America, in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768. (London: Printed for the Author; And Sold by J. Walter, 1778).
Carver was captain of Provincial troops in the late war with France. His work here is dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks. Travels are primarily in modern-day U.S. but there are some few passages related to reading, especially by indigenous people.
p. 252-55, speaking generally of indigenous tribes: During my abode with the Naudowessies, some of the chiefs observing one day a draft of an eclipse of the moon, in a book of astronomy which I held in my hand, they desired I would permit them to look at it. Happening to give them the book shut, they began to count the leaves till they came to the place in which the plate was. After they had viewed it, and asked many questions relative to it, I told them they needed not to have taken so much pains to find the leaf on which it was drawn, for I could not only tell in an instant the place, without counting the leaves, but also how many preceded it.
They seemed greatly amazed at my assertion, and begged that I would demonstrate to them the possibility of doing it. To this purpose I desired the chief that held the book, to open it at any particular place, and just showing me the page, carefully to conceal the edges of the leaves, so that I might not be able to count them.
This he did with the greatest caution; notwithstanding which, by looking at the folio, I told him, to his great surprize, the number of leaves. He counted them regularly over, and discovered that I was exact. And when, after repeated trials, the Indians found I could do it with great readiness, and without ever erring in my calculation, they all seemed as much astonished as if I had raised the dead. The only way they could account for my knowledge, was by concluding that the book was a spirit, and whispered me answers to whatever I demanded of it.
This circumstance, trifling as it might appear to those who are less illiterate, contributed to increase my consequence, and to augment the favouraable opinion they already entertained of me. [Perhaps they would not have been so entertained if they knew Carver was trifling with them.]
p. 253: The Indians are totally unskilled in geography as well as all the other sciences, and yet, as I have before hinted, they draw on their birch-bark very exact charts or maps of the countries with which they are acquainted. The latitude and longitude is only wanting to make them tolerably complete.