London: Printed for Thomas Wilcox, 1757. First Edition. Boards. 4to. Nineteenth-century half-calf over marbled boards. xii, 255pp.
Front board detached along with first two endpapers. Endpapers not original, added later. Some unobtrusive foxing throughout. Lacks the folding frontispiece. Interior is excellent and otherwise complete.
This is a rare first edition of the "first and classic history of New York" (Streeter). A foundational text for any collection of books about New York or American colonial history, based on the official records of the administration of New York and on the earlier works of Colden and Charlevoix. The first edition covers history to the year 1732, though later reprints extended this coverage further. Smith was a British loyalist during the Revolutionary War who fled New York for Quebec City, where he became chief justice for all of Lower Canada throughout the late 18th century. Says Larned: "Within the period subsequent to the English Revolution, Smith is still without a successful rival. This work ranks with Smith's Virginia and Hutchinson's Massachusetts, as one of the worthiest examples of historical literature produced in later colonial times." An excellent, clean copy of this important book, complete except for frontispiece. (Howes S703; Sabin 84566; Larned 1109, Church 1023; Streeter S871; Bell S352; Lande S1098). Good. Item #1752