London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1793-1794. xxxvi, 24, 494 pp.; 520 pp.; + plates. Illus. with b/w 16 plates and maps, 3 of which are folding (1 map in 2 sheets, both folding). Sm. 4to. Tree calf bordered in gilt, rebacked with original spines laid down, new labels, gilt title. Second edition. Very good copies with chips to ends and edges of backstrips; new spine labels; 3" chip to margin of 1 leaf (p.57, Vol. II), endpapers offset at edges; plates clean but for light marginal foxing; except first part of large folding map with repaired tear in blank area; 1 map and 1 plate foxed. Sabin 21901. Ragatz: p. 165. Griffin 2796. ESTC T136756. Item #43145
"A classic in British Caribbean literature and probably the most famous work in the field. Standard for over a century, and still in many respects the best book on the subject up to the close of the 18th century," (Ragatz: British Caribbean History, p. 165). Edwards was a wealthy and successful Caribbean planter, merchant, and banker, and this work reflects that point of view as he argues for free trade with the United States, local autonomy, and the continuation but regulation of slavery. A valuable work for portraying conditions in the period between the conclusion of the American Revolution and the halt to trafficking in slaves.