The commerce of Louisiana during the French régime, 1699-1763

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Author: Miller Surrey, N. M. (Nancy Maria) (1874-1941) from the library of Edward Alexander Parsons

Year: 1916

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Place: New York


476+[7 add] pages with maps, tables and bibliography. Royal octavo (9 3/4" x 6 1/2") issued in wrappers. From the library of Edward Alexander Parsons. Studies in History, Economics and Public Law volume LXXI, number 1. 1st edition.

By the time French colonists sought a portion of the New World's riches, much of those resources had already been claimed by Spain and Portugal. Once settled in North America, however, they quickly turned their attentions to commerce, specifically to trade within the Louisiana region. For almost 65 years French explorers and soldiers, administrators and accountants, focused on establishing a string of forts and small villages at key points in the Mississippi and Illinois River valleys, eastward to the Mobile River drainage and westward toward New Mexico. Despite a long and costly war at home, for a time it looked as though the French would be successful in controlling a vast swath of the middle of North America, with routes stretching from Quebec City to New Orleans. Under the guidance of leaders such as LaSalle, Joliet, Father Marquette, Frontenac, Hennepin, and Bienville, the French made a good start in the lucrative trading business and established working relationships with most of the Indians of the region. But by 1763, with war in Europe and a faltering economy at home, commerce in the New World eroded along with the ability of the French to control the region and to protect their investments from the encroachment of the Spanish and English. This volume reveals the wider scope of the French political and economic situation, as well as the minutiae of common barter and trade in Louisiana during the French Regime.

The Parsons Collection is a large (40,000 volumes) but discriminating library amassed by the eponymous New Orleans lawyer and bibliophile and acquired by the Ransom Center in 1958. It is rich in early Louisiana history–indeed, it includes the unique copy of the first item printed in Louisiana and a number of other early imprints from this state–Creole and other regional literature, sumptuous art and architecture books, and fine printing from all periods. Manuscripts from the Parsons Collection as well as related materials on Louisiana history are at UT's Center for American History.


Heavy chipping to edges with some tears, book plate of Edward Alexander Parsons on the half title verso.

SOLD 2010

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