Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain. Containing Researches Relative to the Geography of Mexico, the extent of its Surface and its political Division into Intendancies, the physical Aspect of the Country, the Population, the State of Agriculture and Manufacturing and Commercial Industry, the Canals projected between the South Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the Crown Revenues, the Quantity of the precious Metals which have flowed from Mexico into Europe and Asia, since the Discovery of the New Continent, and the Military Defence of New Spain. With Physical Sections and Maps, founded on Astronomical Observations and Trigonometrical and Barometrical Measurements. Translated from the original French by John Black. First English edition. Complete in 4 volumes and with the plates and maps of the separately published atlas bound into volume one. Including the “Map of New Spain” (by Humboldt).
The rare, complete and unabridged first english language-edition ! London / Edinburgh, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown and H.Colburn, W.Blackwood and Brown and Crombie, 1811. Octavo. Volume I: XVII, CXLV, 289 pages including the two Aquatints showing the “Peak of Orizaba seen from the Forest of Xalapa” and “Volcanos of La Puebla, seen from the City of Mexico” / Also included in Volume I: “Reduced Map of the Kingdom of New Spain” / “Map of the Valley of Mexico and neighbouring Mountains by Jabbo Oltmanns” / “Plan of the Port of Veracruz” / “Physical Section of the Western Declivity of the Table Land of New Spain (Road from Mexico to Acapulco)” / “Road from Mexico to Vera Cruz by Puebla & Xalapa” / “Road from Mexico to Guanaxuato” / Volume II: 531 pages / Volume III: (3), 493 pages with an oblong fold-out-map by W.Lowry: “Map of the different Channels by which the precious metals flow from the one Continent to the other” (being a Map of the World on which Australia is depicted as “New Holland”) / Volume IV: 374 pages plus 97 unnumbered pages of an Index and one page of advertising. Volume IV includes the rare and stunning, large fold-out-map called “Points of Separation and Projected Communications between the South Sea and Atlantic Ocean” with the large center-map: “Map of the Isthmus of Huasacualco” and seven smaller detail-maps around it showing the Rio Colorado, Gulph of St.Georges, Lake of Nicaragua, Isthmus of Darien etc. etc. / Volume IV also includes diagrams showing for example: “Produce of the Mines of America since its Discovery” etc. Contemporary Hardcover / Contemporary calf with recently renewed spines (using contemporary, early 19th century, red spine-labels). All four Volumes now in protective collector’s Mylar. Very good condition with only minor signs of external wear. Some browning and foxing or spotting in places, tear to 1 leaf with slight loss of text and to 1 map each, 1 folding plate somewhat dusty, 1 plate strengthened to folds. Bookplate of Robert Groat M.D. to each pastedown, and 19th-century-stamps of the “Solicitors Supreme Court Library” to each title, textpages and to 1 map verso. Some rubbing, somewhat bumped to corners and extremities. Excellent set from the 19th century – library of Robert Groat M.D. with his bookplate to the pastedown of each Volume (Motto: “Anchor Fast”).
Humboldt’s publication on New Spain, with its fusion of illustration, diagrams, maps and statistics, marks the beginning of modern regional history. Includes the small version of “the important map of New Spain which remained the standard map for the area for thirty-five years and had far reaching influence on the cartography of the American west. The northern portion of the map covers the little-known regions of present-day Arizona, New Mexico, parts of Utah, Colorado, and western Texas” (see: Cohen, Mapping the west, pages 100 f.). “Contains references to the early explorations of California” (Cowan).
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 September 1769 – 6 May 1859) was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835). Humboldt’s quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt’s advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring.
Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in the Americas, exploring and describing them for the first time from a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. Humboldt was one of the first people to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined (South America and Africa in particular). Humboldt resurrected the use of the word cosmos from the ancient Greek and assigned it to his multivolume treatise, Kosmos, in which he sought to unify diverse branches of scientific knowledge and culture. This important work also motivated a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity. He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in 1800 and again in 1831, based on observations generated during his travels. (Wikipedia)