The discovery of North America 1492-1892.

  • Translation

Article ID B0209


The discovery of North America 1492-1892.


A CRITICAL, DOCUMENTARY, AND HISTORIC INVESTIGATION. WITH AN ESSAY ON THE EARLY CARTOGRAPHY OF THE NEW WORLD, INCLUDING DESCRIPTION OF TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY MAPS OR GLOBES EXISTING OR LOST, CONSTRUCTED BEFORE THE YEAR 1536. A Beautiful Copy of an important book, one of Harrisse's best, and a great tour de force.This great work covers the span of year from the Cabot voyages beginning in 1497 through the many Spanish and Portuguese voyages of the 1500's. Fundamental to the work are the essays on the early cartography of the New World. There are descriptions of 250 maps or globes including examples existing or lost, constructed before 1536. There is a fine chronology including one hundred voyages westward, projected, attempted or accomplished beween 1431 and 1504. The book also includes biographical accounts of three hundred pilots who first crossed the Atlantic and a copious list of the original names of American regions, mountains, islands, capes, gulfs, rivers, towns and harbours. A superb work containing prodigious scholarship and excellent presentation of both text and illustration. Tthe, binding, the text-block and the engravings are all in fine condition.


c. 1892


Harrisse (1829-1910)

Henry Harrisse (1829 - 1910) was a writer, lawyer, art critic, and American historian who authored books on the discovery of America and geographical accounts of the New World. At the age of eighteen he moved with his family from Russia or Prague to America and took American citizenship, where he studied at the University of South Carolina. He began his academic career at the University of North Carolina, where he taught writing, philosophy, and law.In the following years, he worked as a lawyer in Chicago and New York before beginning his writing career. According to his biographer Henri Cordier, his early writings were devoted to Hippolyte Taine and Renan, as well as to the analysis of the metaphysical works of Descartes.Later in his life, he moved to Paris and turned his studies to the origins of modern America, a subject to which he was very devoted.This led him to study the records of the discovery of America and to produce an extensive critical and historical work on the subject.

Historical Description

Under the discovery of Americans, we understand the first sighting of the continent by seafarers from the global civilization. Around 1000, the Vikings established a short-lived settlement in Newfoundland, now known as L'Anse aux Meadows. Speculations exist about other Old World discoveries of the New World, but none of these are generally or completely accepted by most scholars. Spain sponsored a major exploration led by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492; it quickly led to extensive European colonization of the Americas. The Europeans brought Old World diseases which are thought to have caused catastrophic epidemics and a huge decrease of the native population. Columbus came at a time in which many technical developments in sailing techniques and communication made it possible to report his voyages easily and to spread word of them throughout Europe. It was also a time of growing religious, imperial and economic rivalries that led to a competition for the establishment of colonies. The formation of sovereign states in the New World began with the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776. The American Revolutionary War lasted through the period of the Siege of Yorktown — its last major campaign — in the early autumn of 1781, with peace being achieved in 1783. The Spanish colonies won their independence in the first quarter of the 19th century, in the Spanish American wars of independence. Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín, among others, led their independence struggle. Although Bolivar attempted to keep the Spanish-speaking parts of Latin America politically allied, they rapidly became independent of one another as well, and several further wars were fought, such as the Paraguayan War and the War of the Pacific. (See Latin American integration.) In the Portuguese colony Dom Pedro I (also Pedro IV of Portugal), son of the Portuguese king Dom João VI, proclaimed the country's independence in 1822 and became Brazil's first Emperor. This was peacefully accepted by the crown in Portugal, upon compensation.

Place of Publication London / Paris
Dimensions (cm)29,5 x 25,5 cm
ConditionBinding in leather, titel in gold embossing


142.50 €

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