A Description of the Kingdom of New Spain, 1774. Translated and edited by Sean Galvin.
by O'CROULEY, Pedro Alonso.
[San Francisco]:: John Howell—Books, 1972., 1972. 4to. xviii, 148 pp. Frontispiece, illustrations, 2 maps (one folding, loose in pocket at rear of book), bibliography, index. Gilt-stamped blue cloth, dust-jacket; small front jacket tear. Near fine in very good jacket +. Translation of the O'Crouley's original Idea compendiosa del Reyno de Nueva Espana, housed in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid. O'Crouley's family emigrated to Spain from Ireland in the 18th century to escape English rule. As both the Irish and Spanish were Catholic, and Ireland was widely thought to have been settled by men from the Iberian peninsula some thousands of years before, they were treated as Spaniards. He became a merchant, academic, and collector of antiquities, possessing at the time of his death thousands of Greek and Roman coins and over 200 paintings by artists ranging from Van Dyck to Velazquez. O'Crouley frequently traveled to New Spain pursuing business ventures. His "Idea compendiosa mirrors much of the crisis of the missions and northern frontiers in the years when he was in Mexico. The presidios inherited from earlier decades as a system of frontier defense were unable to protect the northern settlements from fierce Apaches. …O'Crouley was interested in both past and present of the land he was visiting. He gathered information from whatever sources were available to him, naming the older histories of Solis, Herrera, and Acosts; Archbishop Lorenzana's book…[as well as] gleaning information from travelers, tax collectors and other likely persons" (p. ix).
(Inventory #: GG01169)
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