An American in Mecca

(Osgood, Joseph Barlow Felt). Notes of Travel or Recollections of Majunga, Zanzibar, Muscat, Aden, Mocha, and Other Eastern Ports.

Salem, George Creamer, 1854.

8vo (133 x 198 mm). X pp., (blank leaf), 253, (1) pp. Contemporary brown cloth, rebacked.


First edition of this travelogue, reflecting on the East Coast of Africa and journeys into the Arabian Peninsula, most notably Mecca and Aden. Eight chapters are dedicated to Zanzibar, six to Muscat, six to Aden, and eleven full chapters for Mecca, including discussions of everything from the ivory trade, male and female modes of dress, camels, the British bombardment and conquest of Aden, Bedouins, coffee, marriages, funerals, etiquette at homes and tables, and even business hours, naming traditions, and smoking. Described firsthand are the corporal punishments personally carried out by the young governor of Mecca, the use of rhinoceros hide on Bedouin shields, the preparation of coffee, the attitudes of children, and even the design of homes. Osgood, an American, was partial to Arab society in particular, and evidently enjoyed his time in it.


From the collection of the U.S. conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin (1941-2018), long a U.N. special envoy for the conservation of rhinoceros.


Cloth rebacked; some toning.


OCLC 4427641. Not in Macro or Gay.