HIGGINSON, Francis (1587-1630). New-Englands Plantation. Or, A Short and True Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of the Countrey. Written by a reverend Divine now there resident. London: T.C. and R.C. for Michael Sparke, 1630.
4o (170 x 130 mm). Circular woodcut printers device on title, woodcut headpieces. (Lacks terminal blank, lower corner of titleleaf restored with 6 letters and date supplied, slightly shaved at bottom edge, catching a few signatures, catchwords and lowermost line of text.) Nineteenth-century brown morocco janséniste, turn-ins gilt, edges gilt, by Riviere & Son. Provenance: William D. Breaker (his sale AAA/Anderson, 7 April 1937, lot 50); Thomas W. Streeter (bookplate, his sale Parke-Bernet, 19 April 1967, lot 615).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (the author's name not on the title). An enthusiastic account of the earliest Massachusetts-Bay settlements, considering the land, soil, terrain, wild animals, timber, fish and climate ("there is hardly a more healthfull place to be found in the World that agreeth better with our English Bodys...a sup of New-Englands Aire is better than a whole draft of old Englands Ale..."). Among the colony's "discommodities" the author cites "little Flyes called Mosquitos" and rattlesnakes. He devotes several pages to a detailed description of the native inhabitants, their government, towns, attire and mode of living, asserting that "they doe generally profess to like well of our comming and planting here." At the end he details "the present state of the Plantation," adding that "we that are settled at Salem make what hast[e] we can to build houses, so that within a short time we shall have a fair Towne."
VERY RARE. Since this copy appeared in the Streeter sale, in 1967, only one other copy has appeared at auction. Alden & Landis 630/80; Church 416; JCB 2:229; Sabin 31739; STC 13449; Streeter II:615.