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Jean Dybowsky - ‎La route du Tchad : du Loango au Chari [Reliure signée de David et 2 lettres autographes] - 1893

The most complete first edition of this important travelogue in Africa. Prime copy, that of Gaston Tissandier the famous air adventurer, scientific writer and publicist, enriched with two autograph letters signed by the hand of the author the agronomist and explorer of Polish origin, Jean Dybowski 1856-1928).

The first on 2 pages (1-06-1893) "Je suis heureux de vous envoyer un des premiers volumes parus, car je sais tout l'intérêt que vous n'avez cessé de me témoigner..." The second on 1 page (26-06-1893), "Je vous remercie bien sincèrement pour l'article que vous avez bien voulu publier sur mon livr, mais vraiment il est trop élogieux..."

Excellent copy perfectly bound in a binding signed David, in half leather with corners, decorated spine with raised bands, gilt topstain.
Preserved covers (without the spine), uncropped margins.

Despite the light sunning on the spine, this copy is in excellent condition. Impeccable inside.

Jean-Thadée Emmanuel Dybowski (1856-1928) was a French agricultural engineer and explorer. He was chosen by the Comité de Afrique Française to lead an expedition to the Congo Brizza and the Central African Republic in search of Crampel. He brought many zoological and botanical samples (but not Crampel) and became in 1892 Inspector General of colonies. He contributed to the development of colonial agriculture and created test gardens.


AUTHOR: Jean Dybowsk
TITLE: ‎La route du Tchad : du Loango au Chari / Jean Dybowsky ; ouvrage ill. de 136 dessins inédits, par Mme Paule Crampel, MM. E. Loëvy, Montader,... [et al.], d'après les photographies, dessins, aquarelles de l'auteur, et les documents rapportés par lui‎

PUBLISHER: Paris: Paris, Librairie de Firmin-Didot et Cie 1893 4to of 391 pp., 131 figures in and out of text.
Complete with the fold-out map at the end of the volume with the routes travelled in unexplored regions, an index of the regions explored.


Dybowski left for the Congo, assisted by Charles Chalot, and stayed there from April 1891 to July 1892, after a stopover of a few days in Libreville, which allowed him to meet Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Governor of Gabon, and Émile Pierre, Director of the Jardin d'Essai. Having left Bordeaux on 10 March 1891, he landed at Loango (region of the future Pointe-Noire) in mid-April but did not arrive in Brazzaville until two months later, given the difficulties he encountered in transporting his equipment. He learned, in July 1891, from the mouth of Nebout, the only survivor, the massacre, by the men of Sultan Senussi, of the Crampel mission that he was to reinforce, which occurred on April 5 at El Kouti (or Dar Kouti), in the Chari basin. He immediately went in search of the assassins(2), going up the Congo and the Oubangui in a gunboat to painfully reach Bangui, an abandoned post that had been reactivated by Crampel during his visit the previous year. He left Bangui on 23 October, went up the course of the Kérno, reached the Chari basin and, in the village of Pangoula, located about ten days' walk from El Kouti, where Senoussi resided; well informed, he unexpectedly attacked the assassins (or supposed such!) of Paul Crampel, Ali, Biscarrat and Orsi, to whom he made no quarters.

Back in Bangui, Dybowski does not want to stop there, still wishing to give a broader scientific content to his mission, yet this was not the explicit goal. He wishes to complete the too rare observations already made and goes back again to the Kemo to study inhabitants (peaceful, those!) (4), flora, fauna ... according to the methods he had developed in Algeria. For lack of time, peace of mind, he can only make a flyover. He founded, in passing, the posts of the Ouaddas and the Kémo, created "experimental vegetable gardens" and collected many botanical and zoological samples for the Museum.

Among the rare or new species reported by Dybowski, we must note the Coffea congensis, the Coffea Dybowskii, close to the Coffea excelsa (5), a wild date tree: Phoenix reclinata, and a curious form of oil palm: the Elœis Dybowskii. He and Chalot were also interested in the mores of the natives, and in particular the Pygmies, in their agricultural and artisanal practices, which would later be the subject of numerous publications.

Returning to Brazzaville in April 1892, after eight months of exploration, Dybowski, ill, had to be repatriated. He handed over his equipment and all the information in his possession to Casimir Maistre, who had just arrived at the. head of a new mission to continue French expansion, which would reach Benue in January 1893. He left for the Loango and returned to the France where he landed on July 16, 1892. . Quickly recovered and tireless, Dybowski, whose reputation as an agronomist explorer was now well established, resumed his wanderings. His notoriety allowed him, moreover, to be naturalised French in 1893. That year, he first went to the United States as an official French delegate to the Universal Exhibition in Chicago, then returned to Central Africa to explore the Gabonese coast between Loango and Libreville and did not return until the spring of 1894.
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Object Book
Number of Books 1
Subject Colonial history, Fine Bindings, History, Illustrated, Manuscripts, No Reserve Price, Travels
Author/ Illustrator Jean Dybowsky
Book Title ‎La route du Tchad : du Loango au Chari [Reliure signée de David et 2 lettres autographes]
Condition Fine
Publication year oldest item 1893
Edition 1st Edition
Language French
Original language Yes
Binding/ Material Half leather
Number of pages 391
Dimensions 27.5×18.5 cm
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