One of the Worthiest Examples of Historical Literature Produced in Later Colonial Times, In Elegantly Decorated Morocco by One of America's Worthiest Binderies

THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY.

(London: Printed for Thomas Wilcox, 1757). 257 x 197 mm. (10 1/8 x 7 3/4"). xii, 255 pp. FIRST EDITION.

HANDSOME DARK BLUE MOROCCO, GILT, BY THE CLUB BINDERY (stamp-signed and dated 1898 on front turn-in), covers with French fillet border, central panel framed with plain and dotted rules enclosing an intricate floral roll, oblique floral spray cornerpieces, raised bands, spine compartments with floral spray centerpieces, floral sprigs at corners, gilt lettering, turn-ins repeating the floral frame from covers, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. With a folding frontispiece engraving, "The South View of Oswego on Lake Ontario." Verso of front free endpaper with engraved bookplate of Edwin B. Holden (see below). Church 1023; Howes S-703; Sabin 84566; Streeter Sale 871. Text lightly washed and pressed in keeping with bibliophilic fashion at the time of binding, plate with insignificant short closed tear to head edge of one fold, A2 with expertly repaired (and barely discernible) curving tear into text, minor foxing and browning on the majority of leaves (a handful with more overall toning), other trivial defects, but a nevertheless pleasing copy, the text extremely smooth and clean, and the beautifully decorated luxury binding lustrous and unworn.

This classic first history of New York was bound for an eminent Americana collector (and founding member of New York's Grolier Club) by the bindery he helped organize. According to Larnard, this history "ranks with Smith’s Virginia and Hutchinson’s Massachusetts as one of the worthiest examples of historical literature produced in later colonial times." Sabin notes that Smith based this work "chiefly on the Provincial Laws, the Minutes of the Council, the Journals of the General Assembly and other government records," and drew heavily on the works of Charlevoix and on Colden's "History of the Five Indian Nations. About three-quarters of the text is devoted to the colony's history up to the year 1732, while the rest describes the territory, and provides geographical, demographic, and political information. The son of one of New York's most prominent lawyers, judges, and legal educators, Smith (1728-93) showed an early talent for writing. At age 24, he compiled the first collection of the "Laws of New-York from the year 1691 to 1751, inclusive" (1752) with his friend William Livingston, and the following year he co-produced New York's first magazine, "Independent Reflector." According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, the present history "served him well over the years, giving him a wide reputation as an authority on the colony, and he was often referred to as 'the historian of New York'; 20 years later he began a second volume, published posthumously." A Loyalist during the American Revolution, Smith emigrated to Canada after the war. Former owner Edwin Holden (1861-1906) was a prominent American bibliophile who collected Americana, English literature, 16th and 17th century printed books, and French illustrated books. After the Grolier Club was established in 1884, it soon became apparent that the country's few established hand binders were overtaxed in providing repairs and rebinding for the club members' rapidly accumulating acquisitions. As a consequence, in 1895, Grolier members led by Robert Hoe and Holden, along with other wealthy collectors, instituted the Club Bindery in order to attract European craftsmen to provide, close to home, fine quality binding work rivalling what was available abroad. The Club Bindery was in operation until 1909, with Hoe being its most influential manager and client. It provided bindings that tended to be traditional in style--though frequently with elaborate decoration--and that lived up to its patrons' expectations in terms of excellence. The first members of the staff of the Club Bindery were the Englishmen R. W. Smith and Frank Mansell. They were subsequently joined by a number of French binders, chief among them being Leon Maillard, who had worked previously for Cuzin, Gruel, and Marius-Michel. Holden served as president of Grolier Club in 1906, and was the first president of the Club Bindery.
(ST17682)

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PJP Catalog: NY22BF.081

THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY. WILLIAM SMITH, BINDING - CLUB BINDERY.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK, FROM THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE YEAR M.DCC.XXXII. TO WHICH IS ANNEXED, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY, WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE INHABITANTS, THEIR TRADE, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL STATE, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COURTS OF JUSTICE OF THAT COLONY.

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