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    Sale 2059

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    5 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 244

    COLDEN, Cadwallader (1688-1776). The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada on the Province of New-York in America, and are the Barrier between the English and French in the Part of the World. London: T. Osborne, 1747.

    Price Realised  

    COLDEN, Cadwallader (1688-1776). The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada on the Province of New-York in America, and are the Barrier between the English and French in the Part of the World. London: T. Osborne, 1747.

    8o (204 x 122 mm). Engraved folding map (some minor browning). (N8 in part I with small tear at upper margin affecting a few letters, some occasional pale spotting.) Contemporary mottled calf (rebacked). Provenance: Ambrose Isted (bookplate on verso of title-page).

    FIRST ENGLISH EDITION of the "first history of the Iroquois Confederation" (Howes) published with considerable alterations and additions from the 1727 first edition printed in New York. Lacking the resources to set up his own practice after studying medicine in Edinburgh, Dr. Cadwallader Colden emigrated to America in 1710. He moved to New York in 1718, was appointed surveyor-general of New York in 1720 and to the province's council in 1722, eventually becoming lieutenant governor for a period of years in the 1760s and 1770s. In this work, he offers a sympathetic view of the Iroquois confederacy, provides a list of tribal names used by the French, discusses the form of government among the Five Nations and relates the history of contacts between them, the French and the English settlers, often drawing on French authorities. However, despite his admiration of the patriotism of the Iroquois, Colden writes on his dedication that "the following account of the Five Indian Nations will show what dangerous Neighbours the Indians have once been; what Pains a neighbouring Colony (whose interest is opposite to ours) has taken to withdraw their Affections from us; and how much we ought to be on our Guard" (p.iv). Howes C-560; Sabin 14273; Vail 435.


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    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN