Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

All of the references to this work vary as to the place of publication. Some consider Havana, others propose Madrid, Seville, Mexico City or even Mallorca. A comparison of two copies a while ago noted two editions with differing type, and subtle alterations in setting. It was concluded that there were two editions one in Spanish colonial America, most probably Havana, and one in Spain, most probably Madrid. Using those interpretations this example is found to be the Madrid edition. Both are exceedingly rare.

Not only its rarity is important but its significance in describing the capture of Pensacola by Bernardo de Gálvez. Following the French and Indian War, the Spanish lost control of Florida to the English. During the American Revolution Pensacola became a place of refuge for many loyalists from the northern colonies.

Gálvez (1746-1786) was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1746 to a family of ancient lineage. Serving in the Portuguese War as a lieutenant of infantry, he was later sent to Mexico where he fought on the frontier against the Apache where he was wounded on a number of occasions. Returning to Spain in 1772 he became a professor at the military school at Avila. He became a colonel in 1776 and in 1777 was named interim governor of Louisiana serving until 1783. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Gálvez was open with his support of the Americans doing everything he could to weaken the British position in the region. He helped the patriot supply agent Oliver Pollock and was energetic in seizing British ships that had been engaged in the profitable contraband trade. In 1779 the Spanish joined the French in aiding the Americans in their conflict with the British. This was the release Gálvez was hoping for. He proved to be even more effective, although despite the good will displayed Spain’s real intentions were more personal in wanting to regain territories lost, specifically Florida. Gálvez organised an expedition which took control of the British River posts of Manchac, Baton Rouge and Natchez. In 1780 he took Mobile and forced the surrender of Pensacola from the English on 9 May 1781. In these three campaigns he effectively took control of West Florida enabling Spain to regain control of the mouth of the Mississippi and ‘both’ Floridas at the peace settlement of 1783.

Returning to Spain he was promoted to Major-General, given his Castilian title of Count de Gálvez and appointed Captain-General of Louisiana and Florida. He returned to America where he was active in negotiations with the newly independent United States of America. He became Captain-General of Cuba and in 1785 he succeeded his father as Viceroy of New Spain whilst retaining his existing posts. Shortly after his 40th birthday he died in Mexico. Boatner, M. M., Encyclopaedia of the American Revolution; JCB III 2689; C. Leclerc, Bibliotheca Americana, 1878, p. 663; Palau y Dulcet vol. 6, 96980; O. Rich, Bibliotheca Americana Nova, v. 1, 1846, p. 300; Sabin 19949 & 26475; Streeter 1191; P. Vindel, Catálogo Illustr., no. 14, 1903, p. 242. After extensive research only the following locations could be found: National Library of Spain; LC F314 .G18 1781; British Library 1444.f.21.(1.).

GÁLVEZ, Bernardo de

Diario de las operaciones de la expedicion contra la Plaza de Panzacola concluida por las Armas de S. M. Católica, baxo las órdenes del Mariscal de Campo D. Bernardo de Galvez.

Madrid?, c.1781
Quarto, contemporary marbled paper wrappers (200 x 147 mm.). 45, [3] pp. Dated and signed (p. 34): ‘Panzacola 12. de mayo de 1781, Bernardo de Galvez’. ‘Articulos de capitulacion’ (pp. 35-45, printed in columns). Final three unnumbered pages ‘Relacion de los muertos y heridos, and Resumen de las armas y municiones de guerra que se han encontrado en … Panzacola’.
Stock number: 1772


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