A Civil and Natural History of California, Containing an Accurate Description of that Country..... Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Venegas. Miguel Venegas.
A Civil and Natural History of California, Containing an Accurate Description of that Country..... Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Venegas....
A Civil and Natural History of California, Containing an Accurate Description of that Country..... Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Venegas....
A Civil and Natural History of California, Containing an Accurate Description of that Country..... Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Venegas....
A Civil and Natural History of California, Containing an Accurate Description of that Country..... Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Venegas....

A Civil and Natural History of California, Containing an Accurate Description of that Country..... Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Venegas....

London: James Rivington and James Fletcher, 17571759. First edition in English. Hardcover. Very good. Item #22018

Two volumes. 8vo. (20),455 (8),387pp. Folding map of California in volume I; 4 copperplates (including frontispieces) each with two images, for a total of 8 images. Full speckled calf, nicely rebacked at an early date, retaining the original lettering labels. Light wear especially to the corners, the map with two closed marginal tears not affecting the image, else a very good set. With the armorial bookplate of Sir Joseph Copley, Bart, as well as small circular leather bookplate of 'CFH'.


This is the first translation into English (or any other language) of Father Venegas' 'Noticia de la California', published in 1757 in Madrid (contrary to the 1858 date found on the title page of this edition.) Venegas' manuscript was written between 1734 and 1739. It went unpublished because the Spanish Crown did not want details of New Spain disseminated. But eventually another Jesuit, Padre Burriel, edited the manuscript and saw it published.


The large map in volume I is based on Kino's 1702 map which is indeed revolutionary as it was the first attempt to end the notion that California was an island. Padre Consag confirmed Keno's findings in a 1746 expedition to the mouth of the Colorado. Kino's map is considered foundational to the cartographic history of the Southwest. As Tooley notes (p. 111), Kino's map was not generally accepted; it was not until Consag confirmed Kino's discovery that caused Ferdinand VII in 1747 to issue a royal decree: California is not an island.


The map in the Spanish edition contained ten vignetes, eight of which are reproduced on the plates in this English edition.


Zamorano 80, No. 78a.

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Price: $7,500.00

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