First Edition of One of the Most Important Books on the French and Indian War
MITCHELL, John. Contest in America Between Great Britain and France. With Its Consequences and Importance; Giving an Account of the Views and Designs of the French, with the Interests of Great Britain, and the Situation of the British and French Colonies, in all parts of America: In Which a Proper Barrier between the two Nations in North America is pointed out, with a Method to Prosecute the WAR, so as to obtain that necessary security for our Colonies. By an Impartial Hand. London: Printed for A. Millar , 1757.
First edition. Octavo (7 11/16 x 4 11/16 inches; 194 x 120 mm) [2], [i]-xlix, [1, errata], [17]-88, 73-244 pp. Signatures I-K (pg 73-88) with a repeat in pagination and collation, but text is continuous, as in all copies. Published in complement to Mitchell's famous North American Territory map of 1755.

Contemporary full speckled calf. Spine ruled in gilt. Brown morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Board edges stamped in blind. All edges speckled red. Some slight rubbing to boards, mainly edges and hinges. Previous owner's bookplate on old ink signature on front pastedown. Internally, exceptionally clean. Overall an about fine copy.

John Mitchell was a botanist and cartographer, renown for his map of 1755 of the North American territories. "Mitchell was increasingly drawn to cartography, as his worries over French territorial claims in North America increased...In 1755 Mitchell published his map in eight sheets, engraved by Thomas Kitchin...His complementary Contest in North America between Great Britain and France with its Consequences and Importance was published in 1757." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

“. . . a well-argued, factually rich assertion of the British claim to the Ohio country, based upon the existence of English settlements and trading posts in the great valley, years before the French invasion of it. The author prescribed for a boundary between the two colonial empires the natural barrier formed by the St. Lawrence and the Lakes, and believing that the great extent and varied and conflicting interest of the British colonies made impossible a union comprising all of them, he proposed a ‘triple union’; that is, three administrative and defensive unions made up much as are now the groups we call New England, the Middle States, and the Southern States.” (Lawrence Wroth, “An American Bookshelf”)

The “Monthly Review,” XVII. 172, says, “that this work abounds with truths, hitherto perhaps not generally attended to, and with observations and proposals that indicate the author’s knowledge of the subject.” This book has also been ascribed to Dr. Oliver Goldsmith. It shows an unusual knowledge and familiarity with the internal geography of America and the affairs of the French on the lakes, the Ohio, and in Western Virginia. (Sabin)

ESTC T34013. Howes M676. Sabin 49693.

HBS # 67882 $4,000