A State of the Expedition from Canada as laid before the House of Commons, a... [John,] General Published by J. Almon, 1780

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A State of the Expedition from Canada as laid before the House of Commons, and verified by evidence; with a collection of authentic documents, and an addition of many circumstances which were prevented from appearing before the House by the prorogation of Parliament

Burgoyne, [John,] General


Published by J. Almon, 1780
First edition. London: Printed for J. Almon, 1780. Quarto (11 1/16" x 9", 281mm x 230mm). [Full collation available.] With six hand-colored (outlined) folding engraved maps. Bound in publisher's blue boards, backed in buff paper. Edges of the text-block untrimmed. Presented in a blue cloth slipcase with a chemise. A completely unsophisticated copy. Some wear to the extremities of the boards, and some soiling. Backing mostly perished. Bottom of the front joint split. Some tanning and occasional foxing, but generally quite clean internally. A little offsetting to the maps. A closed tear (from opening the sheets) to the upper edges of L3-4, with a little loss to the upper fore-corners. Bookplate of George Clinton Ward to the front paste-down. Signed bookplate of Bruce McKinney (from his sale, Bonham's New York 2 December 2010 "The American Experience," lot 110) tipped in to the chemise. John Burgoyne (1722-1792) was put in command of the British forces in Canada in 1777 after outlining what he considered the errors and insufficient boldness of his own commanding officer, Guy Carleton. His plan was to move south from Quebec and to retake the entire Hudson River valley down to the City of New York, with the aim of stranding New England from southern reinforcement. He got only as far as Saratoga, having failed to coordinate his rendezvous with the forces of Clinton and Howe. On 17 October he surrendered the whole of his army, some 5,800 men, to Horatio Gates. It was the Americans' greatest victory to date, and was crucial in convincing the French to join the fight. Modern historians consider the episode the critical point in the American Revolution's success. "Gentleman Johnny" returned to Britain with Washington's permission in order to defend his conduct, and the present volume is the account of that defense to the House of Commons, and more broadly to rehabilitate his career and to restore his name. That was his sole victory; he would go on to be a Privy Councilor, Commander-in-Chief of Ireland and Colonel of the King's Own Regiment -- to say nothing of a considerable success in the theatre, both on his own and in partnership with Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The present volume is a rather remarkable survival in boards. George Clinton Ward (1863-1933) was a native New Yorker who transplanted to California at the insistence of Henry E. Huntington, who doubtless nourished his collecting habit. Ward would go on to be president of the Southern California Edison Company. The volume was later owned by another Californian, Bruce McKinney. McKinney founded the Americana Exchange, now Rare Book Hub, the central database of book auction records. Howes B-968, Sabin 9255, Staton & Tremaine/PRL 503, Streeter sale II:794.
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