Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #117 begins on 22 Aug 2024

HAITI & DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, including slavery. - William WALTON (1784-1857)

Present State of the Spanish Colonies, Including a ... Report of Hispañola, or ... part of Santo Domingo [etc.]

Ex-lot 131 from US sale #1, where it was unsold, but worth a second look: signed and with manuscirpt material

Published: Longman [etc.], London, 1810

Edition: 1st edition

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HAITI & DOMINICAN REPUBLIC . - William WALTON (1784-1857).

Present State of the Spanish Colonies, Including a Particular Report of Hispañola, or the Spanish part of Santo Domingo;  with a general survey of the south continent of America.

London: printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1810. 2 volumes, octavo (8 5/8 x 5 1/2in; 219 x 140mm). Pp. [i-]xiv; [1-]384; [i-]vii[viii; 1-]386 + 2pp. publisher’s ads. at the end of vol.II. Engraved frontispieces to each volume, 1 engraved folding plan of the British operations against Santo Domingo in 1809, extra-illustrated with an inserted leaf of manuscript text (between pp. 24 and 25 in vol.II, concerning the pre-Columbian ‘Mexican’ calendar, their form of baptism and communion). Condition of contents: occasional light offsetting, otherwise excellent. 19th-century dark green morocco-backed marbled paper-covered boards, spines gilt. Condition of bindings: extremities lightly rubbed (see images) otherwise excellent.

Provenance: John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield (1735-1821, presentation inscription from the author, on the half-title in each volume).

First edition, author’s presentation copies of this valuable work: the recipient was a well-connected politician, author of “Observations on the Commerce of the American States” and an opponent of the British anti-slavery lobby. The first volume of the present work  concerns what is now the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the second a more general survey of the Spanish settlements in South America.

William Walton (?1783-1857) had served as ‘Secretary to the Expedition’ which captured Santo Domingo and subsequently was British agent there. Returning to England in 1809, he began to write on Spanish and South American affairs. The Present State of the Spanish Colonies was the first substantial result: Volume 1 deals with the island colony of Hispaniola (now divided between the Dominican Republic and Haiti). Walton discusses the history and geography of the island, and particularly the natural resources and wildlife. Volume 2 examines the history and resources of the Spanish settlements in South America, describing the Indian, Spanish and Creole inhabitants and their culture, and the relationship of the colonies with Spain. There is much of interest in his study of the origins and culture of the native tribes, and the impact on them of colonization and religious conversion. The Appendices are also of value, including information on, for example,  the mines of Brazil, description of Mexico City, revolution in Caracas, reforms in Provinces of La Plata, political affairs of Buenos Ayres, etc.

  • Binding Condition: excellent
  • Overall Condition: excellent
  • Size: 8 5/8 x 5 1/2in; 219 x 140mm
  • Sold By: Shadowrock Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Adam Langlands
  • Country: United States
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 001-860-248-1547
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, US$ checks and wire transfers, major credit cards through paypal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved


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