• <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Broadside proclaiming the end of the Revolutionary War, NH, 1783. $20,000 to $30,000. 
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Manuscript medical journal kept by physicians aboard Continental Navy vessels, 1777-88. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Manuscript notes on sermons heard at Boston's First Church & Old South Church, 1684-1703. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Missionary archive of Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, MN, 1833-93. $30,000 to $40,000. 
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Captain's journal of a mutinous whaling journey, South Pacific, 1839-46. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> <i>McClees' Gallery of Photographic Portraits ... of the Thirty-Fifth Congress</i>,Washington, 1859. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Juan de Ugarte, manuscript report on first 16 months of California missions, Mexico, 1699. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Cyanotype albums depicting the construction of the Williamsburg Bridge, New York City, 1897-1903. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Unrecorded broadside from occupied New York, 1778. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> <i>The Honolulu Merchants' Looking-Glass</i>, first edition, San Francisco, 1862. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Honorius Philoponus, <i>Nova Typis Transacta Navigatio</i>, first edition, Linz, 1621. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830. $10,000 to $15,000.
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The Present State of the British Colonies in America, also known as The Hillsborough Colonial Returns.

Lot Number 124
Author
Title

The Present State of the British Colonies in America, also known as The Hillsborough Colonial Returns.

Year Published circa 1773-75
Place Printed
Printed By
Description [COLONIAL AMERICA - MANUSCRIPT]

The Present State of the British Colonies in America, also known as The Hillsborough Colonial Returns. A circa 1773-75 manuscript of approximately 500 pp., being a fair copy in the hands of various clerks of responses to a circular letter sent by Lord Dartmouth to the governors of British colonies in America on 5 July 1773. The current manuscript contains the "returns" addressed to the "Heads of Enquiry" for twenty-two colonies in North America (Massachusetts-Bay, New Hampshire with a decorative copy of a cover letter by Governor John Wentworth, Connecticut, New York with a decorative copy of a cover letter by Governor William Tryon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, and West Florida); the Caribbean (Jamaica, Barbados, the Leeward Islands & Virgin Islands, Grenada, Curacao, Tobago, Dominica, St. Vincent, Bermuda, and Bahamas); and Canada (Nova Scotia, St. John-now Prince Edward Island). Contemporary vellum, the covers with a tooled border in gilt, the spine with gilt rules and a contemporary green morocco label reading "Present State of the British Colonies in America." 14 5/8 x 9 1/2 inches (37.5 x 24.5 cm). Many leaves watermarked, including a "Strasburg fleur-de-lis over the characters VDL," "VL" and others, these likely the Dutch firm Van der Ley. Contains several charts, several hand-ruled in red; a note in a contemporary hand on the front blank reports there were no returns from Quebec, Rhode Island, North & South Carolina, East Florida, and that of West Florida is incomplete. Most leaves with three vertical folds (once folded into quarters), some dust soiling in the Jamaica section suggesting other circulation, minor soiling and wear to the binding, internally quite clean, an extremely well preserved compilation of documents.

Provenance: Wills Hill (1718-93), the Earl of Hillsborough and 1st Marquess of Downshire, First Lord of Trade (1763-72) and Secretary of State to the Colonies (1768-72); offered as part the Trumbull Papers (Sotheby's London, 14 December 1989) and sold by private treaty; shortly thereafter acquired by the current consignor.

THERE IS LIKELY NO GREATER MANUSCRIPT IN PRIVATE OWNERSHIP PROVIDING AS DETAILED AN ACCOUNT OF THE ENGLISH COLONIAL GOVERNORS PERSPECTIVE OF THEIR COLONIES ON THE EVE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. The circular issued by Lord Dartmouth to the governors took the form of a questionnaire of about twenty inquiries pertaining to the history, geography and population of each colony with a particular focus on navigable rivers, sources of revenue, illegal trade, relations with Indians, quantities of slaves, the extent of militias, and each colonies individual form of government, charter, and constitution. The result is a highly readable (in terms of being both legibly written and entertaining) journey through the history, present state, and cultural attitudes of these colonial entities as they saw themselves around 1775. For instance, in Governor Tryon's return for New York (at nearly 50 pages) there are fine descriptions of the Hudson River, border disputes with neighboring colonies, a history of the English takeover from the Dutch, and insight to the English perspective on the rights of Indians to sell their own land: "Purchases from the Indian Natives, as of their aboriginal right, have never been held to be a legal title in this Province, the maxim obtaining here as in England that the King is the fountain of all real property, and that from this source all titles are to be derived." The New York return also contains a copy of the 1726 document Surrender by the Five Nations of their Beaver hunting Country replete with the copied marks of the representatives of the Five Nations (pictured here).

