STEDMAN, Charles (1753-1812)
The History of the Origin, Progress, and Termination of the American war
London: printed for the Author, sold by J. Murray, J. Debrett and J. Kerby, 1794. 2 volumes, quarto. (10 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches). Half-title to vol.II. 15 engraved maps and plans (11 folding, one of these with an over-flap). (Lacking half title to vol.I, minor scattered foxing to text).
Expertly bound to style in 18th-century tree calf, gilt-tooled border to covers, the flat spines divided into six compartments with gilt fillets and a roll tool, red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, black morocco label with onlaid red morocco roundel with volume number in gilt in the fourth compartment
A fine copy of the first edition of a fundamental work to any collection relating to the American Revolution.
This work is "generally considered the best contemporary account of the Revolution written from the British side" (Sabin). The beautifully engraved maps (the largest of which is approximately 20 x 30 inches) are the finest collection of plans assembled by an eyewitness. They depict the sieges of Savannah and Charlestown, plus the battles of Saratoga, Camden, Guilford, Hobkirk's Hill, and Yorktown. Stedman was a native of Philadelphia, a Loyalist who served as an officer under Howe, Clinton, and Cornwallis, and later became an examiner of Loyalist claims for the British government. He had first hand knowledge of many of the campaigns and persons involved in the effort. He is critical of Howe, and describes all the major theatres of war, as well as individual battles from Bunker Hill to Yorktown.
Howes S914; JCB II:372; Lowndes V, p.2504; Sabin 91057; Winsor VI, p.518.