of a bibliography with links to the digital copies of the different editions of Carver's book that are available at the moment. 


II. Jonathan Carver and his Travels 

Jonathan Carver (1710-1780; see Wikipedia; Gould at MNopedia; Parker, pp. 1-56; Gelb, pp. 1-51; Williams 1989; Wilson 1978, pp. 47-82) from Massachussetts, at first apparently a shoemaker, joined the militia in 1755. He fought in the French and Indian War until 1763, at the end as a Captain with his own company. After the war he went back home to Boston but didn't get happy with civilian life. He wanted to return to the borderlands. 

Carver had become acquainted with the legendary Major Robert Rogers who at that time planned an expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage and hired him as a mapmaker. In May 1766 they set out for Fort Michilimackinac in present day Michigan. Rogers had to wait for authorization of his expedition - which he never received - and commissioned Carver to explore the unknown formerly French territories (see Parker 1976, pp. 192-3). 

He went west to the Mississippi and then to what is today Minnesota. There he spent a winter with a band of Dakota Indians and studied their way of life and customs. Then he traveled to Prairie du Chien at Lake Superior but there he ran out of supplies. The lack of support forced him to change his plans and he and his companions had to return to Michilimackinac where they spend the winter 1767/8. There Major Rogers was accused of treason and arrested. Carver went back to Boston. Unfortunately his efforts were not acknowledged, the commission issued by Rogers was worthless and he was not paid as promised for his work. Also his attempts at publishing his journals failed. Therefore he decided to travel to England hoping for more success there: 
"Yesterday Morning sailed for London [...] Captain Carver, formerly of the New England Troops; This Gentleman has been employed several years as a Draughtsman, and has been exploring the Heads of the Mississippi, St. Piere's, and Lake Superior; in which Service he has given great satisfaction, having made many several discoveries of considerable utility [...] He has carried with him his Draughts and Journals, and has good recommendations for his faithful Services" (Boston Weekly News-Letter, No. 356, 23.2.1769, p. 1, at AHN). 
In London Carver managed to get paid some money by the treasury and was also involved in the the production of new maps (see Bosse 1985, pp. 49-54). But for most of the time he struggled to survive and remained "a figure of little significance" (Gelb, p. 36). At least he became acquainted with Joseph Banks, well-known scholar and later president of the Royal Society, who lent some support to the publication of his book. In the end it took nearly 10 years until the Travels were published in 1778:


In fact this was an impressive work of nearly 550 pages. First there was - after an informative introduction - the "Journal of the Travels" (pp. 17-180). This is followed by an extended treatise "Of the Origin, Manners, Customs, Religion, and Language of the Indians" (pp. 181-441), vocabularies of two languages, chapters about the flora and fauna and a somewhat visionary appendix discussing the possible future colonization of these territories. Two maps and some illustrations were also included. 

Of course the book was based on Carver's original notes. But they were rewritten, edited and supplemented with information taken - without credit - from a number of earlier works by other authors. It was "in part a borrowed and generalized collage of previous travellers' descriptions of different tribes, different times, and different places" (Fulford, p. 62). He got some help from a London writer, one Alexander Bicknell, "an industrious litterateur of the last quarter of the eighteenth century (DNB 5, p. 9, at wikisource), who in ads for later works was referred to as the "compiler" (f. ex. St. James Chronicle, No. 2980, 15.-18.4.1780, at BBCN). One may describe the Travels as "a collaborative effort between two men who knew what readers wanted in travel narratives and how to satisfy their expectations" (Williams, p. 208; see Parker 1976; see also Wilson, pp. 72-82; Sayre, pp. 183-204).

Carver's book - self-published, because apparently no publisher wanted to take the risk - was a big success. The reviews were very positive (see f. ex. Critical Review 46, 1778, pp. 441-50; London Magazine 48, 1779, p. 180; Westminster Magazine 7, 1779, pp. 142-4), two new editions appeared the following year in London and in Dublin, and another one in 1780. Parts of the book were reprinted in popular magazines (see f. ex. London Review 8, 1779, pp. 377-82; Monthly Review 60, 1779, pp. 90-5 & pp. 281-9; Lady's Magazine 10, 1779, pp. 132-5 & pp. 180-2; London Magazine 48, 1779, pp. 201-2). 

Carver's name can also be found on two other books published at that time: a Treatise on the Culture of Tobacco (London 1779 [ESTC T51643]. at the Internet Archive; Dublin 1779 [ESTC T174004]) and The Universal Traveller. Containing a Full and Distinct Account of All the Empires, Kingdoms, and States, in the Known World (London 1779 [ESTC T133709], at Google Books. But the latter wasn't his work (see Gentleman's Magazine 51, 1781, p. 80). He probably lent his name to cash in on the success of his own book. 