Given the presence of the English, French, Spanish, and Native Americans in America in the mid-18th century, it is no surprise that a large scale conflict had already erupted on the territorial fringes of the North American colonies, and in the Hillsborough Colonial Returns there is much contemporary account of lands gained, shifted borders, and civil issues resulting from the recently terminated French and Indian War. For instance, New Jersey Governor William Franklin (son of Benjamin), comments on this western expansion: "The inhabitants I suppose to have increased upwards of 20,000 in the last ten years, though a great number have quitted the Colony and have migrated to Virginia, North Carolina, the Ohio, Mississippi, etc. The principal reason of their increase is there being plenty of land to be had, at a moderate price, by which they can easily procure a subsistence for a family, and consequently are encouraged to marry early in life."

Also surprisingly, and soon to be to the advantage of the Americans, most colonies report the disappearance of defensive forts and standing militias, as in Pennsylvania: "Since the conclusion of the last war no forts or places of defense have been kept up within the Government, but there is at present a stone fortification in an island in the River Delaware, called Mud Island, about 10 miles below the city of Philadelphia, intended for the security & protection of the city ... But this fort is left unfinished for want of a sufficient fund." This fort became Fort Mifflin and was completed and possessed by the Americans in 1776. To Dartmouth, the American colonists likely seemed a peaceable and easily conquered people without any home-grown military strength.

LORD DARTMOUTH, PREOCCUPIED WITH EARNING POTENTIAL, POPULATION AND GEOGRAPHICAL DETAILS PAYS LITTLE ATTENTION TO THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF THE COLONISTS - A COSTLY IGNORANCE. As the manuscript returns to his circular were beginning to arrive in late 1773, Dartmouth would learn of the Boston Tea Party, a monumental event in terms of the agitation of Americans over economic issues. Dartmouth usually sought conciliatory actions with the colonies but by 1774 he endorsed the Coercive Acts to suppress the rebellion and, unable to support all-out war against the colonies, Dartmouth resigned his post by the end of 1775. Lord Hillsborough had preceded Dartmouth in his role as First Lord of Trade and remained a close advisor. Given his ties to the administration, it is likely that this copy was executed for his advice and future use, and it is conceivable that Hillsborough was considered one of the "Heads of Enquiry" to whom the returns are addressed. The manuscript was found amongst the state papers held for generations by each succeeding Marquess of Downshire at their Easthampstead estate until the papers were dispersed in 1989 in a major auction in London. Compiled and bound as such, this manuscript is surely one of very few official copies of these returns produced (we locate one other copy, that made for Henry Strachey and now in the Clements Library). A compilation of colonial manuscripts of this nature prepared for government use is rare in commerce, particularly with distinguished provenance and in such a well preserved state. Clearly worthy of institutional research, the description here barely touches the complete contents of this massive work.

Please see Doyle.com for additional images and an expanded essay on this manuscript, including its content regarding slavery and descriptions of Georgia, West Florida, and more.

See Illustration
Comments C
References
Provenance
Estimated Price USD 100,000.00 - 150,000.00
Actual Price USD 394,000.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Doyle New York
Website http://www.doylenewyork.com
Auction Name Rare Books, Autographs and Photographs
Sale Number #16BP02
Auction Date November 22, 2016 - November 22, 2016
Sale Name Rare Books, Autographs and Photographs
Total Lots 602
Description of Sale

