London: John Murray, 1817. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto (10 3/4 x 9"). xvi, 618pp. Original boards rebacked in modern calf, with gold lettering to spine. Raised bands. Ex-Libris with coat of arms of previous owner Edward Hearle Rodd (1810-1880), the renown British ornithologist. Large folded frontispiece map of part of Africa.
"The Loss of The American Brig Commerce" is an 1817 memoir by James Riley in which the author relates how he and his crew were captured in Africa after being shipwrecked in 1815. Riley was the Captain of the American merchant ship "Commerce." He led his crew through the Sahara Desert after they were shipwrecked off the coast of Western Sahara in August 1815.
"This true story describes how they came to be shipwrecked, and their travails in the Sahara Desert. Lost in this unknown world, Captain Riley felt responsible for his crew and their safety. He told of the events leading to their capture by marauding Sahrawi natives who kept them as slaves. Horribly mistreated, they were beaten, sun-burnt, starved, and forced to drink their own and camel urine. A slave would be worked until close to death, and then either traded or killed." (For more information, see: King, Dean (2004). Skeletons on the Zahara. Little, Brown and Company).
Original covers darkened and rubbed along edges. Typed and handsigned note by previous owner Col. AUS Ret. William C. Korb pasted to front free endpaper, stating the following: "The damage to this book was caused when it was thrown from its shelf by the earthquake of 9 February 1971 which struck the Los Angeles, California area about 0600, magnitude 6.6." Minor and sporadic foxing throughout. Spine in very good, covers in good-, interior in very good condition. g- to vg. Item #46129