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Stock# 84175

Rare German Book on the American Revolution and the North American Colonies published by Christian Leist.

With a Fine Detailed Map of the Middle Colonies 

The book includes a fine large map of the Middle British Colonies, extending from Maryland and Delaware to Vermont, New Hampshire and Southern Maine, with a large circle drawn around New York City, illustrating the city as the center of the region. The map was engraved by Thomas Albrecht Pingeling in Hamburg.

The book offers a detailed description of New England during the Revolutionary War, including the geographical, political and economic makeup of the colonies and information on Native Indians and the European settlers. Part I is a general description of the colonies, climate, agricultural products, European inhabitants, value of imports and exports, and political situation. Part II comprises a systematic description of each colony, including about ten pages on each of the Southern colonies (pages 312-372): Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and West Florida. Part III treats the history of England under the Tudors, Stuarts and Hanovers.

While the text includes good coverage on the Southern colonies, the only southern area depicted on the map is the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland.

Not noted in Servies' Bibliography of Florida, despite the brief chapters on Florida and West Florida.

The map in Christian Leiste's Beschreibung des Brittischen Amerika zur Ersparung der Englischen Karten is well printed and details the British Colonies at the beginning on the Revolutionary War.  The map shows state and county boundaries, cities, and early roads. A note in Pennsylvania identifies "the endless mountains" with the Land of the Seven Nations to the north. The title cartouche is featured within an elegant second large compass.  


The book appeared in at least two editions in 1778, with differing publication locations (Braunschweig and Wolfenbuttel) but according to Sabin, "Both editions are the same book."

We note 1 example of the book at auction in the past decade.  This is the first time we have offered the map or book.

Condition Description
Small 8vo. (4 1/2 x 7 inches). Contemporary calf, spine label wanting, gilt fleuron device repeated in spine compartments. Toe of spine with small chip, exposing headband. Upper corner of front board worn. Moderate rubbing to outer hinges. 29 [misnumbered, i.e. 20], 571, [1] pages. Engraved folding map, hand-colored in outline. Complete. Small (one inch) tear to margin of map at tab insert, just touching the neat line at upper left of map. Internally the map and text leaves are clean and nice.
Howes l-243. Clark, Old South I: 270. McCorkle, New England in Early Printed Maps 778.14. Sabin 39937.

Thomas Albrecht Pingeling Biography

Thomas Albrecht Pingeling (1727-1803) was a Hamburg-based engraver. The son of an engraver, Gottfried Christian Pingeling, Thomas started working for his father in 1751. He took over the business upon his father’s death in 1769 and their workshop was considered the most important in Hamburg in the second half of the eighteenth century. They had many international clients and especially strong ties with London and St. Petersburg. Later, he entered into partnership with his student, Johann Thomas Hagemann. The shop specialized in illustrations and title vignettes, as well as bookplates. They also published many maps, charts, and views.