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    Sale 1922

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 24

    An Impartial Enquiry into the Right of the French King to the Territory West of the Great River Mississippi, in North America, not ceded by the Preliminaries, including A Summary Account of that River, and the Country adjacent... Comprehending a Vindication of the English Claim to that Whole Continent... And Particular Directions to Navigators for entering the several Mouths of that important River. London: W. Nicoll, [1762].

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    An Impartial Enquiry into the Right of the French King to the Territory West of the Great River Mississippi, in North America, not ceded by the Preliminaries, including A Summary Account of that River, and the Country adjacent... Comprehending a Vindication of the English Claim to that Whole Continent... And Particular Directions to Navigators for entering the several Mouths of that important River. London: W. Nicoll, [1762].

    8o (202 x 123 mm). Late 19th-century blue half calf (some light rubbing). Provenance: James J. Hill (bookplate; perforated stamp of the Hill Library, St. Paul on title and G1, ink stamp on I1v).

    FIRST EDITION OF THIS VERY SCARCE PAMPHLET ON TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS CEDED AT THE END OF THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR. The anonymous author sets out to defend British rights against "The Assertions, Claims, and Pretensions of the French" using as his primary sources material collected by Dr. Daniel Coxe (the largest shareholder in the West Jersey proprietorship of 1687) and his son Daniel Coxe, the colonial founder and official. The author is primarily concerned with the sixth Preliminary Article of Peace which provided for the Mississippi River to be the boundary of the British dominions. The author proceeds to account for the wealth and importance of Louisiana, and makes the claim that the King ought to have possession not only of what was ceded to the East of the River, but to the West as well. An historical synposis of exploration in the region is provided, starting with Sebastian Cabot in 1497 and ending with the boundaries demarcated in De Lisle's map of Lousiana (pp.3-9), noting later that the French did not have a foothold in Louisiana until La Salle's expedition in 1685 (p.51). The author then describes the geography of the Mississippi and resources along it. Arguing for control over the Western regions, the author writes that "The French, by retaining all the Continent to the West of the Mississippi, have the advantage of us, for they have in that Quarter much greater Opportunities of carrying on an extensive Indian Trade than we can on the opposite side" (p.20). An extensive description of the commodities of the region is provided. RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, no copies have sold at auction in at least 30 years. Howes M-659; Sabin 34370.


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