A Natural and Civil History of California: Containing An accurate Description of that Country, Its Soil, Mountains, Harbours, Lakes, Rivers, and Seas; its Animals, Vegetables, Minerals, and famous Fishery for Pearls. The Customs of the Inhabitants, Their Religion, Government, and Manner of Living, before their Conversion to the Christian Religion by the missionary Jesuits. Together with Accounts of the several Voyages and Attempts made for settling California, and taking actual Surveys of that Country, its Gulf, and Coast of the South-Sea. Illustrated with Copper Plates, and an accurate Map of the Country and the adjacent Seas. Translated from the original Spanish of Miguel Venegas, a Mexican Jesuit, published at Madrid l758. Miguel VENEGAS.

A Natural and Civil History of California: Containing An accurate Description of that Country, Its Soil, Mountains, Harbours, Lakes, Rivers, and Seas; its Animals, Vegetables, Minerals, and famous Fishery for Pearls. The Customs of the Inhabitants, Their Religion, Government, and Manner of Living, before their Conversion to the Christian Religion by the missionary Jesuits. Together with Accounts of the several Voyages and Attempts made for settling California, and taking actual Surveys of that Country, its Gulf, and Coast of the South-Sea. Illustrated with Copper Plates, and an accurate Map of the Country and the adjacent Seas. Translated from the original Spanish of Miguel Venegas, a Mexican Jesuit, published at Madrid l758.

London, Printed for James Rivington and James Fletcher, at the Oxford Theatre, in Pater-Noster-Row. 1759. 1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo, 20.3cm, The First Edition in English, in 2 volumes, [20],455 & [8],387pp., with 1 folding map & 4 engraved plates each with 2 illustrations, (most copies have only 2 plates; Cowan), bound in antique style modern full dark lightly specked brown calf, raised bands, blind decorations in the panels and decorated borders on the boards, dark crimson crushed morocco labels, contemporary armoral bookplate, slightly toned, an attractive set of an important work .(cgc) Cowan p237. Graff 4471. Howes V-70. Sabin 98845. Wagner. Spanish Southwest, 132a. Hill 1768. "This translation gave the English-speaking world its earliest thorough account of the little-known areas of the west coast of North America. This work has been cited as the first book in English completely devoted to California." Miguel Venegas was a Jesuit historian who had served as a missionary in central Mexico. Although he never visited California himself he was assigned to write this geography, history and ethnography of the Baja area, which he based on correspondence and reports sent to him by his colleagues. The Jesuits had established missions in California in the early 18th century and had entered the Pericu region in 1720, but their efforts at bringing Christianity to the aboriginals were not well-received. I The 1734 Pericu Revolt against this intrusion saw two missionaries killed and Jesuit control over the area compromised. The Jesuits were eventually expelled by the Spanish crown in 1768. Venegas' account was subsequently edited by Andrs Marcos Burriel. It was published in Spanish in 1757 as "Noticia de la California" and translated into several languages. A previous owner, George Alan Lowndes, b. 1829, was the High Sheriff of Essex in 1861. Item #40264

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