The History of the Province of New-York, from the First Discovery to the Year M.DCC.XXXIII. To which is annexed, A Description of the Country, with a short Account of the Inhabitants, their Trade, Religious and Political State, and the Constitution of the Courts of Justice in the Colony
signedfirst editionQuarto (9 9/16â€ x 7 7/16â€, 244mm x 189mm). 3 new binderâ€™s blanks, binderâ€™s blank, A4 a2 B-Kk4, 3 new binderâ€™s blanks [
by Smith, William
London: Thomas Wilcox, 1757. First edition. Quarto (9 9/16” x 7 7/16”, 244mm x 189mm). 3 new binder’s blanks, binder’s blank, A4 a2 B-Kk4, 3 new binder’s blanks [$2; –A1]. 134 leaves, pp. i-vii vii-xii 1 2-255, blank [= xii, 256]. One engraved folding map. Hardcover. Near fine. Bound (ca. 1900) by Rivière and Son (gilt-stamped on front turn-down) in a Grolier-style binding of full dark red crushed morocco. Triple gilt-fillet border with floral corner-ornament on turn-downs. On the spine, five raised bands with panels double gilt-fillet-bordered with a floral ornament. Title gilt in second panel within single gilt-fillet-border, author and publication same in third panel. Marbled end-papers. Top-edge gilt. Enclosed in a straight-grained dark red morocco pull-off case, also, presumably, by Rivière. Some chips to slip-case. Map mounted onto linen. Paper browned, but evenly and mildly; un-foxed. Some small chips to edges of pages. A very pretty copy indeed. Armorial book-plate of Samuel Jones, engraved by Henry Dawkins, on recto of the (original) binder’s blank. Signature of Jones on the upper edge of the same page. On the title-page, presentation inscription from the author (in a different hand) to Jones: “Ex Libris/ Samuelis Jones/ a Gulielmo Smith donatis 1756[8?]”. William Smith (1727-1793), namesake of his father — a prominent lawyer and judge in his own right — wrote the first history of New York: the present item, running from 1492 to 1732. Smith planned and began work on a sequel, treating 1732-1762, that was published posthumously (1826). At first seeking to avoid revolution by siding with the British under Lord North, who proposed granting to the Americans everything short of independence, Smith eventually became a loyalist and emigrated to England. Still, his History gave him legitimacy as an expert on New York, for which he hoped to be granted command and territory by the British. Smith served as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the British colony of New York (which at the time was essentially confined to the City of New York) 1780-2 (I thank Mr. Michael Benowitz, Assistant Director of the Historical Society of the New York Courts, for his assistance).The book comprises five historical sections, with the fifth containing a treatment of the legislative and judicial structures in pre-Revolutionary New York.Smith presented the book, perhaps even before its publication (if the inscription reads 1756), to Samuel Jones (1734-1819), the first comptroller of the State of New York (1797-1800). Jones, also a loyalist, was elected to the Congress of the Confederation in 1788, although he did not attend. He is remembered as the “father of the New York Bar,” and was a trustee of the New York Society Library, just south of us on E. 79th St. Jones’s bookplate was engraved by Henry Dawkins, one of the most prominent early America engravers. Dawkins was arrested in 1776 for counterfeiting money; held in jail for six months, he petitioned for the death penalty but did not receive it – fortunately, for he was commissioned to make the first engraving of the New York State Coat of Arms. Church 1023; Howes S703; Larned 1109; Sabin 84566; Streeter S 871.On Dawkins: S. Decatur, “The Conflicting History of Henry Dawkins, Engraver” in American Collector (Jan. 1939) 6-7. Antiquarian
(Inventory #: 58191)
We are a generalist shop, with several concentrations of material. On the modern side, signed first editions, including poetry and Beat literature, art & photography and fine press. On the antiquarian side, English literature, exploration and natural science (with a good deal else besides).
Shipping & Return Policies
We offer a 30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.
You can be confident that when you make a purchase through ABAA.org, the item is sold by an ABAA member in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Our sellers guarantee your order will be shipped promptly and that all items are as described. Buy with confidence through ABAA.org.