But all this literary success didn't help him much. He died in 1780, still in poverty, and left behind two families, one in America and one in England. The following year a third edition was published to help out his wife and children in England. Responsible for this publication was Carver's last physician John Coakley Lettsom (1744-1815, see Wikipedia), philanthropist and founder of the Medical Society of London, who had bought the copyright of the book. He added an index and a rather inaccurate biography of the author (pp. 1-22). This was for a while the last British edition. Only much later, between 1798 and 1808, the Travels were printed again several times in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Carver never made it back to America and also missed the revolution. But his book was published there, at first in 1784 with the title Three Years Travels Throughout the Interior Parts of North America For More Than Five Thousand Miles by Crukshank in Philadelphia (at the Internet Archive) and it became very popular: seven more editions were printed until 1813. Even George Washington owned a copy (see Everett 1860, p. 298). Just like in Britain parts of the book were regularly reprinted in magazines and newspapers (see Djahazi, pp. 31). In fact he was mentioned in the press rather often and one gets the impression that he became posthumously a kind of celebrity. 

Of course the Travels were also published in other countries, at first in Germany in 1780. "Germans were rabid readers of travel accounts" and "the leading consumers of travel literature in Europe" (Apgar, p. 17). French (1784) and Dutch (1796) editions followed later. All in all this was already an impressive success for Carver's book. It was surely one of the most popular travel accounts of that era. But its life-span was prolonged and its popularity and influence increased because Joachim Heinrich Campe in Germany laid his hands on this text and turned it into one of the great classics of juvenile literature. 



Campe (1746-1818; see Wikipedia; see wikisource; see f. ex. Ewers 2010, Apgar 2008, Brune-Heiderich 1989), educator, writer, publisher, linguist and one of the inventors of modern juvenile literature, had already published Robinson der Jüngere (1779/80), his adaptation of Defoe's classic, and the first two parts of Die Entdeckung von Amerika (1781). He was the one who brought the New World to the young people. In 1785 Campe started a Sammlung interessanter und durchgängig zwekmäßig abgefaßter Reisebeschreibungen für die Jugend with original travel accounts edited and made suitable for juvenile readers. In the preface to the first volume he noted that he regarded authentic travelogues as the best reading material for adolescents to promote their knowledge of the world and human nature -"Welt- und Menschenkenntnis" - in an easy and pleasant way (see pp. [vii-viii]). 

His adaptation of Carver's Travels appeared in the fourth volume in 1788 (at the Internet Archive). It is interesting to see that he selected exactly this book to represent North America in his series. This shows how popular it was already at that time in Germany. Of course Campe edited the text a little bit to make it suitable for his purposes and also added some information from other relevant sources. This series of travel accounts was immensely successful and would be reprinted in at least 10 new editions until the 1840s. It was also translated into other languages. The French version of Campe's adaptation was first published in 1789 and reappeared in at least 13 editions until the 1870s. Additionally there were also Dutch, Swedish and even Greek translations. 

All in all Carver's Travels was one of the best known and most widely read popular books about the American West and its inhabitants. His "words defined the image of the Indians right across the 'civilized' world" (Fulford, p. 61). Campe then turned it into an entertaining and instructive educational text for young readers. Its influence should not be underestimated, particularly in Germany where it was the starting-point for the long tradition of Indian novels for children (Brune-Heiderich, p. 116) and laid the groundwork for the reception for example of James Fenimore Cooper's books and in general for what has later been called "Indianertümelei", the naive fascination with native Americans (see f. ex. Lutz 1985 & 2012). 


III. Controversies 

Carver's book was at first received very well and quickly became a standard work in this field. Travelers and scholars used it and relied on the information found there, for example William Falconer who in his Remarks on the Influence of Climate (1781, see f. ex. pp. 221, 225, 230, 235, 281 & 320) referred several times to the Travels. Indian trader John Long who spent some years in the same area was also familiar with Carver's work. He mentioned him a couple of times in his own book (1791, f. ex. pp. 62, 83 & 113) as did missionary and ethnologist John Heckewelder in his Account of the History, Manner, and Customs, of the Indian Natives (1819, at the Internet Archive). 

These are only some random examples. Throughout the 19th century the Travels were referred to in numerous popular and scholarly writings. It must have been among the most often quoted travel books about America during that time. Even towards the end of the century scholars like Danish sociologist C. N. Starcke in Die primitive Familie in ihrer Entstehung und Entwicklung (1888, here f. ex. pp. 34, 36 & 281) and American anthropologist Albert Jenks in his Wild Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lake (1901, at the Internet Archive) still made use of it. 

