Philadelphia: Printed for the Author, and Sold by Robert Aitken, 1784.
First edition. 94,pp. 8vo. Important Description of West Florida. Later three-quarter red calf and marbled boards, spine gilt, t.e.g. Extremities lightly worn. Text tanned (more prominently on final four leaves). Some paper repairs, including a small void on final leaf, just touching text. Ownership inscription in ink on p.: “[W?] Sargent.” Very good. Untrimmed Evans 18532; Sabin 34056; Howes H845; Streeter sale 1521; Siebert sale 590; Clark I:259; Servies 608; Vail 705; Hildeburn 4493; Larned 3301; Bradford 2503. Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735–1789 (Chapel Hill, 1956), pp.318-89. Item #365331
One of the most valuable works on Florida and Louisiana in the Revolutionary period. Hutchins (1730–89) was an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian War who later surveyed the country along the Mississippi from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. During the Revolution he joined the American cause and served under Greene in the Carolinas, and later spent several years in West Florida in the area between New Orleans and Pensacola. He made a minute examination of its coast, harbors, lakes, and rivers, all reported in this accurate book. In 1781, Congress appointed Hutchins the "Geographer of the United States,” a position which he held until his death. Historian Brooke Hindle describes Hutchins as “the best informed man on the American West” at the time, noting that his Description of Louisiana and West-Florida was useful primarily “because of the directions it provided for sailing about the mouth of the Mississippi and up the river itself....His knowledge was relied upon by many men, including Thomas Jefferson.”.
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