A Memoir of Jacques Cartier


James Phinney Baxter



New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1906. First edition. Limited edition. One of 300 unnumbered copies. Full Title: A Memoir of Jacques Cartier Sieur De Limoilou His Voyages to the St. Lawrence A Bibliography and a Facsimile of the Manuscript of 1534 with annotations, etc. Octavo, pp. (4) + x + 464, numerous illustrations including fold out chart of Cartier’s routes, 1534, 1535, and 1536. Contents include a facsimile of the manuscript of Cartier’s first Voyage and a bibliography of 58 titles, t.e.g., deckled edges, blue cloth binding with paper label on spine.

Very Good. Endpapers are a little smudged and top edge gilt a little flecked, some tissue guards lacking. Boards are dust-toned, corners bumped, head and foot of spine pushed, paper label slightly stained.

Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) was a Breton who claimed what is now known as Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of St Lawrence and the St Lawrence River, adn one of teh first to recognise the New World as a separate landmass to Europe/Asia. He produced an intelligent estimate of the resources of Canada, both natural and human, and attempted to maintain good relations with the Iriquois Indians, although some of his actions towards them were dishonourable. Cartier was first to document the word Canada to describe the lands along the St Lawrence river. The name is derived from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata”, or village, which was incorrectly interpreted as the native term for the newly discovered land.

James Baxter Phinney (1831-1921) was an American businessman, historian, civic leader and benefactor of Portland, Maine. His Voyages of Jacques Cartier was his penultimate work, followed in 1917 by “The Greatest of Literary Problems: The Authorship of the Shakespeare Works”.