Wanderings and Adventures in the Interior of Southern Africa - Andrew Steedman 1835 - Longman & Co., London - First Edition A remarkably fine and partially uncut two volume set of this important South African work, with nice provenance, Amy Steedman (born Cape Town 1867), the author’s niece. Illustrated with twelve engrave plates, two pictorial engraved titles, and a folding map (41.5x35.5cm).

“An account of travels in South Africa undertaken in the course of a residence in the Cape extending over a period of ten years. During his expeditions, Mr. Steedman traversed a great part of the Cape Colony and Kaffaria, penetrating the county up to Griqualand West. He was an industrious and able collector and naturalist, and the volumes contain much valuable information respecting the fauna of the country... The work gives many details respecting early travels in South Africa, with sketches of native races and their history and wars, the pioneer colonists of Natal. &c. The Appendices, which extend to 213 pages, also include a letter and journal by Mr. A. G. Bain, who accompanied Dr. (afterwards Sir A.) Smith's expedition into the interior as far as Philippolis, and gives an account of the journey, an interesting narrative of the wreck of the Grosvenor, and much valuable matter respecting the Kat River and other settlements in Kaffraria,and the Kaffir outbreaks and wars up to this period”. [Mendelssohn]
  ‘Andrew Steedman [1798-1878] came to the Cape Colony from England, arriving at Algoa Bay in June 1820. He subsequently settled in Cape Town where he set up business as a general merchant. The business must have been successful, for it enabled him to undertake three major journeys into the interior in search of natural history specimens.

Steedman's first journey took him to Port Elizabeth by sea and from there to Grahamstown, where he obtained permission from the military to travel beyond the Keiskamma River (into the Ciskei). Travelling on horseback he visited Fort Wiltshire (some 20 km south of present Alice), visited various local chiefs down to Wesleyville (some 30 km south of present King William's Town), and returned to Port Elizabeth by more or less the same route.

He set out on his second journey on 30 September 1830 with an ox-waggon and travelled to the Great Karoo via the Hex River Valley, on to Beaufort West and Graaff Reinet, and from there via the Kompasberg to Colesberg. After nearly drowning in an attempt to cross the swollen Orange River he returned to Colesberg where he attended the laying of the foundation stone of the Dutch Reformed Church on 29 November 1830. From Colesberg he proceeded to Cradock and via Glen Lynden (on the Baviaans River east of Somerset East) to Grahamstown. After spending some time there he once again visited the Ciskei, reaching Tyume mission station (just north of present Alice) and re-visiting Fort Wiltshire, where he obtained much information about the local people and their customs from assistant staff-surgeon Nathaniel Morgan. From Grahamstown he returned to Cape Town overland by the established route.

Steedman set out on his third journey on 17 September 1831 with the intention of reaching Lattakoo (now Dithakong, some 60km north-east of Kuruman), chief town of the Tlhaping, the southernmost Tswana. He sent his ox-waggon on its way and first accompanied a friend to Beaufort West on horseback. From there he travelled to the mission station at Griquatown. Illness prevented him from continuing on to Lattakoo and after recovering he returned to Cape Town in November 1831.

During his travels Steedman collected over 300 animals, including some that had not yet been described, as well as ethnographic specimens. In 1833 Steedman returned to England and arranged an exhibition of his animals in the Colosseum, Regent's Park, London. It was named "The African Glen" and opened in April 1834. It included a huge panorama made up of many South African scenes painted by the artist T.M. Baynes. The scenes included Grahamstown, the Karoo, Cape Town, Table Bay, mountain scenery, hunting scenes, and settlements of the indigenous inhabitants. Later he introduced variable lighting to create an impression of the landscape at different times of the day. Some of his exhibits featured predator-prey interactions. These novel and effective displays were forerunners of the dioramas and "habitat groups" in modern museum exhibits.’ [BDSAS]

“The appendix includes an account of the wreck of the Grosvenor in 1782. The narrative contains much information respecting the wreck of the vessel, the expeditions in search of the survivors, the descendants of shipwrecked Europeans on the Caffrarian Coast, there is also a steel engraving of the disaster, from a painting by Smirke.” [Mendelssohn]

Provenance: Amy Edith Steedman (abt. 1867-1939) born in Cape Town, her father Daniel settled in Cape Town together with his brother Andrew Steedman, the author. With a later indecipherable pencil signature, dated Mafeking, 1937’.

References: BDSAS - Biographical Database of Southern African Science, S2A3. Mendelssohn's South African bibliography: II, 432; I, 654.

Two octavo volumes (book size 23.2x14.8cm), pp. [frontis, engraved title page] x [2] 330; [frontis, engraved title page] iii-v [1] 358 [2]. In publisher’s green ribbed cloth, spines with gilt lettering within a decorative gilt border, yellow coated endpapers.
  Condition: Fine but for toning and light foxing to plates.   Ref: 110811   Price: HK$ 14,000