OSCANYAN, Christopher [originally Hatchik]. The Sultan and his People … Illustrated by a Native of Turkey. New York, Derby & Jackson, 1857.
8vo. Original plum cloth, with spine lettered and ornamented in gilt; front and back boards blind-stamped; [viii], 456, [i2, blank]; wood-engraved illustrations, including frontispiece-portrait in pagination; cloth faded to grey with a small tear and mark on spine; a very good copy of a rare work.
~b~First edition. This comprehensive guide to modern Turkey was written by C. Oscanyan. Born in Constantinople in 1818 to Armenian parents moved to New York City in 1835 after having learnt to speak English from American missionaries in Turkey. Oscanyan returned to Constantinople in 1841, after his failing health meant that he had to leave the Univerisy of the City of New York in his junior year. Upon his return, he published the first Armenian newspaper in Constantinople, the Astarar Püzantian (Byzantine Advertiser), however this was quickly criticised by the authorities who did not tolerate the expression of liberal opinions in such publications. He returned to New York in the 1850s, publishing The Sultan and His People in 1857, with 16,000 copies of this book selling within four months. In 1868 he was made Turkish consul general in New York City, a position he held until 1874. (Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume IV, 1900.)