But already early on serious doubts about the Travels were raised (see also Quaife 1914, pp. 169-70). American scholar Benjamin Smith Barton noted in 1787 in his Observations on some Parts of Natural History that he had "long considered Mr. Carver as a person whose authority may justly be disputed" (pp. 14-5). Later Keating in his report about Stephen Long's expedition claimed that Carver's book "contains many circumstances, which might induce us to question the accuracy of his report"(1825, p. 2). Even more critical was Robert Greenhow who in his History of Oregon and California (here 2nd ed., 1845, pp. 142 & 145) stated that Carver's account of the Indians "is extracted almost entirely, and, in many parts, verbatim, from the French journals and histories". 

Detailed critiques would appear in the early 20th century. Most important in this respect was an influential article by historian E. G. Bourne in the American Historical Review in 1909 (pp. 287-302), an attempt at a devastating debunking. He showed where Carver had borrowed from earlier works and concluded that the Travels "must cease to be considered an original work" (p. 294). Lawrence J. Burpee, author of The Search for the Western Sea. The Story of the Exploration of North Western America, called Carver's book an "entertaining though untrustworthy narrative" and stated that he had "accomplished comparatively little" (1908, p. 285). 

Also Reuben Gold Thwaites, one of the foremost experts in this field at that time, didn't think much of Carver Travels. He hadn't included it in the great series Early Western Travels 1748-1846 (32 Vols., 1904-1907, available at the Internet Archive). In his history of Wisconsin (1908, pp. 125-9) he described Carver as an "ignorant shoemaker [...] incapable of writing such a book": 
"[...] it is quite evident that he kept some rough notes [...] but the often-cited part containing descriptions of Indian life and customs is a mere patchwork of selections from the journals of Hennepin, Lahontan, Charlevoix and Adair."
That was all a little bit too much, "a condemnation too sweeping" (Quaife 1914, p. 171). Others did some real research and found reasons to disagree (see part. Lee 1909 & 1913; Browning 1920). Carver's original journals were found in the British Library and much biographical detail was uncovered. He surely wasn't an "ignorant shoemaker", in fact he did write more than only "rough notes" and one historian even felt justified to claim that Carver was "vindicated" (Alvord 1913). This may have been a more realistic verdict than the indiscriminate attacks á la Bourne and Thwaites. Of course the great number of plagiarisms from other works by either Carver or his ghostwriter had to be conceded. But these kind of methods were not uncommon among travel writers in 18th century. The question that remained was what was Carver's work and what was not. But at least it seemed obvious that he in fact had been the "author of the nucleus of the published book" (Sayre 2017, p. 190). 

Three decades later Carver's reputation had to take another blow. Because of his association with the legendary Major Rogers he became a literary figure in Kenneth Roberts' Northwest Passage (1938). There he appeared as a very unpleasant character. At the end two of the books protagonists are discussing his book and they are very disappointed: 
"'Why,' I said, 'the man's not only a liar, an ingrate, a traitor; he's a thief and a fool! He's falsified every date in his book! He's twisted every fact he's told, and left out most of the things he should have told [...]'" (p. 707). 
As late as 1962 Percy Adams in his seminal Travelers and Travel Liars felt it justified to call Carver's book "largely a fake" (p. 85). This was a little bit unfair and not really convincing, in fact largely an exaggeration. He should have known better. Of course others at that time had attempted a more realistic appraisal of the Travels (see f. ex. Fridey 1954; Blegen 1963, pp. 67-70) but only after the publication of the manuscripts (Parker 1976) more serious discussions about Carver's achievements and shortcomings began to appear (see f. ex. Medeiros 1977, pp. 197-201; Wilson 1978, pp. 47-82 ; Savage 1979, pp. 42-8; Williams 1989; Sayre 2017, pp. 183-204). 

It seems that now a fairer judgment is possible even though the shadow of Bourne et al. is still looming and Carver 's reputation has not completely recovered from their attacks (see f. ex. Lutz 1985, pp. 157-8; Hochbruck, pp. 73-7). I will only mention one recent contribution to this discussion,.an otherwise interesting and informative article (Djahazi 2014). Here I read that Carver "was an imposter in so far as he publicly staged himself as the first English gentleman venturing into the American interior, a bold and trustworthy discoverer telling his fellow citizens of the land's rich prospects and its inhabitants" (p. 28). 

