London, England: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1858. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 5.75 x 9 in., pp. xvi + 436. Illustrated with five chromolithographic plates and eleven woodcuts. 14 x 12 in. handcolored map of the author's route tipped in at rear. Navy blue cloth spine over blue-gray publisher's boards. Brown pasted patch on spine with black title. Rubbing to extremities; staining to paper boards. Corners are bumped. Light foxing, especially to margins of pages with chromolithographic illustrations. Spine and hinges are tight. Good. Item #85559
Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky (15 February 1828 – 7 September 1868) was a Prussian adventurer, artist, newspaper correspondent and soldier in New Zealand, Australia, California, Mexico and the Mosquito Coast of Central America. He was also an amateur watercolourist who painted the New Zealand bush and the military campaign.
Gustav Ferdinand von Tempsky was born in Braunsberg, East Prussia, into a Prussian noble family. Von Tempsky was brought up in Liegnitz in Lower Silesia. He went to a junior cadet school in Potsdam and then a cadet school in Berlin. In 1844, he was commissioned into his father's regiment in the Royal Prussian Army, possibly the Garde-Fusilier Regiment in which his brother, Benno Waldemar von Tempsky was a second lieutenant. In 1846, tiring of the routine, von Tempsky left the regiment after only nine months for the Prussian settlement on the Mosquito Coast of Central America. He accepted a commission to command a force of Mosquito Indians, which had been set up by Britain, but after his friend the British Consul-General slipped overboard and was devoured by alligators, he lost his taste for that adventure and headed to the American West. In 1850, he went to the new California goldfields, but did not strike gold. In 1853, he returned to the Prussian colony, via Mexico, Guatemala, and Salvador, and later wrote a book, Mitla, about his journey.
Later, he led The Forest Rangers against the Maori in New Zealand, and was killed in battle in 1868.