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    Sale 12259

    Ex Libris Jean R. Perrette: Important Travel, Exploration & Cartography

    5 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 377

    UNITED STATES -- REVOLUTIONARY WAR. “Projet d'une descente en Angleterre, pour l'année 1779.” N.p., April 1779.

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    UNITED STATES -- REVOLUTIONARY WAR. “Projet d'une descente en Angleterre, pour l'année 1779.” N.p., April 1779.

    2° (318 x 208 mm). MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER in a French scribal hand. 93 pages plus blank. Sewn in contemporary plain wrappers with pink ribbon; brown cloth slipcase. Provenance: inscription in pencil on first leaf “provenant des papiers du Général Scherer”; Richard Hatchwell (bookplate; sold Bonham’s London, 6 October 2009, lot 85).

    FRANCE PROPOSES TO INVADE ENGLAND USING AMERICAN TROOPS DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. "This splendid plan was the brain child of General Charles-Francois Dumouriez and was prepared when he was commander at Cherbourg. This particular copy bears a pencil note stating it to have come from the papers of General Scherer (who in 1797 was briefly to become Minister of War). The plan was based on the premise that the English had their hands full in America and would not have the means to repel an invasion, especially if an additional diversion was created in the West Indies (a ploy of course later to be tried on Nelson shortly before Trafalgar). The plan would be to transport ten thousand Americans to Europe, from where they would invade Ireland. There should be a corps 'de sauvages' included in the invasion force who would be sure to case the English untold terror. Landings from Brittany would be made in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. And army of 30,000 would land at Lyme Regis, Stoke Fleming, Torbay and Fowey. Twenty thousand would then take a line from Lyme Regis to Bridgewater and then march to Bristol. The main force of the English army would of course be stationed in Kent and Sussex, fearing and assault from Picardy. Were any justification for the invasion needed, it would be British refusal to recognize the independence of America; and French victory would enable them to establish a perpetual peace between the Bourbons and America, and so avenge the defeats visited on them by the elder Pitt. Whether or not the Americans got to hear of these proposals, a Franco-Spanish invasion was indeed to be attempted in August and September 1779, although with the Isle of Wight as their rather more modest preliminary goal. They were to be driven back by atrocious weather without even encountering the British fleet" (The London Times, 3 October 2009).


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