This is not wrong but I really do not see what's the problem here. Something like this could be said about many travel writers. Of course Carver posed as a great explorer and tried to outdo his predecessors. Of course he wanted to sell his book. And to call his expedition the "modest adventure" of an "historically rather insignificant traveler" (p. 28, also p. 42) - echoing earlier remarks by Burpee - seems to me unnecessarily condescending. Traveling several thousand miles, a considerable part of it through unknown territories, spending time with the locals to study their customs and then coming back alive with a lot of interesting information may now look like a "modest adventure" to a modern armchair academic. But I don't think I would describe it that way. 

In fact Carver's expedition was in some way groundbreaking, a "soldierly record of the earliest experience of an Englishman in that portion of the continent" (Bain, in Henry 1901, p. xxviii). He happened to be the first British traveler who set out to explore the territories just won from the French and he brought back "new and exciting information" (Medeiros, p. 197). Of course he wasn't Captain Cook or Lewis & Clark but nonetheless the results of his efforts were surely not worthless. For example his maps were used by American commissioners at the peace negotiations after the Revolutionary War (see Ahrens 2015). 

His treatise about the customs and manners "of the Indians" may be a collage but it can also be seen as a good summary of what was known at that time, even if he mixed it all up a little bit and forgot to name his sources. Carver was no scholar. But he seems to have been familiar with much of the relevant literature and he attempted a more or less objective account. Even more important was the way he wrote about the native Americans: 
"But the greatest significance of the book was its picture of the native Americans Carver met and resided among. His portrayal of the way they lived, the beliefs they held, and their human qualities did much to alter the prevailing eighteenth-century image of Indians as 'savages' [...]" (Gelb, p. 1).
His "Indians" were not "noble savages" but real persons and ordinary people. He "depicts an entirely conventional America" (Jehlen p. 130). 


IV. The "Songs" 

All in all Carver's Travels were neither a "fake" nor - of course - can they be compared to a modern ethnography. Every single piece of information has to be checked for accuracy and correctness (see f. ex. the notes in Parker's edition of the manuscripts). But this should be the case with all travel accounts. And no matter how we judge its veracity: in a historical perspective the reception of this book was more important than its "authenticity", it's "qualities" were in fact "more literary than documentary" (Djahazi, p. 30). This also applies to the so-called "songs" quoted by Carver. 

At that time poetry and songs of "exotic" peoples had already been published and discussed for more than two centuries (see this article, Ch. III, in my blog). I will only mention the two fragmentary Brazilian songs quoted by Montaigne in his Essai No. 30 "De Cannibales", the two Peruvian texts in Inca Carcilaso de la Vega's Commentarios Reales (1609) and the Lapp songs made available in Scheffer's Lapponia (1673). These pieces had become a part of the European literary tradition. 

The Baron Lahontan had quoted some war songs of the Algonquin in his New Voyages to North-America (1703, II, pp. 32-3), one of the most popular travel accounts about America from the early 18th century. Only a few years ago Henry Timberlake had included a war song of the Cherokees in his Memoirs (1765, pp. 55-59) and British readers could also find a death-song of the Eskimos in David Crantz' History of Greenland (1767, p. 239). The "Indian song" would soon become a popular genre. 

Therefore it was no wonder that Carver wanted to contribute to the growing body of relevant "authentic" texts. Three pieces in his book are of interest here. First there is an "extremely poetical and pleasing" oration performed for a dead chief (pp. 399-400), not a song at all but it was later turned into one:


Bourne has shown (p. 295) that this was not an original text but derived from a - possibly also fictitious - funeral oration in Lahontan's New Voyages (1703, II, pp. 51-2). It's only the question if Carver had witnessed something of this kind during his time with the Dakotas and then attempted to reconstruct it with the help of Lahontan's description or if it was simply plagiarized to fill up the pages of his book. In this case the latter seems more plausible. 

Then he offered a "plaintive melancholy song" of a woman bemoaning her dead child (pp. 404-6):


In this case the core of the scenery can be found in the Journals (Parker, p. 104): 
"[...] the mother of the child [...] would sing to the corps of her son telling over in a sort of singing tone how it had slam its enemies and taken prisoners [...] By these elegies they mean to signifie no more than what they think probable the child might have performed had it lived to mature years." 
For the book he expanded this part and added the words of the "song". But this was obviously his own work. He had learned a little bit of the language - "I was six months among them & had oppertunity to learn something of their dialict" ([sic!]; Parker, pp. 100/1) - but with his rudimentary knowledge he surely wouldn't have been able to understand and write down a complete text as it was sung by this woman. 

