SMITH, Capt. John (1580-1631). The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning Ano: 1584 to this present 1624. London: I. D[awson]. and I. [Haviland]. for Michael Sparkes, 1624.
2o (279 x 188 mm). Engraved title-page (Sabin's first state, with Prince Charles uncrowned), engraved portrait of the Duchess of Richmond by William Pass (inner margin renewed), engraved folding plate with map of Ould Virginia (Sabin's third state), folding engraved map of Virginia (Sabin's sixth state), engraved folding plate with map of the Summer Isles (Sabin's first state), and folding engraved map of New England (Sabin's fourth state, "the most common and also probably the latest state to be found in the 'Generall Historie' of 1624"). (Engraved title and portrait lightly soiled at margins, margins skilfully restored on plate containing Ould Virginia with some loss at edges, upper corner patched on plate containing Summer Ils. with partial loss of letters and image in compartment F, a few short tears to plates at intersection folds, some minor pale dampstaining to text, a few leaves with minor stains.) Contemporary English blind-ruled calf (a few early repairs to joints and corners, upper joint cracked, a few stains); brown morocco slipcase.
Provenance: W.H. Earle (early signature and purchase note on upper margin of engraved title-page); John Dundass (signature at end); John Thomas (signature at end); Preston Davie, Tuxedo, New York (purchased at auction in 1921 for $2450; this copy referred to in Sabin's survey of copies in contemporary bindings, see Sabin note, copy #5); Mr. and Mrs. Janice Bingman (purchased from the jRittler-Hopson Galleries of Newark in 1930 or 1931); the copy remained in the Bingman family until purchased by the present owner in 1981.
FIRST EDITION OF SMITH'S MASTERPIECE: "THE FOUNDATION OF ENGLAND'S KNOWLEDGE OF AMERICA DURING THE EARLY PERIOD OF COLONIZATION" (PMM). The Generall Historie is comprised of the following: the first book describes the first settlement of Virginia, and the subsequent voyages there to 1605; the second is Smith's description of the country and its Indian inhabitants; the third book relates the occurrences of Smith's voyage and the settlement of Jamestown, from December 1606 to 1609, and is followed by two pages which consist of a reprint of laudatory verses addressed to Smith from The Description of New England, with a few lines of introduction by Smith beginning: "Now seeing there is thus much Paper here to spare..."; the fourth book continues the Virginia history from the planting of Point Comfort in 1609 to 1623; the fifth book comprises the history of the Bermudas (or Summer Isles) from 1593 to 1624, followed by verses also reprinted from the Description; and the sixth book contains the history of New England from 1614 to 1624.
Contains Smith's eyewitness account of the founding of Jamestown, his capture and rescue through the intercession of Pocahontas, his observations during his time spent in Virginia (1606-1609), and his explorations of the New England coast (1610-1617). The Generall Historie is a major American primary source, incorporating much of his early writing as well as contemporary narratives by others.
This copy without the errata often found pasted to foot of final page; nor the portrait of Pocahontas (inserted in some copies). A FINE COPY IN A CONTEMPORARY BINDING, WITH NEW ENGLAND MAP LARGELY UNTRIMMED.
Church 402; JCB II, p. 189; PMM 124; Sabin 82824; STC 22790; Vail 68.