Post Sale Description

Book Images
  • <b>Consignments now invited<br>History of Science & Technology<br>December 12th, 2017</b>
    NEWTON, ISAAC. <i>Opticks</i>. London, 1704. Presentation copy to Edmund Halley. Sold for $1,330,000
    Apple Computer Contract & Dissolution of Contract, signed by Jobs, Wozniak, & Wayne. Sold for $1,594,500
    DARWIN, CHARLES. Autograph Manuscript page from the manuscript of <i>On the Origin of Species</i>. Sold for $250,000
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cook (Captain James).- Webber (John) and Marie Catherina Prestel. Four views in the South Seas [bound with] <i>Atlas to accompany Captain James Cook's account of his voyages...</i> £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Knight (Joseph). <i>On the cultivation of the plants belonging to the natural order of Proteeae</i>, 1809. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> India & China.- Sonnerat (Pierre). <i>Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781</i>. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mongolia.- Pallas (Peter Simon). <i>Sammlungen Historischer Nachrichten uber die Mongolischen Volkerschaften.</i> £15,000 to £20,000 
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> America.- Warre (Henry). <i>Sketches in North America</i>, 1848. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Atlases.- <i>English Pilot (The). The Fourth Book. Describing The West-Indian Navigation, from Hudson's Bay to the River Amazones...</i> £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greece.- Lear (Edward). <i>Views of the Seven Ionian Isles</i>, signed presentation copy from the author to Evelyn Baring, 1863. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Lear (Edward).- [Gray (John Edward)]. <i>Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall</i>, 1846. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Historiae Coelestis</i>, first edition,1712. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Atlas Coelestis</i>, 1781. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Conjuring Posters.- The Steens, American Mystifiers: Originators of Silent Transmission. broadside poster, [probably 1890-1900]. £300 to £500
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Tyndale's Bible.- Bible, English. The newe Testament, Richard Jugge, 1552; sold not subject to return. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cook (Captain James).- Webber (John) and Marie Catherina Prestel. Four views in the South Seas [bound with] <i>Atlas to accompany Captain James Cook's account of his voyages to the Pacific Ocean in the years 1776-1780.</i>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Knight (Joseph). <i>On the cultivation of the plants belonging to the natural order of Proteeae</i>, 1809. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> India & China.- Sonnerat (Pierre). <i>Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781</i>. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mongolia.- Pallas (Peter Simon). <i>Sammlungen Historischer Nachrichten uber die Mongolischen Volkerschaften.</i> £15,000 to £20,000 
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> America.- Warre (Henry). <i>Sketches in North America</i>, 1848. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Atlases.- <i>English Pilot (The). The Fourth Book. Describing The West-Indian Navigation, from Hudson's Bay to the River Amazones...</i> £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greece.- Lear (Edward). <i>Views of the Seven Ionian Isles</i>, signed presentation copy from the author to Evelyn Baring, 1863. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Lear (Edward).- [Gray (John Edward)]. <i>Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall</i>, 1846. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Historiae Coelestis</i>, first edition,1712. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2017</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Flamsteed (John). <i>Atlas Coelestis</i>, 1781. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Conjuring Posters.- The Steens, American Mystifiers: Originators of Silent Transmission. broadside poster, [probably 1890-1900]. £300 to £500
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Tyndale's Bible.- Bible, English. The newe Testament, Richard Jugge, 1552; sold not subject to return. £10,000 to £15,000
  • <b>Sotheby’s: The Library of John & Suzanne Bonham. 26 September in London. Viewing 22-25 September</b>
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Churchill, Winston S. Two Typed Letters Signed, regarding the British North Greenland Expedition (1952-54). £3,000 to £4,000
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Bernatz, Johann Martin. <i> Scenes in Ethiopia</i>. London: F.G. Moon, 1852. First edition. £6,000 to £8,000
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates. Collection comprising (among other things): documents and pamphlets. £1,500 to £1,800
    <b>Sotheby’s: The Library of John & Suzanne Bonham. 26 September in London. Viewing 22-25 September</b>
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Darwin, Charles, and Philip Parker King, and Robert FitzRoy. <i> Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle Between the Years 1826 and 1836…</i> £15,000 to £20,000
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Spratt, Thomas A.B., and Edward Forbes. <i>Travels in Lycia, Milyas, and the Cibyratis</i>. London: John Van Voorst, 1847. £800 to £1,200
    Sotheby’s London, Sep. 26:</b> Richardson, John. <i>Arctic Searching Expedition: A Journal of a Boat-Voyage Through Rupert's Land and the Arctic Sea, In Search of Sir John Franklin</i>. £6,000 to £8,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Cook in Tahiti. [Playbill]. [Germany, c.1840.] $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Roberts' Sketches in Egypt and Nubia. London, 1846-9. $20,000 - $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Breydenbach. Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz, 1486. $100,000 - $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Dürer. Underweysung der messung [and two more]. Nuremberg, 1525-8. $150,000 - $200,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Whitman. Autograph Manuscript [in] The Complete Writings. One of 32 sets. $8,000 - $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Columbus. De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis. Basel, 1494. $700,000 - $1,000,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> The Dr. Hendon M. Harris Jr. Korean Atlas Collection. [Korea; c.1700 to c.1890.] $35,000 - $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 26:</b> Aa, Pieter van der. Naaukeurige versameling der gedenk-waardigste zee en land-reysen. Leyden, 1706-8. $8000 - $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Russian Kholod 5D67 HFL Rocket Engine. $25,000 - $40,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Neil Armstrong Apollo Era Training Glove. $8,000 - $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Large Lunar Near Side Chart, Signed by 20th Century Surface Explorers. $20,000 - $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 27:</b> Annotated Photo Album Detailing Alexander Graham Bell's Experiments with Tetrahedral Kites. $50,000 - $80,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…