There is also a vocabulary of the Dakota language - the first one ever published - that Carver had collected himself. As an illustrative example he added both the "original" words and an English translation of a "hunting song" (p. 440): 


But again serious doubts are advisable: 
"Although this text clearly demonstrates Carver's lack of knowledge of Dakota grammar, it is valuable as an example of the type of 'pidgin' Dakota probably used by Carver and many early traders. Each of the three sentences is grammatically correct in English, with the best possible substitutions of Dakota words as Carver knew them [...]. It is doubtful that the Naudowessee would have understood more than a few disconnected phrases [...]" (DeMallie in Parker 1976, p. 212). 
All three texts were clearly not "authentic" recordings of original performances by native Americans. But at least in the latter two cases - the death-song for the child and the hunting-song - the basic ethnographic information seems to be correct. These "songs" may have been attempts at reconstructing something he had heard. But Carver's "fabricated" texts (see Hochbruck, pp. 75-6) were closer to the pseudo-Indian rhetoric created and promoted by European writers, the kind of style common for literary works like - for example - Warton's popular poem about the "Dying Indian" (1755, at the Internet Archive). 

Nonetheless these texts' "authenticity" was taken for granted and they were well received among scholars and poets who looked for some original "Indian" songs. The year 1790 saw the publication of a new edition of Purmann's Sitten und Meinungen der Wilden in Amerika. In the appendix to the fourth volume he presented and discussed Carver's book and also quoted all three pieces (pp. 368-9, 372, 379). 

Carver's "songs" also fit well into the popular enthusiasm for the poetry of the people: "Volkslieder" and "national songs". Herder in Germany didn't include them in his Volkslieder (1778/79) because the German edition of the Travels only appeared in 1780. But two decades later he quoted two of the three in the little treatise Land der Seelen, a discussion of the beliefs in life after death among several peoples (Zerstreute Blätter 6, 1797, pp. 135-42). As examples he used Arabian poems, texts from Ossian that were supposed to represent the Celts and from Carver both the death-song for the child and the oration of death for the deceased chief. 

A year later German poet Friedrich Schiller - like many Germans fascinated with the "Indians" - took the latter, also from the German edition of Carver's book, and turned it into a ballad that was published first in the Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1798 (pp. 237-9): 



Poems about Indians by German writers were not uncommon. For example adaptations of Warton's "Dying Indian" had been published both by Christian Heinrich Schmid in his Anthologie der Deutschen (1772, pp. 330-1) and by Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (first in the Deutsche Chronik 1, 1774, p. 83). Many more "Indian" poems would follow (see Augustin's anthology, 1981). But Schiller's "Nadowessische Todtenklage" (see Jantz 1959) was a particularly strange piece. Today it sounds like a parody but I assume it was a serious attempt at speaking with an "Indian" voice. Interestingly this ballad won a certain popularity. It was set to music by composer Hummel (in 12 Deutsche Lieder, 1799, pp. 6-7) and also translated into English several times, for example by Benjamin Beresford who included Hummel's song with an English text in one of his anthologies, the Collection of German Ballads and Songs (1800, pp. 22-3):


The "hunting song" also appeared in a little anthology of "exotic" poetry and songs compiled by linguist Johann Christoph Adelung. His Proben der Dichtung ungebildeter Völker can be found in a Becker's Erholungen, a literary periodical (1799, pp. 194-208, here No. 10, p. 206). Here he put together original songs and poetry - together with his own translations - from the Baltic, Siberia, Lapland as well as South and North America. They were taken mostly from travel books and ethnographies, some older like Scheffer's Lapponia and the rest more recent publications like Carver's Travels and Long's Voyages. In fact these were more or less all texts of this kind that were available at that time. Adelung versified Carver's text "to make it more look like a poem" (Feest, p. 56) and that way he adapted it even more to European literary conventions. 

One may assume that Adelung was already busy preparing his Mithridates oder allgemeine Sprachenkunde, a comparative survey of the world's languages. The volumes about America were only published posthumously. I can't say how much of it was his own work but we can see that the chapter discussing the language of the "Nadowessier oder Sioux-Nation" is still based mostly on Carver's vocabulary. Here this "hunting-song" was quoted again (3.3, 1816, pp. 256-65, here p. 265). 

Interestingly this particular piece - "the first purportedly 'Dakota' text ever published, and [...] perhaps also the most frequently reprinted and translated one" (Feest, p. 56) - reappeared later in other publications, for example in the USA in a periodical, The Portfolio (5, 1818, p. 328), where the original text and a translation were placed between an Italian song and a "Sonnet" from Goethe's Torquato Tasso. In Germany it was Bromme who quoted it again in his popular books about America (here 1839, p. 252). 

I can close here with Therese von Jacob - i. e. Talvj - a very knowledgeable scholar of international "Volkslieder" and ethno-poetry -, who in 1840 published her Versuch einer geschichtlichen Charakteristik der Volkslieder germanischer Nationen. She also included chapters about non-European songs and her anthology of American texts included her own adaptations of both the hunting-song and the mother's song for the dead child (here pp. 120-1). It is somewhat surprising that she still used these old texts - and once again turned then into Europeanized poems - but at least some of the other pieces in her little collection were of a later date and perhaps from more reliable sources. 

