One of the book’s chief claims to fame is containing the first illustration of Niagara Falls. Hennepin’s account of the Upper Mississippi has great significance as he had penetrated further west than any European recorded before him. Thwaites stated that his works were ‘invaluable contributions to the sources of American History; they deserve study, and to this day furnish rare entertainment. We can pardon much to our erratic friar, when he leaves us to such monuments as these.’ The work was first published in Utrecht the previous year. ‘The family of La Rouchefoucauld had been established in the annals of France for over six hundred years …’ (Sotheby’s). The library was begun by the sixth Duke, it was later successors who showed a fascination with voyages and travels. Amongst there circle was Benjamin Franklin and Lafayette. In fact, it was with the encouragement of Franklin that Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Frederic La Rouchefoucauld produced the first full translation of the American Constitution into French. He had a distinguished political career leading up to the French Revolution. In 1792 he was stoned to death whilst travelling with his wife and mother. A descendant travelled North America and published his account in French and English in 1799. Provenance Sotheby’s Monaco 8 December 1987 lot 581. Howes H416; JCB 698/ 103; Sabin 31350.