Forbes, James Grant
Sketches, Historical and Topographical, of The Floridas; More Particularly of East Florida.

New York: Printed and Published by C. S. Van Winkle, 1821, first and only edition, octavo, folding plate, (map and plan), Map showing the Apalachicola Bay and River and a plan of the proposed town of Colinton (the Forbes purchase area), viii, [9] – 226, 1 leaf, [publishers advt.], bound in contemporary ¼ sheep and marbled paper covered boards, map somewhat foxed, 4 inch tear from right hand gutter edge of map, separation at fold intersection, small tear along fold at bottom edge, portion of spine missing at base, outer hinges opening, else very good.

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James Grant Forbes’ Sketches is not primarily a travel account, but rather a guide to East Florida at the time it was ceded to the United States. It appears to have been designed to attract settlers or investors to the “Forbes Purchase,” an area of about 1,200,000 acres on the Apalachicola Bay and River mouth. A map of this region is included, together with a plan of the projected town of Colinton on the Apalachicola River eighteen miles from the Bay. The author claims to have based his sketches on personal observation and research, borrowing from Romans, Bartram, and Pursh, presumably correcting them. Impressions of the productivity of the region are unreliable.

Nearly one-fourth of the book comprises a historical sketch of the Floridas, but the account is not free from errors. An appendix of forty-six pages contains several historical documents, including a bilingual copy of the treaty of cession by Spain to the United States. Special topics for contemporary description include population, towns, rivers, lakes, commerce and manufactures, climate, agriculture, animals and insects. West Florida is given only a slight description. Clark, Travels in the Old South, II:203; Sabin 25046, not noting the map; Howes F-243, says map not issued in all copies; Streeter Sale 1205; Servies 1078