Mexico City: Reimpreso en Mexico por Luis Alvarez y Alvarez de la Caden, 1943-44. Reprint. 3 volumes, quartos; 169; 348; 255 pp.; 6 folding maps (2 in second volume, 4 in third volume); half tree calf and brown boards, red and black morocco spine labels. (First 2 volumes with imprint as above; third volume with half-title page with imprint of Editorial Layac). Some rubbing to spines, neat mends to joints, overall very good. Item #22044
A handsome reprint of an important work. Format is somewhat larger than the original and typeface is modern. As well as adding 2 more maps, this edition also has period-style chapter headpieces depicting scenes of Mission life. Generally regarded as the first published history of California, the first two volumes of “Noticia de la California” deal exclusively with Baja (lower) California and are based on the manuscript written by Mexican Jesuit scholar Miguel Venegas in 1739. Though he was himself unable to travel he compiled his history from a variety of sources, including reports, letters, mission documents, original manuscripts, etc. Upon its completion his manuscript, titled “Impressas Apostolicas . . . de la Provincia de Nueva Espana obradas en la conquista de Californias . . . ,” was sent to Spain where it went unpublished for several years, deemed too potentially revealing of Spanish military secrets in New Spain. The work was eventually turned over to Jesuit historian Andres Marcos Burriel who anonymously edited and extensively revised the manuscript. Burriel brought to Venegas' work additional information from a variety of sources and ultimately organized “Noticia” into four parts. The first introduces the geography and native inhabitants of Baja California; the second explores pre-Jesuit attempts to colonize the region; the third focuses on Jesuit activities in Baja and includes both Venegas' original work and Burriel's additions to bring the text up to date. The fourth part (comprising the whole of the third volume) is entirely the work of Burriel and is composed of a series of seven appendices and three maps. The text includes accounts of discoveries in Northern California, including Russian activities on the coast. Burriel also dismisses as fictions the widely accepted accounts of the voyages of de Fuca and de Fonte. The maps include reproductions of the 4 copperplate maps found in the first edition: the large frontispiece map “Mapa de la California su golfo . . .” (placed in volume 2 here); Father Ferdinand Consag's “Seno de California”; "Carta de la Mar del Sur"; "Mapa de la America Septentl" (all in third volume). The two additional maps are untitled reproductions of antique maps of the region; 1 is placed in second volume, the other in the third volume. Cowan p. 238; Graff 4470; Howes V69; Palau 358387; Sabin 98848; Streeter sale 2433; Wheat Transmississippi West 138; Zamorano 80 #78.