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History of the First Discovery and Settlement - STITH William - 1747. [1273874]
1747 - STITH, William. The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia: Being an Essay Towards a General History of the Colony. Williamsburg: William Parks, 1747. Two volumes bound as one, as usual. Octavo, contemporary full brown sheep, raised bands, black morocco spine label. $16,500.First edition, rare Fine Paper issue, of one of the first colonial histories written and published in the colonies, and the first history published in Virginia, partly based on Captain John Smith's writings, with Jefferson, who possessed a copy in his library, praising Stith as "a man of classical learning," Printed by Parks, "the most important colonial printer after Benjamin Franklin" (ANB), this is one of the earliest obtainable Virginia imprints, exceptional in contemporary sheep."Written in a dignified style, with thorough scholarship". this is, and is always likely to be, one of the standard books on early Virginia" (Osgood, Literature of American History). Stith's History is regarded "as a pioneering example of scholarship based on extensive research in original sources" (DNB), and "has become a high authority to later writers" (Church 963). "An important and valuable part of the work is found in the Appendix of original documents, embracing the three Virginia charters": respectively, April 10, 1606; May 23, 1609, and March 12, 1611-12 (North American Review 103 (Oct., 1866). Stith covers "the period up to 1624. According to the preface, he intended to carry it further, but no more was published. Its value is based chiefly on the manuscript sources at his command. He says that these included copies of documents collected by his uncle, Sir John Randolph, in preparation for writing an historical 'Preface' to the Laws of Virginia, and a transcript of the records of the Virginia Company lent by Colonel William Byrd, also copies of records of the Virginia courts. His printed sources were mainly the writings of Captain John Smith, Hariot, and Purchas" (Sabin 91860). It stands as "a well-documented account of the first 17 years of the colony. In writing his history, Stith consulted manuscripts".as well as Captain John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia. For his research, he examined virtually all the contemporary sources available on this side of the Atlantic." "Today, Stith's History is valuable to researchers in different subject fields. Historians can study how Stith evaluated and incorporated the various sources available to him. Individuals interested in printing history can examine this major work of 343 pages from William Parks' press. Stith's History is one of the few surviving Williamsburg imprints that was printed on paper made at Parks' mill in Williamsburg" (Colonial Williamsburg Libraries). The Virginia-born Stith, who later became president of the College of William and Mary, was also known as an early critic of taxation without representation. William Parks, "the most important colonial printer after Benjamin Franklin" (ANB), was only the second printer in Virginia, having begun work in Williamsburg in 1730, making this one of the earliest obtainable Virginia imprints. This work is bibliographically complex, and "remains one of the unsolved bibliographical puzzles of American literature," with no agreement among authorities about the order or date of issue. Robinson, the esteemed Stith bibliographer, identifies two 1747 issues: a "Fine Paper Edition, so called" and a "poor Paper Edition, so called" (Complete Index, 6). While this is identified as a "Fine Paper" copy, there is, again, no agreement on priority. Sabin (91860), Evans (6071), Church (963) and Howes (S1014) also variously differ. This copy collates complete as issued: with p. 104 and pp. 257-304 correctly numbered, and pp. 305-341 misnumbered 295-331. Subsequently "both impressions were evidently reissued at London with cancelled title pages dated 1753 (Evans 7125)" (ESTC W23158).With woodcut-engraved initials, head- and tailpieces. Appendix with separate ti. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-11-26           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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