24 June 2009
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
ZEVALLOS, Francisco. Carta del Padre Provincial Francisco Zevallos sobre la apostolica vida, y virtudes del p. Fernando konsag insigne Cissionero de la California. Colegio de San Ildefonso de Mexico, 1764.
4o (191 x 137 mm). (Lacking final blank.) Modern green calf, gilt-titled on front cover. Provenance: Colección Monclau (bookplate).
AN EXTREMELY RARE WORK ON THE HISTORY OF LOWER AND UPPER CALIFORNIA. "Konsag's [or Consag] 1746 exploration to the Colorado River, confirmed Ugarté's earlier doubt of Californias insularity" (Howes). Konsag made three exploring expeditions in the course of his duties, which are narrated here. Most important was his exploration of the coast to the north of the Colorado River. Wagner notes that this exploration in 1746 "FINALLY DISPOSED OF ANY DOUBT AS TO WHETHER OR NOT CALIFORNIA WAS AN ISLAND." The work contains an excellent account of the founding of the missions in Lower California, and Eberstadt considers Konsag's overland expeditions of 1751 and 1753 to be precursors to the Overland Trail. EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE: WorldCat lists seven copies only in the U.S. and no copies have been sold at auction since the Streeter copy in 1968, according to American Book Prices Current and that copy had repairs to the title and last leaf and three letters in the title in facsimile. Howes 29; Medina Mexico 4928; Palau 380378; Sabin 106329; Streeter sale IV:2436; Wagner Spanish Southwest 145 (two copies located in America: Huntington and Yales Libraries, and a third in the British Museum).
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