BERQUIN-DUVALLON, Pierre-Louis (1769-1814). Vue de la colonie espagnole du Mississipi, ou des provinces de Louisiane et Floride Occidentale, en l’année 1802. Paris: l’Imprimerie Expéditive, 1803.
8vo., (7 ¾ x 5 inches). Half title (title page repaired with some loss to text, text washed and paper resized, one or two faint old water stains). 2 fine folding engraved maps: “Carte détaillée de la Basse-Louisiane et Floride Occidentale…” and “Carte Réduite de la Haute-Louisiane et Pays Cironvoisins…” Modern half brown morocco, marbled boards, the spine in five compartments, red morocco gilt lettering piece in one and the rest decorated in gilt.
First edition. A fascinating portrait of New Orleans published the same year as the Louisiana Purchase. The author states that “It must however be acknowledged that New Orleans is destined by nature to become one of the principal cities of North America, and perhaps the most important place of commerce in the new world… If the advantages of its situation be duly considered, the most sanguine mind cannot but predict its future greatness, wealth, and prosperity.”
“This gives an entertaining and gossipy first-hand picture of life in New Orleans at the turn of the century, its theatrical companies, dances, the high status of medical doctors, gaucheries of the Creoles, and so on... At the end there are general accounts of the natural features of Louisiana, its commerce, and other general subjects. Its two colored maps, one of lower, the other of upper Louisiana to the Falls of St. Anthony are well worth while” (Streeter). Not much is known about the author, except for the little biographical details included in the book: that he was born in Santo Domingo, and at the time of the slave uprising he fled to New Orleans via Baltimore. Clark I:79; Howes B389; Sabin 4962; Streeter sale 1530.