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HENDERSON, George, Capt.

An Account of the British Settlement of Honduras;

being a Brief View of its Commercial and Agricultural Resources, Soil, Climate, Natural History, &c. To which are added Sketches of the Manners and Customs of the Mosquito Indians, preceded by the Journal of a Voyage to the Mosquito Shore.

London: C. and R. Baldwin, 1809 Stock Code: 118630
£1,500.00
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A fascinating report on Honduras

First edition. An extensive record kept by Captain George Henderson (1783-1855) whilst stationed in Honduras with his regiment in 1806. This work offers an extensive insight into the flora and fauna of the region, most often discussed, as was common in travel accounts of at the time, in terms of their uses as food stuffs; for example the "manati", whose flesh was "particularly admired", and the "gregarious" tapir, which was "exceedingly course and rank" to eat.

Henderson also reports on slavery in the region, describing the slaves' rations as firmly fixed "by custom" at "Irish salt pork, to each negro 5 lb per week. Of flour, always the finest, 1 lb per day each. Of rum, supposing a gill to each slave per day for 260 working days. Sugar, 12 lb per year. Two suits of osnaburgs (fatigue), one pair coarse shoes, tobacco and pipes". Wilk notes that Henderson did not recognise local root and vegetable gardens as farms "which in their minds raised European crops in neat rows on squared plots", leading to him to complain about the lack of agriculture in the region whilst noting that, "every settlement at Honduras has its plantain-walk; and many of these comprehend an extent of, at least, an hundred acres".

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Description

Octavo (196 x 120 mm). Uncut in original boards, recently rebacked in tan calf, title to spine gilt.

Illustrations

Folding engraved frontispiece map.

Condition

Boards a little rubbed, light browning, but overall a very good copy.

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