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Author RAYNAL, Abbe & JUSTAMOND, J. (trans).
Title A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies
Stock Code 1855
Dates 1779
Published Dublin: John Exshaw
Description 4 volumes (complete) Contemporary boards, with a recent, sympathetic spine. Inside board of three of the volumes has the bookplate of Richard Harison* (the fourth volume has the ghosting to show that it was there). Frontis illus. of Raynal to vol. 1. Also in vol 1 is a large folding map of the East Indian settlements (all maps are by Thomas Kitchin). Vol.2 contains a large folding map of European settlements in South and Western America. Vol. 3. has a smaller folding map of the West Indies. Vol. 4. contains the folding map of North America. An influential work, a significant portion of which is said to have been written by Diderot and others. The book was condemned by the French Parliament and church dignitaries because of its attacks on the clergy and on Europeans generally for their conduct towards the natives of the Indies.
Provenance 1-539 [i]., 1-571 [i]., 1-572., 1-566, lxxxv, [i]. pp
Note *Each volume bears the bookplate of Richard Harison esq. Harison was an American lawyer, and in 1778 he refused allegiance to the United States, and so was suspended from the New York bar. This work was published the following year, and he had plenty of time to read it before his readmission to the bar in 1786. Perhaps it was reading of the European’s treatment of their colonists throughout the world that changed his position. Surprisingly in 1789 George Washington made him the first District Attorney for New York in the newly independent America. It was very unusual that such a lucrative post (accruing revenues from the port of New York) would be given to a former traitor - In fact, of Washington’s nearly 100 nominations for cabinet & similar positions - only 2 (including this) were to former Tories. As a flight of fancy, I like to think that Harison quoted this very work in discussions with Washington prior to his appointment.
Bibliography Sabin 68089
Condition The boards and bindings are very clean and bright - an attractive set. Inside, the 4 volumes have a little foxing and darkening, but overall are very respectable.
Price £1.00

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