SCHOOLCRAFT, Henry R. Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1852-1857. Six thick folio volumes. Numerous plates and maps, many tinted or in color. Modern quarter leather and marbled boards, spines gilt with leather label. Light foxing and toning, some offsetting. Presentation inscription by George Moneypenny in first two volumes. Very good. The first edition (excepting the first volume, which is the second edition) of one of the most important and massive works concerning the American Indian, a foundation stone of ethnological studies in America, and by far the most extensive single work on the American Indian issued in the 19th century. Schoolcraft, the general editor, was commissioner of Indian Affairs for many years, and in an unparalleled position to assemble the data presented herein. Field, while criticizing the general layout of the work, says it contains "a vast mass of really valuable material. It has indeed performed a very important service for Indian history, in collecting and preserving an immense amount of historical data. Vocabularies of Indian languages, grammatical analyses, legends of various tribes, biographies of chiefs and warriors, narratives of captivities, histories of Indian wars, emigrations and theories of their origin, are all related and blended...a very large number of beautiful steel engravings, representative of some phase of Indian life and customs, are contained in the work..." "No two people will probably agree which plates, among several hundred, are to be regarded as colored because the use of tinting is very skillful and most varied. The editor feels that only about 70, more than half in the first volume, are truly colored plates but he freely admits that the effect of coloring (as distinct from specific color) is very general throughout, though the black and white illustrations probably outnumber the others. It is said that the comparatively numerous colored plates of the first volume are all to be found, in colored state, in only a few copies" - Bennett. The copy in hand would appear to be one of the latter few. This copy inscribed in the first two volumes by George Moneypenny, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to Charles Mason, Commissioner of Patents. HOWES S183, "b." FIEL.