Rare pamphlet to accompany Gauld’s chart of the Florida coast

By GAULD, George, 1779 

An Accurate Survey of the Coast of Florida … wherein is laid down the Reefs, Shoals, &c. On that Dangerous Coast, in the Navigation from Jamaica, West Florida, and the River Mississippi.

Maritime & Military
  • Author: GAULD, George
  • Publication place: Kingston, Jamaica:
  • Publisher: Re-printed by Ann Woolhead, in Harbour-Street
  • Publication date: 1779.
  • Physical description: 16 pp. 8vo pamphlet (154 by 95mm). Early wrappers. Mild soiling to wrappers and first and last leaves, faint red penciling to upper wrapper.
  • Inventory reference: 1166

Notes

A pre-publication pamplet published by a woman in Jamaica. George Gauld was a Scottish military surveyor working for the British Admiralty. From 1764 to 1781 he charted the difficult waters off the Gulf Coast of West Florida. Some of his surveys were published by J.F.W. Des Barres in the Atlantic Neptune, but the continuation of his work was hampered during the Revolutionary War due to the activity of American privateers. Gauld was finally captured after the siege of Pensacola in 1781 and paroled to England. He died in 1782, but his own writing and chart was not printed until 1790 as An Account of the Surveys of Florida, &c, published by William Faden. The present text derives from a manuscript description he left in safe-keeping with his friend, Dr Lorimer, resident of Pensacola. As it was not likely that [Gauld’s] draughts of the Florida coasts would be published for some time” and this information materially concerns this Island [of Jamaica]” the liberty was taken of publishing these notes apparently without Gauld’s or the British Admiralty’s official sanction. The two Gauld manuscripts printed here are dated May 12, 1774 and November 20, 1775.

Little is known about the printer Ann Woolhead, but in all probability she was the (?black) widow or other relative of Thomas Woolhead who founded the Kingston Journal. Eighteenth century New World imprints by women are rare.