BROOKES, Richard (1721–1763). Brookes's General Gazetteer Improved; or, a New and Compendious Geographical Dictionary. Philadelphia: Jacob Johnson, & Co., 1806.

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BROOKES, Richard. Brookes's General Gazetteer Improved; or, a New and Compendious Geographical Dictionary: containing a Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, Provinces, Cities, Towns, Forts, Seas, Harbours, Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, Capes, &c. in the Known World... Philadelphia: Jacob Johnson, & Co., 1806. 


8vo., (8 2/8 x 5 inches). Fine folding engraved double-hemisphere map of the world, Africa, North America, South America, Asia (torn), Europe, West Indies, and A Map of the United States and Part of Louisiana. Fine contemporary American mottled polished sheepskin, the smooth spine gilt-ruled in five compartments, red morocco lettering-piece in the second.

Provenance: with the contemporary ownership inscription and pen trials of Ephraim Parvin, dated October 1806 on the front free endpaper.

First American edition "... the present edition being the first of this well known Gazetteer, that has issued from the American press, contains a description of at least 700 principal towns, &c. in the United States; which, doubtless, will render it the most valuable edition of the work that has yet appeared". The Louisiana Purchase is recorded very matter-of-factly: "Louisiana, a large country of North America,... discovered by M. de la Salle, in 1682; and settled by Lewis XIV in the beginning of this century. In 1763, it was ceded to Spain; in 1800 reconveyed to France; and in 1803 purchased by the United States" (leaf 3D2 verso).

Brookes, physician and author, "has left scant evidence of his life, except numerous compilations and translations on medicine, surgery, natural history, and geography, most of which went through several editions. He was at one time a rural practitioner in Surrey, and at some time before 1762 he travelled in both America and Africa. He was an industrious compiler, especially from the works of continental writers, and his General Gazeteer (1762) filled a gap in the market" (G. T. Bettany, rev. Claire L. Nutt for DNB).