Donaldson Smith, A.
New York: Edward Arnold, 1897. Hard Cover. SIGNED BY AUTHOR WITH TWO IMPORTANT LETTERS LAID IN. First Edition of Donaldson Smith's enthralling narrative describing his journey in 1894-95 through previously unexplored areas of Africa, ranging from the Gulf of Aden to the Indian Ocean. Donaldson Smith, an American doctor and amateur big game hunter undertook the trip to explore, to gather geological and natural specimens, and to shoot animals. He was accompanied by an English taxidermist, Edward Dodson, and his friend Fred Gillett. They were attended by a contingent of native men and animals. The book recounts their experiences in great detail, and is filled with black and white illustrations, some being photographs, from the journey. They include full page depictions of shootings and encounters with various tribes; and partial page pictures of animals, birds, and native artifacts; There are sic partially colored maps, five of which fold out. The maps are in pristine condition despite the fragility of the paper on which they are printed. Following the text are several appendices with notes on the several collections that were brought back. Donaldson Smith's signature is written on the front free end page. Laid in are two important and interesting letters about his journey. Both are written to "Tony" who may have been a fellow physician since Donaldson Smith thanks him for medications he received from him and took on the trip. The first letter was written March 22, 1900 from Africa while on his way back to England. He tells Tony that the medicines were a godsend and that all of the peronnel of his caravan arrived out of the Nile without any sickness except for two Indians who hid themselves and were never found. He continues "It will take me over three months to reach the coast but my travelling in the future will be in safe country with everything known ahead - very different from exploring. So I can breath a sigh of relief that my journey has been a successful 'tho hard one."He says that his collections were all safe, and included 18 elephants with very large tusks and lots of other sport. He talks about the arrangements made for transporting his collections out of Africa and the routes he is taking as he makes his way back. The second 4 page letter is written in London and is dated June 23, '00. It begins "Just back in London with a pleasant feeling that - I have done all I wanted in Africa, & no devils...around to pester the life out of me. I did have a rough time of it - but of the hardest parts [sic] of the show was getting in! I had finally to pick up what riffraff I could & make a bolt - from Hargeisa across the Hand." After another paragraph expressing relief that he made it back with everything accomplished, he then discusses his problems in dealing with the Royal Geological Society. He had a row with them because of the way they had treated his maps. He also took offense at the remarks of the President at his annual address where he said "his great desire was to see the country between the N. end of L. Rudolf & the Nile explored by Englishmen"! Donaldson Smith says that he feels much like taking all his results to American. "If I do so I know the President of the R.G.S. will injure me all he can...He says if he gives his results to the Society, he stands an excellent chance of the Gold Medal. He continues on to discuss the situation, and then closes the letter by sending his best to various friends. A subsequent New York Times article about the R.G.S. award ceremony states that Donaldson Smith received the Patron's medal, not the Gold. Responding to a toast in his honor, he said that he wasa glad if he had done anything to help friendly relations between the United States and Great Britain. Bound in orginal black cloth with gilt ruling and elephant illustration to front board along with author and title. Gilt title and author also on spine. In very good condition with corner that are bumped, and bottom edges are chipped and have some discoloring. Some tenderness to hinges but otherwise tight. Interior is in near fine condition with pages and illustrations that are bright and clean. 472 pages plus 4 pages of ads. TRAV/011011. Very Good.