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The land, indigenous peoples and colonists in Nova Scotia,
by a French official spying for England

[PICHON, Thomas].
Lettres et memoires pour servir à l'histoire naturelle, civile et politique de Cap Breton, ...
The Hague, Pierre Gosse; London, Jean Nourse [printed in England], 1760. 12mo. Half brown morocco (ca. 1885?), by Frank J. Pfister in New York, gold-tooled spine, round gold stamp of Henry Gurdon Marquand on the front.
€ 1,250
Surprisingly rare first edition of a detailed description of Cape Breton Island and what is now Prince Edward Island (then called Île Saint-John) in Nova Scotia, Canada, the two together then comprising the French colony Île Royale. It gives detailed and apparently accurate accounts of the Mikmaq and Maliseet Indians, a virulent condemnation of the colonial government and the Catholic missionaries and is "one of the few reliable published sources about the French in Acadia during the 18th century" (Crowley in Dict. of Canadian biography).
It is written in the form of 24 numbered letters written to an apparently fictitious friend by Thomas Pichon (1700-1781), a Frenchman who travelled to Nova Scotia in 1750 and became secretary to Jean-Louis de Raymond (ca. 1702-1771), a French army officer appointed governor of the colony in 1751. He began operating as a British spy under the name Thomas Tyrell, helping the British expand their territories at French expense.
With the bookplate, and stamp on the binding, of the New York banker and book and art collector Henry Gurdon Marquand (1819-1902). In very good condition, with only minor foxing in a couple leaves. The binding is slightly worn at the extremities, with the hinges repaired and a couple minor scratches, but is otherwise very good.
ESTC T168574 (3 copies); JCB 1275; Sabin 62610; STCN (2 copies).
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