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CORDIER, J.Histoire de la navigation intérieure, et particulièrement de celle d'Angleterre, jusqu'en 1803, traduite de l'ouvrage anglais de Philipps. [And] Histoire de la navigation intérieure, et particulièrement de celle des États-Unis d'Amérique, traduit de l'ouvrage de M.A.Gallatin, ministre des finances de l'Union.
Paris, Firmin Didot, 1819,1820
At the time this book appeared France was about to embark on an ambitious programme of canal building and river improvement, the culmination of a movement to provide a rational system of inland navigation. This had begun as far back as the 17th century but received fresh impetus under Becquey, Director-General of the Ponts et Chaussées, to whom the work is dedicated, after 1817. It contains a translation of John Phillips's seminal work on the history of canals, particularly British canals, taken from the third edition of 1803. It also contains an abridged translation of the report by Albert Gallatin, made when he was Secretary to the United States Treasury in 1807, "on the subject of public roads and canals", one of the best sources for early American canal history. Gallatin had been in France since 1816, serving as a diplomat, and there are several footnotes supplied by him, updating the original report. Cordier himself wrote a long introduction to the two translations on the subject of inland navigation as applied to France, together with a detailed account on the Erie Canal.
Collation8vo. 2 vols. cxxxvi + 477 + (1)pp; 348 + (4)pp, 2 folding engraved maps. Orig. blue marbled wrappers, a little dog-eared but overall a good copy.
Catalogue No: 641