We can see that by that time Carver's "songs" were still regarded as authentic representations of the American Indians' culture. Of course they weren't but instead already adapted to the cultural frame of reference of the European readers. With each translation they were even more Europeanized. Nonetheless his texts had a semblance of "authenticity" because he had been there and he had some real knowledge of this culture. That made their reception different from the purely literary works like for example Warton's "Dying Indian". 


IV. Bibliography 

At first it is of course necessary to bring all the editions and translations of Carver's book into some order. Thankfully this work has already been done. A more or less complete bibliography was attempted first by John Thomas Lee in his two ground-breaking articles more than a century ago (1909 & 1913) and then by Parker in his edition of Carver's journals (1976, pp. 222-31). All the English and American editions until the year 1800 are also listed in the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). 

Where then can we find the digital copies of these books? That is not always easy because they are scattered over different repositories. The search strategy usually depends on what I am looking for. In this case I have started with the Internet Archive. Their own scans - mostly of books from North American libraries - are nearly always of excellent quality. I also know that there are some collections that include a considerable number of travel books from the 18th and 19th century. In fact this turned out to be very successful

What is available there first needed to be sorted and then served as a backbone of the bibliography. This was supplemented with what can be found - with the help of search engines like the KVK - on sites like Google Books and in other libraries' repositories. By the way, nearly all early English and American editions published until 1800 are also available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and some of the American editions in Early American Imprints (Newsbank/Readex). But these are closed databases and also the quality isn't the best. Ten years ago they would have been the only digital copies available. Today in most cases better scans are available in open repositories. 

ESTC had for a long time only links to copies in closed collections like ECCO and EAI. Recently they started to add links to scans at sites like Hathi Trust, Internet Archive and even sometimes Google Books. At the moment this is far from being complete. Nonetheless it is helpful and I hope this feature will be expanded in future. 

It is also necessary to identify a digital copy's provenance. The same copy may be available in different repositories. A considerable number of books scanned by Google can be found at the Internet Archive, at Hathi Trust and often on the site of the contributing library. Scans produced by the Internet Archive were also posted at Hathi Trust. This means that the same copy is available different repositories. Occasionally this can be a little bit confusing and it is advisable to sort it out. 

At first I will look at the five early English editions published between 1778 and 1781:
Three copies of the first edition - from three different libraries - are available at the Internet Archive. They are of good quality and also complete. As far as I can see all maps and plates have been scanned correctly and are included. There is also one copy at Google Books. But - as expected - it is not complete and should be avoided: the maps have been mutilated by the scanner. As is widely known this is a general problem with Google's scans that limits their usefulness. 

Of the four following editions one is missing, the one published in London in 1780. But this one seems to be very rare and according to ESTC there is only one extant copy in a library. But good scans of other three are easily available at the Internet Archive. The most important supplier in this respect is the John Carter Brown Library (JCBL). They offer a great collection of early literature about the Americas including many different editions of Carver's Travels. I have also listed Google Books' scan of the Dublin edition but once again the map is missing

Periodicals are also an important source. There was a considerable number of reviews as swell as reprints of parts of the Travels. Magazines from this era can easily found at Google Books. They have digitized nearly all the important publications like for example the Gentleman's Magazine, the Monthly Review, the London Review and the Lady's Magazine. Newspapers from that time are of also indispensable. The most important resource is the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection (Gale) that is of course still not freely available. 

The American editions published since 1784 are based on the last London edition. But neither the index nor Mr. Lettsom's biography were included. For some reason the maps and the plates were also left out. In 1798 the book returned to Britain. Four editions were published in Scotland until 1808: 
We can see that only one is missing. The rest has been scanned at least once and all except one are available in open repositories. Again the JCBL offers excellent digital copies of five of them. For the others we can also use Google Books' scans. Here they couldn't do much wrong because there were no maps or other fold-outs to mutilate. Some are also available at the Internet Archive as part of the CIHM Monograph Collection. This is a great and very valuable collection of Canadiana that were scanned from microfiches. The resulting digital copies don't always look that perfect but if there is nothing else they can be used to fill the gaps. 

As mentioned above parts of Carver's book were also reprinted in popular periodicals, for example in newspapers like The Columbian Herald (1784), The New Haven Gazette (1784/5), The Lichfield Monitor (1785/6) and others. These publications have all been digitized. They can be found easily in a America's Historical Newspaper (Newsbank/Readex), but of course only by those who have institutional access. 

