• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 274

    CASAS, Bartholome de las (1474-1566). An Account Of the First Voyages and Discoveries Made by the Spaniards in America. Containing the most Exact Relation hitherto publish'd, of their unparallel'd Cruelties on the Indians, in the destruction of above Forty Millions of People. London: J. Darby for D. Brown, J. Harris and Andrew Bell, 1699.

    Price Realised  

    CASAS, Bartholome de las (1474-1566). An Account Of the First Voyages and Discoveries Made by the Spaniards in America. Containing the most Exact Relation hitherto publish'd, of their unparallel'd Cruelties on the Indians, in the destruction of above Forty Millions of People. London: J. Darby for D. Brown, J. Harris and Andrew Bell, 1699.

    8o (193 x 118 mm). 2 engraved folding plates after de Bry, with 6 and 16 scenes respectively. (Browned, tiny hole in first plate.) Contemporary paneled calf (covers detached).

    A translation of the French edition of 1697, containing six of Las Casas's nine tracts on Spanish atrocities in the New World. The folding plates are frequently lacking. The first English translation was printed in 1656 under the title Tears of the Indians. That edition places the number of victims at 20 million, which was doubled in the above edition. The first edition of Las Casas's famous "Indian Tracts," the earliest report of Spanish atrocities in the New World, and the first to condemn these atrocities, was written in Spain in 1539, but its publication was forbidden until 1552. Las Casas, a son of one of Columbus's sailors, sailed with the governor, Nicolas de Ovando, in 1502 to America. He was perhaps the first priest ordained in America. The above comprises the principal sources of information on South America and in particular the state of Indians at that time. "[The Account] of Las Casas proved a most formidable weapon for any nation on ill terms with the Spaniards" (Field). Alden & Landis 699/33; Church 780; Field 881; JCB (3) IV:384; Sabin 11289; Wing C-797. SCARCE, ESPECIALLY WITH THE PLATES.


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