"A HIGH AUTHORITY TO LATER WRITERS": STITH'S SEMINAL HISTORY OF THE FIRST DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT OF VIRGINIA, 1753 FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF ONE OF THE FIRST COLONIAL HISTORIES WRITTEN IN THE COLONIES
STITH, William. The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia. London: S. Birt, 1753. Octavo, early 20th-century full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
First English edition of one of the first colonial histories written in the colonies, partly based on Captain John Smith's writings, of whom Stith wrote, "I take him to have been a very honest man and a strenuous lover of the truth." Handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt by Bedford.
"The early charters contained in the Appendix give this work its chief value at the present day… this book has become a high authority to later writers" (Church 963). "Stith's History covered the period up to 1624. According to the preface, he intended to carry it further, but no more was published" (Sabin 91860). "A well-documented account of the first seventeen 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" (Colonial Williamsburg Libraries). Stith went on to become the third president of the College of William and Mary. First published in Virginia in 1747. Sabin 91860. Howes S1014.
Leaf M4 with minor marginal paper repair, text clean and fine, handsome full morocco-gilt binding fine. A lovely copy.