An Account of the Province of Carolina in America. Together with An Abstract of the Patent, and several other Necessary and Useful Particulars, to such as have thoughts of Transporting themselves thither. Published for their information.WILSON, Samuel
London: Printed by G. Larkin for Francis Smith.. 1682.
First edition, first issue. 4to. 190x140mm. pp. 26 [i.e. 27] paginated as follows: 1-9; 9-10; 12-13; 13-14; 16-24; 27; 25-26. This eccentric pagination is, as Sabin points out, an indication of the first issue of the first edition. However, although it is the first issue, it appears to be in an intermediate state as the spelling mistakes noted by Sabin have, in places been corrected ("strong" instead of "strony") but the pagination is still incorrect (unlike in the second issue). Sabin also notes that "some copies have a map". This copy does not but it is not called for and the text does not directly relate to the map. Modern, brown, half morocco, marbled paper boards, lettered in gilt to spine. Overall in very good condition with slight foxing in places and a tiny hole in leaves A2-4 affecting only one letter on A3v. Also, "Elephant" is correctly spelt in the imprint thus differentiating it from the second edition where it is spelt "Elephan" (Sabin).
Samuel Wilson’s Account is an exercise in sales and marketing. Although the colony of Carolina had grown, particularly with the settling of Charles Town in 1670, there was a feeling by the 1680s that it was not attracting enough newcomers from England. A campaign was started in 1682 by the Lords Proprietors to encourage people to start a new life in Carolina. Samuel Wilson was the Secretary to the Lords Proprietors and so this pamphlet represents the official position, as it were, although Wilson points out that he has “most strictly kept to the rules of truth”. The pamphlet describes the great fertility of the land in Carolina (Wilson explains that each settler will receive fifty acres) and lists the crops that will grow (including vines, tobacco and olive oil). Any struggling Englishman keen to start a new life and persuaded by Wilson’s hymn to Carolina and who could find the five-pound fee for the passage was then encouraged in the final paragraph to meet Wilson and some of the Lords Proprietors “every Tuesday at 11 of the clock at Carolina-Coffeehouse in Burching Lane”. The campaign was successful, five hundred people leaving England for the colony.