A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels, Volume 13


A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World is a 17-volume compilation of travel narratives assembled by the Scottish historian and poet John Pinkerton (1758‒1826), first published in Great Britain in 1808‒14. A contemporary and acquaintance of the historian Edward Gibbon and the novelist Sir Walter Scott, Pinkerton wrote books on Scottish history and poetry, numismatics, and other topics, as well as his own plays and poems. Many of the narratives were newly translated into English from French, German, Dutch, Latin, Italian, Spanish, and other European languages. Each volume is illustrated with plates. A six-volume American edition of Pinkerton’s collection of voyages was published in Philadelphia in 1810‒12. Shown here is the 13th volume of the original London edition, which includes narratives of travel by Europeans to North America from the late-16th century to the 1770s. Some of the earliest accounts presented were gathered by Captain John Smith (1580‒1631), an important figure in the survival of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Also included are the letters and memoirs of Baron de Lahontan (1666‒1716), which deal with the Anglo-French competition for dominance in Canada and New England; the narrative of Pehr Kalm (1716‒79), a Swedish-Finnish natural historian and friend and student of Linnaeus, who wrote about discoveries of trees and other plants that might prove economically profitable in Europe; and an account by Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville (1739‒80), botanist to King Louis XVI of France, of his expedition in 1777 via present-day Haiti and Cuba to Oaxaca, Mexico, for the purpose of stealing the secret of cochineal, the valuable red dye produced by a tiny insect that feeds on Opuntia (the prickly-pear cactus or nopal).

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, London


Title in Original Language

A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels, Vol. 13

Type of Item

Physical Description

876 pages : illustrated ; 28 centimeters


  1. Linda Hall Library, “Scientist of the Day—Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville,” June 18, 2015. http://www.lindahall.org/nicolas-joseph-thiery-de-menonville/.

Last updated: November 29, 2017