HUBBARD, William (1621-1704). A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England, from the first planting thereof in the year 1607, to this present year 1677. But chiefly of the late Troubles in the two last years, 1675 and 1676. To which is added a Discourse about the Warre with the Pequods in the year 1637. Boston: John Foster, 1677.
2 parts in one, 4o (179 x 132 mm). Map in facsimile. (Title-page edges and lower corners of 2L renewed, some lower edges close-cropped affecting the occasional last line, catchword and signature, central worm hole from signature O forward affecting the text.) 20th-century burgundy morocco, gilt by W. Pratt.
FIRST EDITION, Church's FIRST ISSUE: sheet M with four leaves; there is a blank space after the seventh line in the second part on page 81, to which attention is called in "The Printer to the Reader" at the beginning of the work; page 88 of the second part contains 10 lines of errata.
William Hubbard was closely involved in the government of Massachusetts during King Philip's War, and this is probably the best and fullest account of the events of the struggle in Massachusetts. Hubbard and Increase Mather differed with each other on a number of points, and this book seems to have ignited the envy of the latter: "[Hubbard] was distinguished, in an age and country of bigots, for his liberality, moderation, and piety, and his narrative has always been regarded as authoritative by historians" (Church).
The map (supplied here in facsimile) by John Foster in this Boston edition was the first to be entirely produced in America, published to illustrate important locations in King Philip's War. "Conceived as a guide to the military campaign (battles and massacres are keyed by numbers), the map utilizes perpendicular lines (oriented north to right) to demarcate the northern and southern boundaries of the Massachusetts Bay colony according to the 1629 Massachusetts Bay Company charter" (Schwartz & Ehrenberg). The map is superlatively rare.
Isaiah Thomas states that the book was among one of the first printed in Boston (as was Mather's A Brief Relation), some years after the establishment of the press in Cambridge (Thomas, The History of Printing in America, p. 92). James Foster established the first press in Boston in 1674. Evans records only 10 Boston imprints prior to 1677, all from 1676, all printed by Foster, including Hubbard's The Happiness of a People.
Although Church describes this as the first issue, Randolph Adams wrote, years after the publication of the Church catalogue, that he felt "like defying any bibliographer ever to state and prove that one of these variants was printed before any other one" (Randolph Adams, "William Hubbard's 'Narrative,' 1677" in Papers of the BSA, Vol. 33 (1939), pp. 25-39). Church 650; Evans 231; Howes H-756 ("dd"--"A corner-stone authority on the subject"); Field 731; Sabin 33445; Streeter sale II:640; Streeter Americana Beginnings 14; Vail 184 ("This is the ninth of 11 quarto King Philip's War tracts and the most famous of them all").