GAGE, Thomas (1603?-1656)
A New Survey of the West Indies ... The fourth Edition enlarg'd
London: Printed by M. Clark for J. Nicolson ... and T. Newborough, 1699. 8vo. (7 1/8 x 4 1/2 inches). Folding map engraved by F. Lamb. ,496pp.
Contemporary panelled calf, rebacked at a later date retaining the original red morocco lettering piece
Provenance: William Edward Schrafft (bookplate)
A classic account of 17th century Mexico and the West Indies.
Gage lived for many years as a Dominican friar in Antigua, Guatemala. He later became the chaplain to English forces stationed in Jamaica. First published in 1648 under the title The English-American his Travail by Sea and Land, this fourth edition is enlarged and includes a fine early map of the region by Francis Lamb. The publication of this work "caused a remarkable sensation. His account of the wealth and defenseless condition of the Spanish possessions in South America excited the cupidity of the English, and it is said that Gage himself laid before Cromwell the first regular plan for mastering the Spanish territories in the New World... He was appointed chaplain to General Venables's expedition, which sailed under Venables and Penn for Hispaniola... The fleet failed at Hispaniola, but took Jamaica, where Gage died in 1656" (DNB). The text describes Catholic missions in Mexico, and contains many ethnographic observations, including a grammar of the Pokonchi language.
European Americana 699/84; Palau 46481n; Sabin 26301.