- Washington, DC: National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser, 1807.
- (4), (4), (4), (4) pages
Price: $7,500.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 133989
Four consecutive issues of what was, at the time, the official newspaper of the United States government, which published the proceedings and acts of the United States Congress. It was edited by Samuel Smith, a loyal ally of Thomas Jefferson. Included in this set are the issues of March 18, 20, 23, and 25. Of special significance is the first printing of the prospectus, by Meriwether Lewis, of his journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-6). Also in the issue of March 18, preceding the prospectus, is a letter from Lewis warning the public of "several unauthorized and probably some spurious publications" about the expedition "by individuals entirely unknown to me (Lewis)." Lewis noted that permission to publish the journals was granted exclusively to Robert Frazier. Lewis's letter appears once again preceding the prospectus in the March 25 issue for a second time. The prospectus itself is included in all four issues.
The prospectus published in the National Intellingencer is noted in The Lewis and Clark Expedition: A Bibliography and Essays (Portland, Oregon: Lewis and Clark College, 2003), 89-91. This work, however, notes that the prospectus did not appear until March 23, not noting its publication on March 18 or 20. It does note that what Lewis called a "spurious" work was by Patrick Gass, a sergeant in the Corps of Discovery, published by David M'Keehan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Even so, it found a "brisk market," Lewis himself died in 1809, "shattering the hopes of those anticipating a definitive narrative" of the expedition. Thomas Jefferson and William Clark experienced "mounting anxiety" about publishing an accurate and credible account. And indeed Lewis's account was not published until 1814. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 147. Also included is a second prospectus "Detached from this work," regarding a larger format map to be produced, however, like the third volume regarding scientific discoveries, this map never garnered enough subscribers to make it to print.
Other news items of significance are also in these issues of the Intelligencer. The March 18 issues includes a proclamation by Robert Williams, governor of the Mississippi territory, calling for the apprehension of Aaron Burr, who had failed to appear before the Supreme Court of the territory. The March 20 issue includes commentary on the Burr case and several acts of Congress, signed into law by President Jefferson. The March 23 issue includes commentary on the Jefferson administration construction of gunboats as a viable means of naval defense. And the March 25 issue includes the announcement of the Embargo Act, signed by President Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison. The Jefferson administration hope to end depredations on American commerce by the warring powers of Europe by closing American ports, an ultimately unsuccessful effort.
Each issue with ink inscription, "The Chronicle," at top of masthead (presumably, The Chronicle was a subscriber) possibly to the Boston newspaper of that name. Ink annotations mark various articles throughout all issues, possibly for inclusion in The Chronicle. (It was the common practice at the time for newspapers to reprint from each others' newspapers).