A Cruising Voyage Round the World
ROGERS Woodes (1712.)
£5500.00 [First Edition]
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First to the South-Seas, thence to the East-Indies, and homewards by the Cape of Good Hope. Begun in 1708, and finish'd in 1711. Containing a Journal of all the Remarkable Transactions; particularly, of the Taking of Puna and Guiaquil, of the Acapulco Ship, and other Prizes; An Account of Alexander Selkirk's living alone four Years and four Months in an Island... And an Introduction relating to the South-Sea Trade.
First edition. 5 engraved folding maps. 8vo. Late eighteenth-century panelled calf, recased, original spine laid down, in a quarter morocco drop-back box. xxii, 428, 56, [14 index]pp. London, A. Bell & B. Lintot,
A handsome copy of this classic of pirate literature.
Rogers sailed from Bristol, with William Dampier as pilot, toward the coast of Brazil, round Cape Horn and then to Juan Fernandez where he found Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor eking out a lonely existence after being marooned on the island for over four years. He writes: "Febr. 2. ... Immediately our Pinnace return's from the shore, and brought an abundance of Craw-fish, with a Man cloth'd in Goat Skins, who look'd wilder than the first Owners of them..." This was a minor event in this important and very profitable privateering cruise, on which prizes were taken along the coast of Peru before sailing across the Pacific to Asia. "The high point of this circumnavigation was the capture of the Manila galleon, in 1709, at Puerto Segurio" (Hill).
Rogers was able to pursue this course of legally sanctioned piracy due to the letters of marque issued during the Spanish War of Secession to certain merchant ships. In this capacity, he was part of a barely regulated civilian maritime faction with the right to challenge the French and Spanish trading monopoly in the South Seas. This was only the beginning of Rogers' dalliances with the world of piracy - not long after he returned to England from this expedition he was contracted to launch a voyage against the pirates of the Bahamas. He was appointed by George I Captain General and Governor of the islands, and was successful in persuading all but the most ferocious pirates to surrender with the promise of clemency under the King's pardon. Those pirates who resisted, most notably Charles Vane and Edward Teach, or Blackbeard, then battled against Governor Rogers for control of their former island haunts.
The first edition is quite uncommon, much more so than the second edition of 1718.
Sabin, 72753; Borba, p.744; Hill, 1479.
Stock Code: 231996