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"an invaluable vade-mecum to the social, economic, and political life of Britain's largest and wealthiest West Indian colony" (Morgan)

The History of Jamaica or, General Survey of the Antient and Modern State of that Island: with Reflections on its Situation, Settlements, Inhabitants, Climate, Products, Commerce, Laws and Government.
LONG, Edward
Printed for T. Lowndes, in Fleet Street,
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First edition. Three volumes. Quarto, (250 by 200mm), 16 engraved maps and plates, including eight folding, contemporary polished calf, red and green morocco, gilt, lettering-pieces on the spines.

Collation: Volume 1: [](1), B-I(4), K-U(4), X-Ii(4), Kk-Uu(4), Xx-Iii(4), Kkk-Uuu(4), Xxx-4I(4), K(4), L(4); [2], 628 [2] blanks, pages.
Volume 2: [](1), B-I(4), K-U(4), X-Ii(4), Kk-Uu(4), Xx-Iii(4), Kkk-Uuu(4), Xxx-4I(4), [H](3); [2], 602, [4] blanks, pages.
Volume 3: [](1), a(4), [4G](3), 4H-4I(4), 4K-4U(4), 4X-5I(4), 5K-5U(4), 5X-6F(4), 6G(1), 6H-6I(4); [2], viii, 596-976, [2], [4] blanks, pages.


Edward Long's (1734-1813)'s "most influential work, which cemented his reputation as the leading contemporary commentator on the eighteenth-century British Caribbean" (Morgan for DNB). The book is based on first-hand experience, as well as private papers and public records; Long was the son of a Jamaican plantation owner, and lived there from 1757 to 1769. His work, which included an important account of the origin of maroons, African slaves who were able to escape their bondage, and formed independent settlements in areas inaccessible to European colonists, from which they launched guerilla attacks on colonial property, influenced that of Bryan Edwards', whose 'History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies' was printed in 1793.

In addition to being the first comprehensive, almost encyclopaedic account of the meteorology, botany, zoology, medicine, history, and laws of Jamaica, the book is a compendium of a variety of political opinion and his own frank pro-slavery commentary.


Library stamp of W. S. Lushington, Rodmersham Lodge, Kent, on title-pages.


Cox II, 22; Cundall, Jamaica 2; Sabin 41871