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BAKER, Samuel W.


A Narrative of the Expedition to Central Africa for the Suppression of the Slave Trade. Organized by Ismail, Khedive of Egypt.

London: Macmillan and Co., 1874 Stock Code: 139347
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First edition in cloth

First edition. In 1869 "the Khedive Isma'il appointed Baker to a four-year term as governor-general of the equatorial Nile basin, with the rank of pasha and major-general in the Ottoman army. It was the most senior post a European ever received under an Egyptian administration. According to the khedive's firman, Baker's duties included annexing the equatorial Nile basin, establishing Egyptian authority over the region south of Gondokoro modern-day South Sudan, suppressing the slave trade, introducing cotton cultivation, organizing a network of trading stations throughout the annexed territories, and opening the great lakes near the equator to navigation" (ODNB). "While most of the narrative involves travel and military adventure, there are several episodes of sport as well. Baker's troops bagged crocodile and hippopotamus, depicted in several fascinating engravings. South of Regiaf, the author bagged a pair of elephants, and attempted to collect a few more by using both Hale's rockets and the company's fieldpiece Later, in Unyoro, he hunted antelope and lion while natives drove the game toward a series of nets" (Czech).

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2 volumes, octavo. Original green cloth, spines lettered and decorated in gilt, gilt panels enclosing large gilt block of a camel caravan to front boards, rear boards panelled in blind, fore edges untrimmed, brown coated endpapers, binder's ticket of Burn & Co. to rear pastedowns.


Wood-engraved portrait frontispiece, 52 plates, 2 lithographic maps, one folding.


Contemporary ownership inscription to verso of front free endpaper, later armorial bookplate of Jonathan Edward Harrod to front pastedown. Spine ends rubbed, corners bumped and a little whitened, some wear to edges, white blotches to covers, hinges beginning to start but holding, 18mm section of cloth attached but loose from spine of Vol I, white mark to spine of Vol II and several gatherings uncut; a good set.


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