Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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(1744 – 1821)

(Born: Westfield, Massacheusetts, U.S.A., 9 January 1744; Died: Margate, Kent, England, 8 September 1821) English physican, naturalist & chemist.

Bancroft emigrated to England, c1770, where he made frequent contributions to the Monthly Review, with articles about America. He knew Benjamin Franklin and served as his secret agent in London at outbreak of American Revolution. A friend of Joseph Priestley [1733-1804], Bancroft made important discoveries in dyeing and calico-painting. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and in 1783 to the Royal Society.

Biographical references: ABA: I 61, 147-158; II 27, 353. Adams, Dictionary of American Authors, 1904. Appleton Cyclopedia of American Biography. BBA: I 62, 199-210; II 1276, 237. DNB: 3, 105. Drake, Dictionary of American Biography, 1872. Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. Poggendorff: 1, col. 1532. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 272. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 103.

1. English, 1769.
An | Essay | On The | Natural History | Of | Guiana | In South America. | Containing | A Description of many Curious Productions | in the Animal and Vegetable Systems | of that Country. | Together with an Account of | The Religion, Manners, and Customs | of several Tribes of its Indian Inhabitants. | Interspersed with | A Variety of Literary and Medical Observations. | In Several Letters | From | A Gentleman of the Medical Faculty, | During his Residence in that Country. | [rule] | [...2 lines of quotation, signed Seneca...] | [double rule] | London, | Printed for T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt | in the Strand. MDCCLXIX.

8°: π5 B-Z8 Aa-Cc8 Dd4; 209l.; [6], [i]-iv, 1-402, [6] p., frontispiece (two-headed snake).

Contents: [2 pgs], Half title page, "An | Essay | On The | Natural History | Of | Guiana, | In South America," verso blank.; [Frontispiece].; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1 pg], Dedication to William Pitcairn.; [1 pg], Blank.; [i]-iv, "Advertisement."; 1-402, Text.; [2 pgs], "Contents."; [4 pgs], Publisher's list.

Scarce. One of the earliest and most informative accounts of the flora and fauna of the Guineas, this interesting work contains four letters providing information on (1) a general account of Guiana, its location, size, climate, soil, rivers, (2) a description of the animals, birds, fish, snakes, insects, (3) an account of the native religion, manners, customs, and (4) an account of the river Berbice and the Dutch settlements thereon, including descriptions of the slave trade and the government concluding with an account of the diseases. Included on pages 21-22 is a very short descriptive account of the minerals found in the region, making this the first topographical mineralogy of the area. The frontispiece shows a depiction of a two-headed serpent.

Facsimile reprint, 1971: New York, Arno Press, 1971. 8°: iv, 402, [6] p., frontispiece (two-headed snake). Reprint of the 1769 ed., with new introductory matter. [ISBN: 0405017294].

German, 1769: Naturgeschichte von Guiana in Sud-Amerika. Worinn von der naturlichen Beschaffenheit und den vornehmsten Naturproducten des Landes, ingleichen der Religion, Sitten und Gebrauchen verschiedener Stamme der wilden Landes-Einwohner, Nachricht ertheilet wird. In vier Briefen. Von Eduard Bancroft, esq. Aus dem englischen... Frankfurt und Leipzig, J. Dodsley und Compagnie, 1769. 8°: [2], x, [2] 248 p., frontispiece.

Dutch, 1782: Proeve over de Natuurlyke Geschiedenis van Guiana. In vier Brieven van Edward Bankroft ... Uit het Engelsch vertaeld en verrykt met de senmerkingen van den hoogdultschen, en eenige van den neêrduitschen overzetter. Utrecht, A. van Paddenburg, {\rscapsrm mdcclxxxii}. 8°: xvi, 327 p.

Dutch, 1794: Amsteldam, G. Roos, 1794. 8°: xvi, 327 p. Reprint of the 1782 edition.

Bibliographical references: BL [980.h.28.]. BMC: 1, 95. Garrison & Morton: no. 5304. LKG: XIV 904. NUC: 33, 132-3 [NB 0088694]. NUC: 33, 432-3 [NB 0088685]. NUC: 33, 132-3 [NB 0088696]. NUC: 33, 132-3 [NB 0088686]. Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturæ Botanicæ, 1871-3: no. 467. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 76. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 3108. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 3109. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 3106. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 3107. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 94. Wood, Literature of Vertebrate Zoology, 1931: 220.