Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain HUMBOLDT, Alexander de; BLACK, John (trans.) [Very Good] [Hardcover]
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4 vols.: cxlv, 289; 531; 493; 374, [102] p. 22 cm. Numerous tables within the text. Vol. III has two fold-out frontispieces, one with maps, the other with graphs. Vol. IV has fold-out frontispiece map of the world. Volume of plates contains 2 illustration plates and 6 maps and sections. Map of New Spain missing. Rebound in full leather with black spine labels, gold and blank impressing on spines. New endpapers. Some dampstains and soiling to each volume, some pencil marks to margins. Vol. I has chips to corners on pp. xvii, 115 & 143, small tear at top of p. 17, ink notes p. 95, 101, 111, 117 & 127. Vol. II has ink note on p. 402 & 406, small tear in edge of p. 37. Small tear in fold of second frontispiece in vol. III. Some foxing and a few ink marks to Plates volume. Title continues: "Containing Researches relative to the Geography of Mexico, the Extent of its Surface and its political Division into Intendancies, the physical Aspect of the Country, the Population, the State of Agriculture and Manufacturing and Commercial Industry, the Canals projected between the South Sea and Atlantic Ocean, the Crown Revenues, the Quantity of the precious Metals which have flowed from Mexico into Europe and Asia, since the Discovery of the New Continent, and the Military Defence of New Spain. By Alexander de Humboldt. With Physical Sections and Maps, founded on Astronomical Observations, and Trigonometrical and Barometrical Measurements." Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in the Americas, exploring and describing them for the first time from a modern scientific point of view. His decades' long endeavor to publish the results of his expeditions resulted in multiple volumes and made his international reputation in scientific circles as well as with the reading public. Humboldt's name was particularly made by his travels to Spanish America, and his publication of these volumes, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain. Humboldt was a significant contributor to cartography, creating maps that became templates for later mapmakers in Mexico. His careful recording of latitude and longitude led to accurate maps of Mexico, the port of Acapulco, the port of Veracruz, and the Valley of Mexico. The Map of the Valley of Mexico and Neighboring Mountains in the Plates volume shows the region with Mexico City at the centre, highlighting the dramatic topography of the region through the use of dense hachuring, a technique Humboldt developed himself. The Plan of the Port of Veracruz depicts the fortified city with the Castle of S. Juan de Ulna to its northeast and is filled with numerous soundings and navigational notations. The Plan of the Port of Acapulco also shows coastal detail and numerous soundings in the port. Howes H786. Sabin 33715.
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