Havana: En la Imprenta de la Capitania General, . 200 [i.e., 201]pp. plus folding map and two folding tables. 16mo. Contemporary green morocco with onlaid red morocco border, gilt tooled, edges tinted yellow. Light wear to binding, slightly heavier at edges and joints. Short, closed tear to map at right edge, slight separation to table. Lower edge of map trimmed slightly into neatline. Contents clean and fresh. About very good. Item #1630
Rare edition of this annual guide to Cuba, first published in 1795, in a handsome contemporary binding. In addition to providing an almanac-like calendar that notes feast days, sunrise and sunset times, and other notable observances and events, the volume prints a wealth of information on Cuba as it was in the first decade of the 19th century. The data include lists of office holders in significant ecclesiastical and municipal positions in the major cities and towns of the island, including the abbesses of convents, the faculty members of local schools and universities, doctors at hospitals, and members of cultural and business societies in Havana. The penultimate section provides comprehensive listings for members of the colonial government across the island, and the final part describes the military units and officers stationed in Cuba. A somewhat sketchy, but nevertheless appealing, folding map delineates Havana and its harbor, with a key to significant buildings and other points of interest printed following the title page. Two small folding charts at the rear print a table of distances and a brief summary of the colony's finances.
A fascinating encapsulation of Cuba at a precarious point during its colonial history, when Ferdinand VII had just been removed from the Spanish throne by Napoleon, and the island's first independence movements were beginning to percolate. All editions from this early date are quite rare and are recorded in only one or two copies; OCLC locates only one copy of the present edition, at the John Carter Brown Library, across a number of records.