Paris: chez Nicholas le Clerc, 1715. First edition. Hardcover. Sabin provides a good account of the publishing history of these highly important compilations of reports sent back by Jesuit missionaries around the world. They include vivid accounts of the inhabitants of America, Asia and the South Seas particularly; and they are replete with lore on folkways, natural history and the incidental discoveries of the far-flung and often imperilled missionaries. Writing of a later edition, Thomas W. Field enthuses,"Every one of these volumes is crowded with interesting details for the history of the aborigines of the countries in which these wonderful men had their missions.". This is the eleventh volume of the 34 volumes that appeared between 1702 and 1776.
The title at the spine is of the fifth of the six reports in the volume, and reads "Lettre du P. Marest, "Kaskaskia 1712". Kaskaskia was the name given to a local river by the indigenous people, about a dozen tribes which made up the Illinois Confederation, who lived in the Great Lakes region. In 1703 Kaskaskia became a permanent Jesuit mission and one of the major French settlements in the New World, with Indians, settlers, fur traders, and eventually slaves. There is a loosely inserted bookplate of previous owner Judge Walter B. Douglas of St. Louis who had an interest in the fur trade of Creole French pioneers of the eighteenth century in the Kaskaskia area.
This volume includes a journal entry on the Philippines, titled "Relation en Forme de Journal, de la Decouverte des Isles de Palaos, ou nouvelles Philippines" (pp75 -91). The report describes the 1710 voyage of the 'Sainte Trinite' to the islands of the Philippine archipelago (under the Jesuit college of the Philippines), in which Fathers Duberron and Courtil (sic) were lost. These two Jesuit fathers were so eager to plant a crucifix at a small island, that they went ashore against captain's orders, and the vessel was carried away by the wind, leaving them behind. With a folding map of the Philippines, extending from the Philippines to the Celebes and the Marianas Islands, showing the track of the 14 November 1710 voyage of discovery.
12mo, , 428pp, , folding map. Contemporary full calf, spine decorated in gilt. Covers well rubbed, a very fresh copy inside. With the armorial bookplate of Philippe Vonderweil inside the front cover; a bit chipped at lower portion. Very good overall. Item #20354