9 December 2009
SMYTH, John Ferdinand Dalziel (1745-1814). A Tour in the United States of America: containing an Account of the present Situation of that Country; the Population, Agriculture, Commerce, Customs, and General Officers in the America Army ... with a Description of the Indian Nations, the General Face of the Country, Mountains, Forests, Rivers ... likewise Improvements in Husbandry that may be Adopted with Great Advantage in Europe. London: G. Robinson, J. Robson and J. Sewell, 1784.
2 volumes, 8o (211 x 129 mm). (Some scattered pale spotting.) Contemporary polished and sprinkled calf (short splits to joints, a few corners slightly worn). Provenance: The Rt. Hon. Viscount Eccles (his sale Christie's New York, 18 November 1983, lot 256).
FIRST EDITION. Smyth was a Scot who lived in Virginia during the Revolutionary War. He traveled across the nation and recorded his impressions in this work. "The author, who was a zealous Loyalist, lost his property during the war; and his work is said to have been written to gain favor with the Government, by abusing the Americans and magnifying his own losses. He narrowly escaped hanging by the Whigs on more than one occasion, but lived to record many interesting particulars of the first days of the Revolution, together with many scandalous anecdotes relating to the public men of the time" (Lathrop Harper 143:453). Howes S-730; Sabin 85254; Streeter sale II:827. (2)
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