First Edition of Theodore Roosevelt's African Game Trails; Signed by Theodore Roosevelt and Three Scientists from the African Trip
African Game Trails. An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist.
Item Number: 95378
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910.
First edition of Theodore Roosevelt’s classic work. Octavo, original cloth, gilt top edge, photogravure frontispiece, illustrated, 48 plates, map of Roosevelt’s route and hunting trips in Africa. Signed by Theodore Roosevelt and the three scientists from his expedition on the front free endpaper, Theodore Roosevelt; Good Luck! Edgar A. Mearns; Edmund Heller; Best wishes J. Alden Loring kind regards. The men joined Roosevelt and his son Kermit as part of his principal team. Edgar A. Mearns was an ornithologist and longtime friend of Roosevelt’s, Edmund Heller, a zoologist and taxidermist for the Smithsonian Institution with previous experience in Africa, and J. Alden Loring, a mammalogist and field collector. Loring and Heller supplied some of the photographs that illustrate Roosevelt’s book, one of the most famous of all big-game hunting epics (Czech), while Loring and Mearns both contributed to the appendices. Appendix C contains Loring’s notes on East Africa, and Roosevelt drew on Mearns’s notes of his and Loring’s biological survey of Mount Kenya, undertaken while Roosevelt was on a solo hunt. Absenting himself from politics for a year, Roosevelt set off on an elaborate hunting trip to gather specimens for the Smithsonian. He was determined not to hire laboratory scientists (little scientific men), and instead sought out these professional naturalists with experience in the field. Roosevelt was as much a museum naturalist as Heller, Loring, or Mearns, but he also understood the importance of conveying his passion to a much broader audience (Lunde, p. 240). In near fine condition with light rubbing and wear to the extremities. Housed in a custom half calf clamshell box. A unique example.
"One of the most famous of all big-game hunting epics, this, with its larger than life sportsmen, was almost continuously in print until the 1930s. In British East Africa, Roosevelt hunted lion and plains game on the Kapiti Plains, while, in the Bondoni hill country, he collected rhinoceros and giraffe. On Juja Farm, his son Kermit faced leopard, while Teddy bagged rhino and hippopotamus. On the Kamiti River, buffalo were taken. Near the Sotik, additional rhino and lion were hunted, with elephant bagged near Mt. Kenia. On the Guaso Nyiro, giraffe and a variety of plains game were shot. Further adventures included hunting elephant near Lake Nyanza, rhino and plains game in the Lado, and eland on the Nile. Roosevelts total bag was enormous even by the liberal standards of that era" (Czech, 138-39).