First edition of the first French collection of founding documents from the infant United States, including the Declaration of Independence and the constitutions of the newly formed states.
"There is a hundred times more enthusiasm for this revolution in a single café in Paris than in all the united colonies." – November 1777 letter by French officer Duportail
From the earliest days of armed conflict, France had been surreptitiously providing supplies to American revolutionaries against their mutual nemesis, England. In the year of this book's publication, the United States and France formally established a Treaty of Alliance for French aid in the war. It was in the context of France's somewhat conflicted support of a revolutionary new government that this collection was published. The work begins with a dedicatory epistle to Benjamin Franklin; Régnier additionally sent an inscribed copy of the book to Franklin which is listed in the catalogue of his library. Franklin's notes in his copy demonstrate he used it to inform the 1783 printing under his direction of the Duc de la Rochefoucauld's collection of American constitutions. The work notably bears the false imprint of Philadelphia, providing additional political cover in a government still under a monarchy that may have supported an enemy of an enemy, but did not necessarily embrace all its ideals. A gorgeous copy in original wrappers, rare in untouched state.
Read more: Wolf and Hayes, The Library of Benjamin Franklin; Howes, USiana, R111, "aa."
A Philadelphie, et se vend à Paris, rue Dauphine: Chez Cellot & Jombert, fils jeune, Libraires, la second porte cochere à droite, au fond de la Cour, 1778. 12mo. 7'' x 4.25''. Original gray paper wrappers, title and imprint ink manuscript on spine. Entirely uncut. , 370 pages. Old library spine label. Housed in custom blue cloth clamshell box. A few sections of spine perished, leaving first and last gatherings held primarily by binding threads: interior clean.
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