Item #19875

Kirk and Mercein; London: John Miller New York, 1819. First edition. 8vo, vi, [2], 431, [1], xlvii pages. Lacks engraved frontis portrait and 3 of 4 engraved plates. Bound in attractive modern cloth with spine label. Noah (1785-1851) was a lawyer, playwright, and journalist. He was born in Philadelphia of Portuguese-Jewish ancestry. "In 1813 [he] was appointed consul to Tunis, with a special mission to Algers. He was instructed to negotiate for the release of some Americans held as prisoners by the Algerine pirates. On May 23, 1813, he sailed from Charleston, but his vessel being captured by the British, he was taken to England and detained two months. In October he arrived in Cadiz, where he contracted with Richard R. Keene, an American who had become a Spanish subject, to effect the release of the twelve Americans … After being detained in France and Spain for more than a year, Noah finally arrived in Tunis. On July 30, 1815, he received a letter from James Monroe, secretary of state, revoking his commission and hinting at irregularities in his accounts. Monroe's treatment of Noah was never satisfactorily explained, though his association with Keene, who had been accused of treason, was doubtless detrimental … In January 1817, however, Noah received a letter from the Department of State which vindicated his conduct and returned several thousand dollars due him in the enterprise which resulted in the release of the American captives" (DAB) . Rosenbach 205; American Travellers Abroad, N17. Faint institutional blind stamp to title page, which shows heavy wear. Remainder of book is good with usual foxing. Final 2 leaves of appendix in facsimile only. An affordable copy of this very important work at one-third the normal price. (spec-1-21).

Price: $500.00

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