One more later edition of the Travels was published in 1838, this time with all the maps and illustrations (see the review in: The New York Review 4, 1839, pp. 233-4). Two fine copies are available at the Internet Archive
  • Jonathan Carter, Travels in Wisconsin. From the Third London Edition, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1838
    at the Internet Archive [= Wellesley CL]
    at the Internet Archive [= LOC] 
We can see that the British and American editions of Carver's Travels are well represented in the digital book world. Nearly all of them are freely available. There is no need to use closed databases like ECCO or Early American Imprints. Most of the scans are also in good quality and perfectly usable. But it is also clear to see that in this case one particular library - the JCBL that is specialized in this genre - is responsible for most of the good digital copies of Carver's book produced until now. Without their digitization efforts much less would be available. 

The publication history of this book in Britain and America came to an end in 1838 and it took a very long time until it was made available again. In the 1950s a facsimilé of the third edition was published (Minneapolis 1956, at Hathi Trust [= GB]). But it was Parker's groundbreaking edition of Carver's journals (1976, at the Internet Archive) that attracted new attention for his work. Later the Travels were published anew in a modern edition with an excellent introduction and an abbreviated text (Gelb 1993). But today it is much easier to get access to the digital copies of nearly all original editions of this work. They can serve as the starting-point for further research. 

The foreign editions of Carver's Travels are also mostly available online. I can start here with Germany where the first translation was published already two years after the first English edition. Google Books offers two copies. But both of them are incomplete because - as expected - the map is missing. Thankfully the JCBL helps out once again. The excellent scan of their copy can be found at the Internet Archive
Responsible for this publication was Christian Daniel Ebeling who wrote a short preface. The translator wasn't named but most likely it may have been his brother Johann Philipp (see Parker, p. 224). This book also served as the first volume of the his series Neue Sammlung von Reisebeschreibungen (Bohn, Hamburg, 1780-1790). All the other volumes have been scanned by Google (available at Oxford). Ebeling (1741-1817, see Wikipedia; wikisource; Stewart 1976), a teacher, scholar, librarian, translator and editor, was at that time amongst those who brought the world to the German readers. Later he wrote a geography and history of North America, the Erdbeschreibung und Geschichte von Amerika (7 Vols., 1793-1816, at BSB). 

For some reason this edition was never reprinted and vanished from the book market. But soon Campe's version of Carver's Travels became available. The publication history of his first collection of travel accounts for juvenile readers can be a little bit confusing. It was first published by Campe's own Schulbuchhandlung in Braunschweig between 1785 and 1793 but soon reprints followed and other publishers also took over. 

I have used a copy of the fourth volume that I found at the Internet Archive. The quality is fine but the contributing library apparently didn't have the complete series. Therefore I have listed some others where all volumes of the Sammlung are available as well as one later edition from the 1790s: 
More editions would follow. There was one published in Vienna as Sammlung interessanter Reisebeschreibungen für die Jugend in 1807/8. Nearly all volumes of the series have been digitized by Google for the Austrian National Library but not yet the one with Carver's Reisen (see ÖNB). Publisher Macklot in Stuttgart brought out a new edition in 13 volumes, now with the title Sammlung merkwürdiger Reisebeschreibungen für die Jugend. The part with Carver's Reisen can be found, bound together with several other parts of this series, in a digitized volume available at the Internet Archive [= Duke-JantzColl]. 

