First edition of the official U.S. embassy’s mission to Russia under Gustavus Fox in a handsome morocco binding.
Gustavus Fox, in effect chief of US naval operations, has been described as “the man most responsible for the U.S Navy’s performance in the Civil War” (Hoogenboom). Following its conclusion under the title of Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Fox led a mission to Russia, ostensibly to thank Russian for its support of the Union by sending naval squadrons to New York and San Francisco, but specifically to congratulate Alexander II on his escape from an assassination attempt on April 16 1866. Fox sailed on a new American ironclad monitor, the USS Miantonomoh; it was the first and last time that a ship of this kind would navigate the high seas. Arriving at the Kronstadt port near St. Petersburg in August 1866, the Fox entourage created a great sensation and met with grand receptions, marking a high point in Russian-American friendship. Though the mission was successful, the Americans failed to sell the Miantonomoh to the Russians, one of the intentions of the trip (Saul). The mission was recorded by Fox’s secretary Loubat, who went on to publish The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 (1878).
First Edition; 4to (24.5 x 17.5cm), pp. [x], -444, with 1 steel engraved plate and 12 steel engraved portraits; wide-margin copy. Red morocco by Matthews (sign.) with gilt rules and small fleuron cornerpieces, spine richly gilt in six compartments, title lettered direct, gilt-stamped dentelles, all edges gilt, slipcase; slipcase edges slightly rubbed.
Norman E. Saul, Historical Dictionary of United States-Russian/Soviet Relation, page 141; Ari Hoogenboom, Gustavus Vasa Fox of the Union Navy: A Biography, Preface.
Stock ID: 89506