Letters from America, Historical and Descriptive; Comprising Occurrences from 1769, to 1777, Inclusive
London: Printed for the author, 1792. First edition. Morocco and marbled paper over boards. Octavo. , 455 pages. Three quarter leather with marbled paper sides, gilt-stamped spine titles on red title blocks, gilt rule and ornamentation on five raised bands on spine. Top edge gilt. Fore and bottom edges untrimmed. A few minor scuffs to exterior with a hint of sun fading to spine at top edge of upper board. A beautiful copy overall.
William Eddis arrived in Annapolis in 1769, having secured a position as surveyor of customs through the patronage of Maryland's last Royal Governor, Sir Robert Eden. His letters back to England are one of the richest sources of information about life, culture, and society in Annapolis and Maryland at large as the storm clouds of the American Revolution gathered.
While most of the 42 letters concern Annapolis there are also good descriptions of scenes in Frederick, Hagerstown, Baltimore, southern Maryland, sailing on the Chesapeake, etc. Eddis witnessed the burning of the Peggy Stewart and provides a fine first hand account of that event as well as the forced departure of Governor Eden from Annapolis. The letters have a very readable style and, as they never were intended for publication, are very candid.
As a staunch Loyalist, Eddis was finally obliged to leave America in 1777 and published his letters by subscription in 1792. A complete list of subscribers takes up 44 of the first 50 pages. Errata page follows the Preface.
Ref. HOWES E41; SABIN 21801.