Noticia de la California, y de su conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. Sacada de la historia manuscrita, formada en Mexico ano de 1739 ...
by Venegas, Miguel
Madrid: Viuda de Manuel Fernandez, y del Supremo Consejo de la Inquisicion, 1757. First edition. Intermediate first issue, with misnumbering of pp. 478 and 479 in vol. ii, which was corrected in the later issue of the same year. 3 vols., small quarto, pp , 240; , 564; , 436. In addition there are 4 folding maps: in vol. i, Mapa de la California su Golfo; vol. iii, Mapa del Seno de California, Carta de la Mar del Sur, and Mapa de la America Septent[riona]l. Foundational work on California (Baja), the land and its inhabitants, and the Jesuit missions there, it is one of the Zamorano 80. The suite of maps are equally noteworthy, incorporating the latest knowledge of the area, and executed in fine copperplate engravings. (The Consag map, Seno de California, effectively concluded the centuries' old dispute as to whether California was an island.) Venegas had finished the work in 1739, expending much labor in research, even employing the then novel approach of sending out questionnaires to informed individuals. But it was suppressed by the Spanish crown because it revealed too clearly the scarcity of Spanish defenses. Then it was placed into the hands of Fr. Andres Burriel, a prominent Jesuit savant of the period, embued with Enlightenment zeal, who recast the work, adding to it. Consisting of four parts, the first treats of all that was known of the geography and inhabitants of the region; the 2nd, of efforts made to colonize the region before the arrival of the Jesuits; the 3rd volume brings everything up to date; Burriel's 4th part contains documentary appendices. Such was the interest in Europe in this region, that it was quickly translated into English (1759), though much abridged, and from this translation issued the French, German and Dutch versions. Binding is vellum, probably 19th century, with leather labels on spine which are partially perished; vellum on spine has a few minor cracks' a few ink marks in a few of the early pages of vol. 1 only. Despite a few minor splits, the maps are all in very good conditon. Very good, clean, handsome set.
(Inventory #: 7435)
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