[Vogel, Julius Rudolph Theodore ], P. B. Webb, J. D. Hooker and George Bentham. (W. J. Hooker, Ed.)
Niger Flora, or, An Enumeration of the Plants of Western Tropical Africa, collected by the late Dr. Theodore Vogel.
Seller ID: 1681
London: Bailliere, 1849. First edition (pp. xv, 587, index of genera, plates, adverts). Large octavo (23.5 cm) re-bound in recent dark green cloth, gilt titles to spine in black compartment; illustrations include frontispiece (View of Clarence Harbour at Fernando Po), two views of the Niger River, map of the west coast of Africa, fifty engraved botanical plates (seven fold-outs) bound in at rear. New endpapers and fly leaves, head and tail pieces in a first rate library binding. Two unobtrusive library stamps and in blind on the plates. A number of related works and collections of notes were bound under this title partly owing to the death of the chief botanist of the expedition, Theodore Vogel, leaving his extensive collections and notes to be edited by W. J. Hooker to be edited and published eight years later, and partly to the inclusion of observations by others at several stops along the way including Madeira, Teneriffe, and the Cape Verde Islands. The complete contents under the general editorship of W. J. Hooker, then, include 'Memoir of the life of Dr. J. R. T. Vogel' by L. C. Treviranus (M. J. Berkeley, trans.); 'Journal of the Voyage to the Niger'; 'Botany of the Niger Expedition' by W. J. and J. D. Hooker including Madeira, Teneriffe, and the Cape de Verd Islands; Spicilegia Gorgonea; or a Catalogue of All the Plants as yet Discovered in the Cape de Verd Islands' by P. B. Webb; Flora Nigritiana; or, a Catalogue of the Plants of the River Niger, the Island of Fernando Po, and the Adjacent Parts of Western Tropical Africa... from the Collections of Dr. Th. Vogel' by J. D. Hooker and George Bentham. The Niger expedition set out in 1841 under the command of Capt. H. D. Trotter with the avowed intent of loosening the grip of the slave trade in the region "by the encouragement of lawful trade" and the propagation of Christian virtue (It had as its sponsor the African Civilization Society), as well as gathering botanical specimens for study. The expedition, however, met with disaster. Not only was its chief botanist struck down by fever but so were a large number of the others, sailors and scientists alike. It is reported 49 of 145 members of the expedition returned to England safely despite what W. J. Hooker describes as precautions against the dangers of exploring tropical Africa. Little scattered foxing is not objectionable, several small tears skilfully repaired; otherwise a clean, bright, sound copy of quite a scarce book.
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