COXE, Daniel (1673-1739)
A Description of the English Province of Carolana. By the Spaniards call'd Florida, and by the French, La Louisiane ... With a large and curious Preface, demonstrating the Right of the English to that Country, and the unjust Manner of the French usurping of it ... The Second Edition
London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, 1726. 8vo. (7 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches). , 122pp. Folding copper-engraved "Map of Carolana and of the River Meschacebe" [i.e. Mississippi].
Contemporary speckled calf, expertly rebacked to style, spine with raised bands in six compartments, black morocco lettering piece in the second compartment, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt
Provenance: W. Windham (early signature); Thomas Conolly (armorial bookplate)
A rare and highly important work, with the map which includes the first English depiction of the Mississippi Valley.
With the exception of the title, this "second edition" is identical to the first published in 1722. According to William S. Coker, in his introduction to the 1976 University of Florida facsimile of the first edition, the three subsequent "editions" were in fact re-issues of the unsold sheets of the first edition with new updated title pages inserted.
This is one of the first English works to describe the Southeast in any detail. Colonel Coxe laid claim to an enormous amount of land in the South thanks to grants made to his father Dr. Daniel Coxe by King Charles II. Coxe published the present work to further his families claims, but also to raise awareness of the huge potential of the area and the dangers posed by French incursions. He did not limit himself to the Carolinas, discussing the lower Mississippi in detail as well. Florida, Georgia and Louisiana are also described. Much of the information, gathered from British hunters and explorers, is published here for the first time. The work is also credited with being the first published proposal of a political confederation of the North American colonies.
The map, which is often missing but present here, is of real importance. Drawn up by the Coxe family to illustrate their claims, it is also the first English depiction of the Mississippi valley. It also improved on all previous maps by eliminating the mountain ranges that were often shown as running beside the Mississippi River, as well as correctly fixing the location of the Appalachian and Ozark mountains. It extends as far north as the Great Lakes and includes an inset of the Mississippi Delta at the lower right "A Map of the Mouth of the River Meschacebe".
Church 886; Clark I:68; cf. Coxe Description (Gainesville, Fl.: 1976); Cumming & De Vorsey 190 (ref); Howes C826; JCB (1)III:679; Sabin 17281; Stevens 781; Vail 409.