London: R. Taylor, 1826. Two parts bound in one volume. ,xvi,707,pp. plus a frontispiece portrait in each part. Half title. Folio. Contemporary three-quarter green vellum and marbled boards, spine ruled in gilt, gilt morocco label. Moderate edge wear and some rubbing and light soiling to the boards, short vertical tear to marbled paper on front board, front hinge just starting. Occasional very minor foxing. A stunning copy in very good plus condition. Untrimmed and completely unopened. Item #WRCAM54908
An exemplary and large copy of the Ulloa brothers' 1749 secret report to King Ferdinand VI detailing Spanish atrocities in South America, published in London but printed in Spanish, and here published for the first time anywhere. Prior to this publication, the report existed only as a secret state paper in Madrid. After Peru achieved independence from Spain in 1826, the report was discovered in the Spanish colonial archives and spirited away to London, where the text was edited for publication by David Barry. The engraved portraits picture Antonio de Ulloa and Jorge Juan Ulloa, respectively. The text is practically a catalogue of fraudulent activities and abuses wrought by the colonial Spanish government upon the indigenous peoples of Peru and other colonies in Spanish America. It describes the frauds and scandals perpetrated by Spanish civil employees, clergy, and courts, most notably the oppression and cruelty of the Spanish in their dealings with the native peoples. A taste for the contents can be read in a translation of the titlepage provided in the 1875 Field auction catalogue, which reads, "SECRET NOTICES OF AMERICA, UPON THE NAVAL, MILITARY, AND POLITICAL CONDITION OF THE KINGDOM OF PERU, THE PROVINCES OF QUITO, NEW GRANADA, AND CHILI. THE EXPENSE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT, AND PARTICULARLY OF THE MANAGEMENT AND CARE OF THE INDIAN TRIBES. THE CRUEL OPPRESSION AND EXTORTIONS OF THE OFFICIALS AND CURATES OF THE INDIANS; AND THE SCANDALOUS ABUSES INTRODUCED AMONG THE INHABITANTS, BY THE MISSIONARIES. EXAMINATION OF THEIR ORIGIN, AND CAUSE OF THEIR CONTINUATION FOR THREE CENTURIES...." "These secret memoirs, in which every thing concerning the manners, government and state of defence of that portion of America which belonged once to Spain, is accurately described, are written with that truth, impartiality and good judgement which distinguished the informants, Don Jorge Juan y Don Antonio de Ulloa. The editor of the work, Mr. David Barry, has not only rendered a great service to the world by bringing to light those valuable notices, which were until now carefully hidden in the Secretaria de Indias; but he has further illustrated the work by various notes and other inedited documents, which elucidate and confirm what has been stated by those celebrated travellers" - Salva. "It is the most frank and searching examination of the affairs of the colonies that has come down from the colonial period...It describes the state of the ports and the lack of arms and of other means for defending the coast against invaders, and sets forth the increasing hostility between the Spaniards and the creoles. It makes exceedingly damaging specifications as to the treatment which the Indians received at the hands of the corregidores, the manufacturers, and the priests" - Maggs. An exceptional, unopened copy of an important Spanish American colonial report relating the evils of colonialism run amok, very much in the tradition of the exposés of Las Casas two centuries earlier. PALAU 125486. FIELD 1588. SALVA 4121. MAGGS BIBLIOTHECA AMERICANA VI:163. SABIN 36807.