London. 1762. ,viii,141,pp., including advertising and errata leaves. Quarto. Contemporary calf, ruled in gilt, expertly rebacked, spine gilt, morocco label, gilt inner dentelles. Calf a bit scuffed at extremities, slightly worn at corners. Internally clean. Very good. Item #WRCAM32207
William Bollan (1710?-82) was the colonial agent from Massachusetts in England from 1745 to 1762. He was renowned for his skill in lobbying for the colony, being particularly adept at securing for Massachusetts wartime reimbursement, and he repeatedly offered policy advice to the agents of the Prime Minister and the King. In 1757, when Thomas Pownall replaced William Shirley, Bollan's father-in-law, as governor of Massachusetts, Bollan's political career was threatened. Boston lawyer and early revolutionary James Otis sided with Pownall to secure Bollan's removal, but Lieut. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson stood steadfastly behind Bollan, beginning a long feud between Otis and Hutchinson. This feud would have severe implications in the growing revolution, as the disdain Otis and Hutchinson shared for each other would often play out in politicized discourse. The several colonial administrations under which Bollan served consistently failed to reimburse him for what he thought he was worth, so eventually he abandoned the role of colonial agent and picked up as a patriotic writer, the present volume being an early example of his work. He was later hired as agent for Massachusetts again, this time for the liberty-minded colonists, but he failed to reach an eleventh-hour compromise to avoid the war. He died before the war's completion. "The first part of an intended larger work relates early geographical knowledge to Portuguese exploration down the west coast of Africa in the fifteenth century. The proposed work was intended as a justification of colonial rights" - Bell. "A very learned work, but of which, unfortunately, no more was published" - Sabin. HOWES B142, "b." SABIN 6209. BELL B348. ANB, pp.130-31.