1872. New York: D. Appleton and Co, (1872–74).
2 vols., 4to, 568; 576 pp. With 49 steel engraved plates, and hundreds of steel-engraved text illustrations by leading American artists of the period, the majority after Harry Fenn, and A.C. Warren, but also Thomas Moran, James Smillie, Granville Perkins, William Hart and others. Original publisher's full brown pebbled morocco, covers with elaborate black frames enclosing the title stamped in gilt, gilt edges. Some rubbing and scuffing, one cover rehinged, internally fine. With the separate publication "Creating Picturesque America" by Rainey.
§ First edition. This is the first state noted by Blanck, without "Edited by William Cullen Bryant" on the title page of the first volume. BAL 1732. “First published in 48 parts beginning in 1872, afterwards appearing in book form as a two volume set. Actually written by Oliver B. Bunce, the phrasing of the text was laboriously edited and "corrected" by Bryant. "I do not remember that I was ever more weary of any literary task" (Godwin II: 347). The superbly executed steel and wood engravings in this work, "by eminent American artists," depict cities and towns (including one of the first images of the City of Cleveland), as well as such rugged natural scenes as Yellowstone Falls, the Smoky Mountains, and Mount Hood and some wonderful views in California out west. Rainey, Creating Picturesque America, (1994), notes: "Its voluminous text and over 900 pictures represented the first comprehensive celebration of the entire continental nation." Item #124909