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Spanish America at the end of the Seven Years' War

Title
A Description of the Spanish Islands and Settlements on the Coast of the West Indies Compiled from authentic Memoirs, Revised by Gentlemen who have resided many Years in the Spanish Settlements; and illustrated with Thirty-two Maps and Plans, Chiefly from original Drawings taken from the Spaniards in the last War, and Engraved by Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to his Majesty.
Author
JEFFERYS, Thomas
Publisher
Printed for T. Jefferys, in St Martin's Lane, near Charing-Cross,
Publication place
London,
Publication date
1762.
Price
£14,000
Reference
14844

Description

First edition. 4to., (245 by 200mm), 2 engraved folding and 30 double-page charts and maps, one with contemporary hand-colour in outline, half calf, marbled boards, gilt.

Collation: [](3), a-c(4),B-I(4),K-O(4),P(2); [6], iv, xxiv, 106, 2 pages 

Notes

Thomas Jefferys published some of "the most important eighteenth century maps of the Americas, a series given cohesion and impetus by the preliminary hostilities and eventual outbreak of the Seven Years' War" (Laurence Worms for DNB).

This volume was published just before the end of the Seven Years' War, in which Spain had sided with France against Britain, just a year before the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763, in which Britain was allocated the Spanish territory of Florida. As Jeffery's affirms in his 'Introduction' this atlas is largely compiled from captured Spanish charts "…our eyes of course turn towards those parts of Spanish America, where it is most likely the English will principally aim their attacks and while we are in doubtful expectation where next the fury of war will fall, it is intended to confine the pen chiefly to an account of the sea-coasts, harbours, and towns adjacent to them, of the Spanish acquisitions of the West-Indies".

In the text, Jeffery's carefully describes the Spanish possessions in the Caribbean basin, starting with the Venezuelan coast, proceeding to Colombia, Central America, Mexico, Florida, Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. Louisiana is omitted as it was not to come into Spanish hands until 1763, as is Texas which was claimed by both France and Spain.
The maps are:

'A New Chart of the West Indies, drawn from the best Spanish Maps, and regulated by Astronomical Observation'; Puerto de la Guaira; Puerta de Cavello; Santa Martha; Harbour of Carthagena; City of Carthagena; Bay Zisapata; Porto Bello or Puerto Velo; the Town of Chagre; the Isthumus of Panama; San Fernando de Omoa; Port Royal Laguna; the Road of Vera Cruz; City of La Vera Cruz; Pensacola; Saint Augustine; the Island of Cuba; the City of Havana; Bahia de Matanzas; Bahia de Nipe; Puerto de Baracoa; Guantanimo; Santiago de Cuba; Bahia de Xagua; the Colorados; Bahia Honda; Puerto de Cavanas; Puerto de Mariel; Map of San Domino; City of San Domingo; San Juan de Puerto Rico; and Aguada Nueva.

Thomas Jefferys (c1719-1771) was one of the most important and prolific map publishers of the eighteenth century. He was appointed Cartographer to Frederick, Prince of Wales in 1748, and later provided the same office to Frederick's son George III. Apart from his publishing business, he produced important atlases and maps of America and the West Indies, and surveyed and engraved many large-scale maps of English counties. The huge cost involved in these projects was a major contribution to his slide into insolvency and he became bankrupt in 1766. Surprisingly, it made little difference to his business activities, "having found some friends who have been compassionate enough to re-instate me in my shop". One of these friends was Robert Sayer, who joined him in partnership and whose imprint appeared on the later editions of some of Jefferys' large-scale surveys.

Bibliography

Cox II, 220; Cundall 2045; Palau 123372; Sabin 35959.