Toledo-Lucas Public Library receives 250-year-old book

January 11, 2012 by  

A Toledo public library recently acquired a book that was written and released more than 250 years ago in London. The title of the book is “An Historical Account of Bouquet’s Expedition Against the Ohio Indians, in the Year 1764, Under the Command of Henry Bouquet, Esq.” It contains two illustrated plates that were not present in the first edition, which was published in 1765 by a print company in Philadelphia.

The book was written by William Smith, and the illustrated plates that appear in the British first edition were crafted by Benjamin West, an historical scene painter from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The rare book also contains a map depicting the area around the Muskingum and Ohio rivers with an inset detailing the route that General Henry Bouquet’s army took in 1764. The map was Thomas Hutchins, a military cartographer from that time period. General Bouquet was most widely known for his role in Pontiac’s War, in which he defeated the Native Americans an assisted in lifting the siege on Fort Pitt.

The library’s special collections coordinator, Michael Lora, states that this British first edition is a 75-page volume that was published by a printing company in London in 1766. He says that it is in very good condition and the historical value of the book is immeasurable. The book will be on display at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in the Blade Rare Book Room for a few weeks. After that, it will be sealed in the library’s vault and only available to be viewed and examined by appointment.