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PONS, François Raymond Joseph de.

Travels in South America, during the Years 1801, 1802, 1803, and 1804;

containing a Description of the Captain-Generalship of Caracas, and an Account of the Discovery, Conquest, Topography, Legislature, Commerce, Finance, and Natural Productions of the Country; with a View of the Manners and Customs of the Spaniards and the Native Americans.

Published: London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1807

Stock code: 93989

Price: £1,250

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First British edition of a full English translation, originally published Paris, 1806, with a US translation and a British abridged translation offered in the same year. Relatively uncommon, just 5 copies on COPAC, “This is an important account of Venezuela, giving a description of the country and people, and also accounts of the growth and production of cocoa, indigo, sugar, coffee, and tobacco” (Hill). Born in Haiti, de Pons studied in Paris, qualified as a lawyer and was elected to the Académie des Sciences. “In 1801 de Pons went to Caracas in Venezuela, where for four years before the revolution he acted as an agent of the French government. He then proceeded to England, where he spent some time preparing his narrative for publication, before returning top France … de Pons was not further employed by the imperial government but his advice was often sought in matters relating to the colonial possession of France. He died in Paris in 1812” (Howgego).

2 volumes octavo (20-4 124 mm). Contemporary streaked sheep, red morocco lettering-pieces black morocco numbering-pieces with small floral corner-tools, compartments formed by single gilt rules. Folding map of Caracas; bound with half-titles. A little rubbed, light browning, but remains a very good copy in an attractive contemporary provincial binding.

Bibliography: Hill 1370 for the US first; Howgego II, P38; Palau 231159; Sabin 19643.

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