'one of the few good sources of information [on bogotá] for the mid-1830's'
STEUART, John. Bogotá. In 1836-7. Being a Narrative of an Expedition to the Capital of New-Grenada, and a Residence there of Eleven Months. New York: Harper & Brothers for the author, 1838.
12mo in 6s (186 x 108mm). Original mid-blue blind-patterned cloth, printed paper title-label on spine; pp. [2 (blank l.)], [4 (title, copyright statement on verso, preface, verso blank)], [vii]-viii (contents), -312, [2 (appendix, verso blank)], [2 (blank l.)]; extremities lightly rubbed causing minimal losses, spine slightly faded, light damp-marking on upper board and margins of early quires, variable light spotting, a few other marks, nonetheless a very good copy in the original binding; provenance: [?]W.H. Elphinstone, 1863 (inscription on front free endpaper).
First edition. Steuart, a partner in 'a celebrated manufacturing house in New-York' (p. 14) embarked on the brig Marcellino on 19 November 1835, to establish a factory in Bogotá and to develop his firm's business in Columbia. The present work is based upon his experiences and observations during the expedition, and in his preface the author writes that, 'The following pages are not intended to afford either a geographical or scientific description of the places therein mentioned, as neither my ability nor opportunities qualified me to enter upon a field which the public are already aware has been so ably and thoroughly investigated. The principal object of this work is to describe "Men and Things" in New-Grenada as the writer in reality found them to be then existing; and, if possible, to afford the man of business, as well as travellers generally, some more correct information on many points of interest to them than myself had been able to glean from the pages of former works on the subject. At all events, whatever defects may become apparent in the perusal of this volume, the writer stands fearlessly pledged to the cause of truth, as well as to that spirit of free inquiry of the age which will rest satisfied with nothing less than the knowledge of stubborn and unclouded facts' (p. [v]). Later writers considered Steuart to be successful in this ambition, and Griffin comments that 'The author recorded what he observed and usually indicates whether he is pleased, neutral, or displeased. He is informative on many social and economic details, less so on politics. His comments on personalities are impressive', while Cortés Conde and Stein judge the book a 'Good traveler's description of the Upper Magdalena and the area between the river and Bogotá. Includes data on commerce and manufacturing in Bogotá; one of the few good sources of information for the mid-1830's'. An English edition was published in London in 1839.
Cortés Conde and Stein, Latin America: A Guide to Economic History 1830-1930, 2420; Griffin, Latin America, 5135; Palau 322394; Sabin 91388 (confirming the pagination).