First edition of the Report of a Reconnaissance of the Black Hills of Dakota by William Ludlow, published in 1875.
Quarto, 121pp. Brown cloth, title in gilt on spine. Light wear to boards, some loss of cloth at top of spine. Text block solid, no marginalia. Library stamp on front pastedown endpaper. Complete with a lithographed plate illustrating new fossils and three large fold-out maps. All three maps with some transference, some wear at folds. The color fold-out map has a short closed tear from incorrect folding, but has bright illustrations. (Howes L558) An attractive example of this scarce work.
This expedition to the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874 was led by Lieut. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, in charge of the 7th Cavalry. Their mission was to find a suitable location for a fort and investigate the possibility of mining in the region. The claim that gold was found led to a gold rush, which antagonized the Sioux Indians, and eventually led to the Battle of the Little Big Horn in the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877. William Ludlow, the author of this work, was the engineer for the 7th Cavalry. He was accompanied on the expedition by geologist Newton Horace Winchell, who prepared the maps, and naturalist and conservationist George Bird Grinnell.