First edition, contemporary calf-backed boards, vellum corners, 8vo, for J. Johnson, 1791.
An excellent copy of this scarce work covering the geography, history, customs, climate and economics of the island.
Declared a ‘neutral’ island by the contending powers of France , Spain and Britain. Dominica had nevertheless been settled informally by the French when it was first conquered by Britain in 1759. Captured by the French during the war of American Independence, it was restored to Britain in 1783. When Thomas Atwood published this first history of the island in 1791, Dominica was a new and exposed colony, where the French inhabitants still outnumbered the English. Atwood, an intelligent man, who had been Chief Judge both in Dominica and the Bahamas, was greatly impressed by the island’s strategic importance and commercial possibilities.
He wrote his history to induce Britain to develop the colony, and to attract more British immigrants and capital. His history also comprises a complete description of contemporary Dominica, and the sections devoted to commerce are particularly important.