A Voyage to South-America: Describing at Large the Spanish Cities, Towns, Provinces &cc. on that extensive Continent. Interspersed throughout with Reflections on the Genius, Customs, Manners and Trade of the Inhabitants; together with the Natural History

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Author: Juan y Santacilia, George (1713-1773) and Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giral

Year: 1758

Publisher: Printed for L Davis and C Reyers

Place: London

Description:

2 volumes. xxiv509+[iii ad] pages with five folding plates; iv+420+[xviii index] pages with two foldout plates. Octavo (8" x 5 1/4") bound in half leather with five raised bands with red labels in gilt lettering with marbled boards. First English edition.

Jorge Juan y Santacilia was a Spanish mathematician, scientist, naval officer, and mariner. Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giral was a Spanish general of the navy, explorer, scientist, author, astronomer, colonial administrator and the first Spanish governor of Louisiana. He was appointed to that office after France ceded the territory to Spain in 1763, following its defeat by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War. Ulloa's rule was resisted by the French Creole colonists in New Orleans, who expelled him in 1768 from West Louisiana. In 1734, King Philip V of Spain asked Jorge Juan and fellow scientist Antonio de Ulloa to join the French Geodesic Mission organized by the French Academy of Sciences from Paris, under command of the astronomer Louis Godin. The mission was to measure the length of a degree of meridian arc at the Equator in South America and to determine the roundness of the Earth. On 26 May 1735, they left Cadiz in the company of the Marquess of Villagarcía, who had just been appointed Viceroy of Peru. Jorge Juan was on board the ship El Conquistador and Antonio de Ulloa on the frigate Incendio. The expedition traveled to Quito, in present-day Ecuador, and after nine years of careful study, determined that the Earth is not perfectly spherical but is oblate, i.e. flattened at the poles. Juan also successfully measured the heights of the mountains of the Andes using a barometer. Juan remained nine years in America, studying the political and social situation of the Spanish territories. Among other things, he observed a new metal the miners called Platina de Pinto (little silver of the Pinto river). On his return to Spain, King Ferdinand promoted him to captain. For their work and discoveries in Peru, both he and de Ulloa were elected Fellows of the Royal Society, Santacilia in 1749.

Condition:

Old number stamp to front end paper verso else a very good to fine set.


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