Campe also put together a complete collection of all his writings for juvenile reader. This Gesamtausgabe first appeared between 1806 and 1822 in 39 volumes and was then regularly reprinted at least six times until the 1840s. The first Sammlung can be found in volumes 17-28 and Carver was of course included, too. The 4th edition - published between 1830 and 1832 - may serve as an example. Nearly all volumes are available at the Internet Archive
  • J. Carvers Reisen durch das Innere von Nordamerika, in: Joachim Heinrich Campe, Erste Sammlung merkwürdiger Reisebeschreibungen. 4. Theil, 7. verb. Aufl. (= Sämmtliche Kinder- und Jugendschriften. Neue Gesamtausgabe der letzten Hand 20), Schulbuchhandlung, Braunschweig, 1831, at the Internet Archive [= UofToronto] 
The first French translation appeared with a map but just like in Germany the plates weren't included. There are several fine scans available at the Internet Archive. Several more copies can be found at Google Books. I have only listed two of them: 
  • Jonathan Carver, Voyage Dans Les Parties Intérieures de L'Amérique Septentrionale, Pendant les années 1766, 1767 & 1768. Ouvrage traduit sur la troisieme édition Angloise, par M. de C.... avec de remarques & quelques additions du traducteur, Pissot, Paris, 1784, 
    at the Internet Archive [= JCBL]
    at the Internet Archive [= McGill]
    at the Internet Archive [= McGill]
    at Google Books [= ÖNB
  • -, [s. n.], Yverdon, 1784
    at the Internet Archive [= JCBL]
    at Google Books [= UofLausanne] 
Soon afterwards a new translation was published, not of the original book but of Campe's abbreviated German edition. 
  • Choix des Détails le Plus Intéressans que Contiennent les Voyages de Jean Carver dans l'Intérieur de l'Amerique Septentrionale, in: Johann Heinrich Campe, Recueil de Voyages Intéressans pour l'Instruction et l'Amusement de la Jeunesse. Traduit de l'Allemand, T. 4, Streng, Frankfurt/M., 1789, pp. 43-408,
    at Google Books [= UofLausanne] 
After the turn of the century a series with the title Bibliothèque Géographique et Instructive des Jeunes Gens ou recueil de voyages intéressants began to appear. It was based on Campe's first Sammlung but other popular travel accounts like Chardin's Voyage en Perse were also included. Between 1802 and 1807 nearly 70 volumes were published. Carver's Travels can be found in volumes 5 and 6: 
  • Jonathan Carver, Voyage dans l'Interieur de l'Amerique Septentrionale, pendantles années 1766, 1767 & 1768. Rédigé pour l'instruction et l'amusement de la jeunesse, par Campe. Traduit de l'Allemand avec des notes [...], Dufour, Paris & Amsterdam, 1802, 2 Vols. [not yet digitized] 
This series must have been quite popular and was republished several times until 1816 (see Parker, p. 230). But that wasn't the last time the young readers in France heard of Mr. Carver. After a long hiatus the French translation of Campe's edition appeared again in 1845 as part of the Bibliothèque des Écoles Chrétiennes. The editor added a good and informative introduction. This book was then reprinted eight times until the 1870s (see Parker, p. 231). I found digital copies of two early editions at Google Books. The quality of the scan leaves leaves something to be desired but they are still usable: 
  • Aventures de Carver Chez les Sauvages de l'Amérique Septentrionale, Mame et Co., Tours, 1845 , at Google Books [= NYPL]
    -, 3rd ed., 1849, at Google Books [= Oxford
All in all 15 editions of Carver's Travels were published in France between 1784 and 1870. It was available on the book market for nearly 90 years, much longer than in the USA. In fact "the book's popularity in Europe"was surely not only "rather momentary" (Djahazi, p. 31), at least in Germany and France. 

There was also a Dutch translation based on the third English edition that appeared in the 1790s in two volumes. A map and several plates were included. I found three copies. The one at Google Books has of course the usual defects: 
  • Jonathan Carver, Reize Door De Binnenlanden Van Noord-Amerika. Naar den deerden Druk uit het Engelsch veertaald door J. D. Pasteur. Meet Plaaten, Honkoop, Leyden, 1796, 2 Vols.,
    at the Internet Archive [= JCBL]
    at KBN/UB Leiden
    at Google Books [= UGent] 
But soon Campe's version followed. His works were also very popular in the Netherlands and many of them were translated (see de Jong 1832, p. 101). Parts of the Sammlung interessanter Reisebeschreibungen appeared as Reisbeschrijvingen voor de Jeugd in five volumes since 1786 in Zwolle and Amsterdam (Catalog Utrecht University). The one with Carver's Travels came out in 1804 (see AVL 1804, p. 658-60 ). The following year a Swedish edition was published, translated not from Campe's original German but from the French: Jonathan Carvers Resa i Norra Amerika. It was part of the Geografiskt bibliotek för ungdom, eller Samling af intressanta resebeskrifningar till den uppväxande ungdomens nytta och nöje (see Parker, p. 230; see libris). And more than 75 years later, in 1881, even a Greece translation appeared (see Parker, p. 231). But as far as I know none of these publications have been digitized. 

We can see that the most important European editions are also available online. As usual Google's scans need to checked for quality and completeness. But excellent copies of the first German, French and Dutch translations can be found at the Internet Archive, once again thanks to the JCBL. There is also a representative sample of the different editions of Campe's abbreviated version and its French translation. What is missing from the digital book world at the moment are some of the more obscure publications. But I have no doubt that they may be available sometime in the future. All in all the result is mostly satisfying. Mr. Carver's Travels are nowadays easier to find and more accessible than at the time of their original publication. 

Literature 
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  • BBCN = 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers (Gale) 
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  • EAI = Early American Imprints Series I & II (Newsbank/Readex, via nationallizenzen.de) 
  • ECCO = Eighteenth Century Collections Online (Gale, via nationallizenzen.de)
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