Fishing in Minnesota, 1869

Lake Pepin Fish-Chowder, in Letters to General Spinner.

New York: H.D. McIntyre & Co., 201 William Street, 1869.

Price: $2,500.00

About the item

First edition. 141, [2, ads] pp. 1 vols. Small 8vo. Fishing in Minnesota, 1869. Brick cloth, gilt stamped on upper cover only. Slightly rubbed. Near fine. Bruns G45 "Rare"; Phillips 135; Litchfield 46; Cf. Colleen J. Sheehy, “American Angling: The Rise of Urbanism and the Romance of the Rod and Reel”, in Hard at Play. Leisure in America 1840-1940, ed. K. Grover (1992).

Item #233969

A series of letters on the glories of Minnesota fishing from this former Civil War officer to Gen. Francis E. Spinner (1802-1890), who served as Treasurer of the United States under Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant. First printed in Porter's Spirit of the Times to meet a growing post-war market of tourists and travelers eager to find the best fishing spots, Gibbs' little book spread the word about the joys of fishing Minnesota's lakes and rivers. It has never been re-printed, and is now rare on the market.

“And many learned about Minnesota fishing in the late 1860s when ex-Civil War Officer Oliver Gibbs wrote a series of letters to General Spinner, then United States treasurer, that were printed in The Spirit of the Times and later collected into a volume called Lake Pepin Fish-Chowder […] Railing against the ‘pot fishers’ who netted fish by the wagonload, Gibbs promoted fishing with rod and reel” (Sheehy).

Great content and fine story-telling, a neglected work from a formative time in American sport.