London: Published by L.B. Seeley and R. Ackermann, 1818. Item #03184
First Edition of Latrobe’s “Visit to South Africa,”
with Twelve Fine Hand-Colored Aquatint Plates,
LATROBE, C[harles] I[gnatius]. Journal of a Visit to South Africa in 1815, and 1816. With Some Account of the Missionary Settlements of the United Brethren, near the Cape of Good Hope. London: Published by L.B. Seeley and R. Ackermann, 1818.
First edition. Large quarto (10 5/8 x 8 5/16 inches; 271 x 211 mm.). vii, [1, “Directions to the Binder”], 406 pp. Folding engraved frontispiece map of “The Southern Division of the Cape of Good Hope Colony,” with the route of the journey outlined in red and blue, twelve fine hand-colored aquatint plates drawn by R. [and J.] Cocking from sketches by C. Latrobe and M. [John] Melville and engraved by Stadler, J. Bluck, and D. Havell, and four uncolored plates of coastal views. Plates watermarked “J Whatman 1816.” Title-page slightly foxed.
Contemporary blind stamped russia, covers decorated in gilt with a central diamond lozenge. Expertly rebacked to style, spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled in gilt, red and green morocco labels lettered in gilt, gilt board edges, and wide turn-ins, all edges gilt, original blue patterned liners and endpapers. Corners expertly repaired. An excellent copy.
Christian Ignatius Latrobe (1758-1836), “eldest son of the Rev. Benjamin Latrobe, a prominent Moravian minister, was born at Fulneck, near Leeds, 12. Feb. 1758…In 1771 Christian went to Niesky, Upper Lusatia, for study at the Moravian college there, and after completing his course was appointed teacher in the pedagogium or high school. He returned to England in 1784, was ordained, and in 1787 became secretary to the Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel. In 1795 he succeeded James Hutton as a secretary of the Unity of the Brethren in England, and at the Herrnhut synod of 1801 was appointed a ‘senior civilis,’ an office of the ancient brethren’s church which he was the last to hold. As an advocate of the missions of his church he laboured at home with great zeal, and in 1815-16 undertook a visitation in South Africa, an account of which he published under the title of ‘Journal of a Voyage to South Africa’ (London, 1818). Besides this work and a translation of Loskiel’s ‘History of the Missions among the Indians in North America,’ Latrobe wrote an account of the voyage of the brethren Kohlmeister and Kmoch to Ungava Bay, and published ‘Letters on the Nicobar Islands’ (London, 1812)” (D.N.B.).
“In order to choose a site, the author travelled through a large part of the country right up to Fish River. There is a full description of the district of Groenekloof, and of the missionary settlements” (Mendelssohn).
Abbey, Travel, 325. Mendelssohn I, pp. 866-867. Prideaux, pp. 240 and 342. Tooley 292.