Book ID: 28834 The Life, Adventures, and Unparalleled Sufferings of Andrew Oehler: Containing an Account of His Travels through France, Italy, the East and West Indies and Part of the United States: His Imprisonment in France Germany and Spain . . ANDREW OEHLER.
The Life, Adventures, and Unparalleled Sufferings of Andrew Oehler: Containing an Account of His Travels through France, Italy, the East and West Indies and Part of the United States: His Imprisonment in France Germany and Spain . . .

The First American Legerdemain Autobiographical Novel

The Life, Adventures, and Unparalleled Sufferings of Andrew Oehler: Containing an Account of His Travels through France, Italy, the East and West Indies and Part of the United States: His Imprisonment in France Germany and Spain . . .

Place and Imprint: Trenton: Published by D. Fenton . . . L. Deare, Printer, N. Brunswick, 1811.
Edition: First edition, one of two issues.
Bibliographical References: American Bibliography 51124; Sabin 56732; Clark, Travels in the Old South, II: 110; Felcone, Printing in New Jersey 1786-1876, 1188.
Condition: Some stains and foxing; very good copy.
Book ID: 28834

Physical Description

12mo, recent brown half calf period style, 19th century marbled boards, black morocco spine label, gilt rules and lettering.

Comments

The wildly fantastic autobiographical narrative of Andrew Oehler, who writes that he arrived in Baltimore from Germany in 1800 as an indentured tailor, from which he escaped to become a dancing master in Alexandria and then a fencing master in Port Tobacco, Maryland. He traveled to Santo Domingo, where he claims he served with Toussaint; this was followed by adventures in Cuba, Egypt and China and finally back to Charleston, South Carolina, Columbia, Augusta and Nashville. In 1805 and 1806 he experimented with ballooning in Nashville and Natchez, which is verified by a Natchez newspaper advertisement – one of the only parts of his incredible, dizzying tale that can be corroborated. In New Orleans he claims to have learned the practice of sleight of hand trickery (legerdemain), which he used to pay his debts, but also got him thrown in jail in Mexico, where he remained in trouble for some time. Returning to the U.S., he made two trading expeditions west of the Mississippi, then returned overland to Georgia in 1808; he later settled in New Jersey. His picaresque tale has often been called the first autobiography of a magician printed in America and sometimes the first American book on magic, but it is more likely the earliest example of the American legerdemain autobiographical novel. Felcone records two imprints of this first (and only) edition.

Price: $2,500.00

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