“Best French Chronicle Of The American Revolution” – Howes
Paris, Chez Brocas, 1787.

Histoire de la dernière guerre, entre la Grande Bretagne et les Etats Unis de l’Amerique, la France, l’Espagne et La Hollande depuis son commencement en 1775, jusqu’a sa fin en 1783.

Large 4to. xxxiv pp., (1) f., 357, (1) pp., (1) f., 2 folding plates giving tabular lists of boats & soldiers killed in battle, 4 numbered folding maps at back, and 3 other folding maps. Bound in contemporary quarter calf and patterned paper over boards, raised bands on gilt spine with red morocco title label; head and tail of spine chipped, covers abraded showing through to board; occasional rust spots on scattered leaves; internally a fine, wide-margined copy.

First edition of this comprehensive account of the American War of Independence, as seen from the French perspective. According to Howes, Leboucher’s account is the “best French chronicle of the American Revolution, [and] particularly valuable on naval affairs”; it includes lists of French battle casualties, vessels captured or destroyed, and a catalogue of the European navies (the American fleet hardly merits a mention). Working under the orders of Controller General Bertin, historian Odet-Julien Leboucher (1744-1826) recounts such pivotal events as the Boston Tea Party and the British capture of Savannah, Georgia, and also includes a French transcription of the Declaration of Independence (pp. 28-34).

The Histoire was evidently well-received in Europe; it was reprinted in 1788 and translated into Spanish in 1793. Apparently even the king of France was impressed: according to one account, Leboucher refrained from presenting his work to Louis XVI out of modesty, but the Marquis de Castries, the Minister of the Marine whose maps Leboucher incorporated into the work, ensured that the king received a copy. Suitably delighted, Louis XVI sent Leboucher a magnificent collection of atlases and voyage accounts, embossed with the royal arms.

* Howes L-169; Sabin, 39,613; Chadenat 1409.

Price: $4,500.00

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