New-York: Printed...and London Reprinted: for J. Brindley, 1746. 75pp. Modern three-quarter speckled calf and original marbled boards, spine gilt, leather label. Lightly toned. Very good. Item #WRCAM41381
The first British edition of Cadwallader Colden's important early contribution to American scientific knowledge, first published in New York in 1745. Colden was an important political figure in the colony of New York throughout his long life. He is best known for his history of the Iroquois, but he was also a polymathic naturalist and scientist. Although his anti-Newtonian arguments ultimately proved to be fallacious, this work was nonetheless an important contribution. It was one of the first serious scientific works conceived and written in America, and was widely discussed at the time. Colden's work was published in two editions in London, and also translated into French, demonstrating the interest in Europe in American scientific thought. Sabin asserts that this first English edition was brought out without Colden's knowledge or consent. Benjamin Franklin attributed attacks on the publication to the reluctance of Europeans to learn from "us Americans." Colden, with Franklin, was one of the founders of the American Philosophical Society. HOWES C559, "b." SABIN 14268. DAB IV, pp.286-87.