Project Description

In March 2000 the College acquired the George Tweney Collection on Lewis and Clark. George Tweney was a book dealer, author, aviator, and collector, a mentor to Roger Wendlick, and a friend of Eldon Chuinard and Irving Anderson. An avid collector for well over fifty years, Tweney amassed a collection that includes several unique items.

The cornerstone of the collection is a manuscript copy made from the original journals of Lewis and Clark. In 1893 Elliott Coues edited the original journals of the explorers and was permitted to take the journals from Philadelphia to Washington. While he had them in his possession, he hired a handwriting expert by the name of Mary Anderson, instructing her to make a copy “line for line,” “point for point.” What she created was as close to an exact copy of the journals as could possibly be imagined, including text, maps, and animal sketches. Coues organized this effort in conjunction with the publisher, Francis Harper, and it was at Harper’s in New York nearly eighty years later that Tweney found two boxes of papers containing Mary Anderson’s manuscript copy of the original journals. What makes this manuscript especially valuable is the possibility that it preserves the explorers’ text that had been obscured by Coues’ additions and marginalia in the original journals that now reside at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, where we can still see the markings of Coues’ pencil annotations throughout. All the maps, drawings, and sketches are reproduced in Mary Anderson’s remarkable piece of handmade facsimile.

Other highlights of the Tweney Collection include:

• Monthly Anthology, complete 1806-1807
• Mathew Carey’s pocket atlas of 1805
• Le Page Du Pratz, Views of Louisiana
• Over two hundred titles on Lewis and Clark, including many nineteenth-century publications.

George H. Tweney, died on May 7, 2000 at the age of 84. His graduate work was in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan. In 1955, he accepted a position with Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle, where he worked for over twenty years. .Over the years, George taught at Trinity College (Dublin), and he lectured at Oxford University and the University of Paris. He was an avid bookman, and was a member of the American Antiquarian Society. In 1973, he was elected chair of the Washington State Lewis and Clark Trail Committee. In 1989 George published a book calledTheWashington 89.This book was to commemorate the one hundred year anniversary of the State of Washington, and the eighty nine most importatnt books on the subject.