Wafer, Lionel; A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America. Giving An Account of the Author's Abode There.the Indian Inhabitants.With Remarkable Occurrences in the South-Sea and Elsewhere. The Second Edition. To which Are Added, the Natural History of Those Parts.and Davis' Expedition to the Gold Mines, in 1702. London: James Knapton, 1704. Octavo, pp. 16, 283, 13, 1 folding map, 3 folding plates.
The work is complete and in a contemporary paneled calf with gilt spine titles. The binding is tight, boards are rubbed and repaired along outer hinges. The pages and plates are lightly toned, old owner’s signature clipped off and page repaired on upper edge of title page with later signature penned on area. In good condition.
Lionel Wafer (1640-1705) was a Welsh ship’s surgeon, explorer and privateer. He made several voyages to the South Seas and Southeast Asia before settling in Jamaica to practice medicine. In 1680 he joined the buccaneer Edmund Cooke as part of a privateering venture to parts of Panama. During this venture under Captain Bartholomew Sharp he met the pirate and naturalist William Dampier who was to introduce him to the natural sciences as well as piracy.
Due to an injury Wafer was left in Panama where he stayed with the Cuna Indians. He wrote detailed reports on their customs, religion as well as the natural history and resources of the region. He was to reunit with the pirate Dampier and continued privateering on the Spanish Main until 1688 when he sailed for Philadelphia and then to England. In 1695 he published the narrative of his travels and observations in “A New Voyage”. The 2nd edition is the preferred edition. Appended to this edition is an account, by Nathaniel Davis, of an expedition in 1702 to the gold mines of Spanish America.