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An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce, Wrecked on the Western Coast of Africa, in the Month of August, 1815, with an Account of the Sufferings of Her Surviving Officers and Crew, who were Enslaved by the Wandering Arabs on the Great African Desart, or Zahahrah; and Observations Historical, Geographical, &c., made during the Travels of the Author, while a Slave to the Arabs, and in the Empire of Morocco 

by James Riley

Presumed First Edition. Published by: James Riley, Hartford, CT, 1817.

Frontispiece portrait of the author.

Hardback is overall in GOOD- condition.

  • Volume is in overall good- condition showing pronounced rubbing to covers and strong toning with scattered foxing inside. 
  • Leather covers display pronounced edgewear with exposed boards at corners, that are also mildly bumped.
  • Front cover is detached.
  • Spine is severely rubbed with cracking and chips, displaying a notable chip to head, and shows remnants of gilt lines.
  • Shoulders are cracked, with a split along back shoulder, and a loose binding thread on front. (See photos)
  • Textblock is intact in greater part of book, with a little play. 
  • Front cover with front feps and title page are detached. (See photos)
  • Fold-out map is toned and foxed as rest of book, and displays a 3" long closed tear to lower edge as well as a 2" long closed tear along a fold. Map also exhibits some edgewear with creasing, and some smaller tears at corners of folds. (See photos)
  • Interior displays pronounced toning with scattered foxing. Toning is more pronounced on last pages.
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks. 
  • Some pages, mostly title page and feps, display some edgewear with horizontal tears. Title page and frontis exhibit a 0.75" horizontal tear to fore edge.
  • Text block edges are toned and foxed.
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • SC20180912

460 pages + 34 appendix pages. 5.25 x 8.5 inches.

The fascinating story of the wreckage of a great merchant sailing ship along the coast of Morocco, with all the adventures that ensued. Following their capture by the nomadic Arabs, the captain, officers, and crew endured suffering and captivity, not only as prisoners but from the vast African desert. This authentic account is a unique opportunity to discover the intriguing and awful nature of the merciless Sahara the way it was in the nineteenth century, as well as the chance to get a rare insight into the captivating world of the Arabs, their ways and customs, and the treatment that was reserved to prisoners, during travels through a land so hostile to human life. James Riley's profound narration makes his adventure come alive, as do the Arabs and their land. 

Includes a fold-out map of the African continent. Portrait of the author in frontis. Includes a preface by the author, a table of contents, a postscript, and an appendix with observations on the natural maritime conditions provoking so many wreckages along the Western coast of Africa, and an Arabic and English vocabulary.  

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

International first class shipping includes a handling charge to cover insurance.

Domestic orders over $250 include a handling charge to cover signature confirmation.

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Year Printed: 1817
Modified Item: No
Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
Topic: Travel
Binding: Leather
Region: North America
Author: James Riley
Subject: History
Original/Facsimile: Original
Language: English
Publisher: James Riley
Place of Publication: Hartford CT
Special Attributes: Map
Shipping: Shipping rate calculated at checkout


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