“THE MOST SINGULAR PHENOMENON THAT EVER APPEARED IN THE POLITICAL HEMISPHERE OF ANY NATION”: COOPER’S 1795 HISTORY OF NORTH AMERICA, WITH SIX ENGRAVED PLATES
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION) COOPER, [William]. The History of North America. Containing a Review of the Customs and Manners of the Original Inhabitants; The first Settlement of the British Colonies, Their Rise and Progress from The earliest Period to the time of their becoming United, free and independent States. Laningsburgh, [New York]: Printed by Silvester Tiffany, 1795. 12mo., contemporary full brown calf. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $1500.
Second American edition of Cooper’s dramatic history, a scarce account of America from early colonial times through the Revolution, with engraved frontispiece and five additional copper plates depicting the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and other key moments of the Revolution.
This scarce edition of Cooper’s History of North America begins by noting “future generations will perhaps view the late revolution in North America, as the most singular phenomenon that ever appeared in the political hemisphere of any nation.” Cooper devotes most of his chronicle to a America’s struggle for independence, citing passages from the Declaration of Independence and focusing on Revolutionary battles. With six copper engraved plates, including images of the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill. The unsigned frontispiece, “America Trampling on Oppression,” has been attributed to engraver Thomas Wightman. Preceded by 1793 edition published in Bennington, Vermont, this 1795 edition concludes with a description of treaties signed in 1783, thus indicating a revision of the 1780 London first edition (which was followed by one in 1789). Evans 28480. Howes C761. Sabin 16583. Rosenbach, Early American Children’s Books, 188. Contemporary owner inscriptions dated 1804.
Light foxing, dampstaining, occasional closed tears to margins, minimally affecting text, horizontal tear to one plate affecting image archivally repaired; rubbing, slight loss to front edge of unrestored binding. A very good copy, scarce in contemporary calf.