BAIKIE, William Balfour. Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwo'ra and Bi'nue (Commonly known as the Niger and Tsádda) in 1854. London, Murray, 1856.
8vo. Contemporary full calf, spine with raised bands, richly ornamented in gilt, gilt-stamped black morocco lettering-piece, marbled endpapers and edges; pp. [iii]-xvi, 456, frontispiece, folding plan of the ship, folding map, vignette on title; minor rubbing to binding, a very good, clean and fresh copy.
First edition. Baikie was surgeon and naturalist of the government-sponsored Niger expedition of 1854. One of the main objectives, which they failed to accomplish, was to make contact with Heinrich Barth, who had reached the upper Niger from the Sahara. After the death of the leader of the expedition, Baikie took command of the exploring vessel. The steamship Pleiad made the first successful voyage up the Niger and its main tributary, the Benue, travelling over two hundred and fifty miles of previously uncharted water. 'On October 20 they reached the confluence again. Baikie had the satisfaction of knowing that he had reached a point several hundred miles higher than that previously attained. . . .[the book's] conclusion contains proposals for exploitation of his success. . . The brightest page which Baikie wrote was relegated to an appendix. This was his demonstration of the prophylactic value of quinine by the fact that not one of the Europeans on board the Pleiad died of fever'. (Lloyd, The Search for the Niger).
National Maritime Museum I, 232 (erroneous collation).