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Author: Barbe-Marbois, Francois (1745-1837)

Year: 1829

Publisher: Imprimerie de Firmin Didot

Place: Paris


[6]+485 pages with hand colored folding copper-engraved map. Octavo (8 3/4 x 5 1/2") bound in extremely rare original publisher's wrappers. Untrimmed in custom cloth case. (Howes B115, Streeter 1599 and Sabin 3306) First edition.

Francois Barbe-Marbois, marquis de Barbe-Marbois, was born in Metz, where his father was director of the local mint, Barbe-Marbois tutored the children of the Marquis de Castries. In 1779 he was made secretary of the French legation to the United States. In 1780, Barbe-Marbois sent a questionnaire to the governors of all 13 former American colonies, seeking information about each state's geography, natural resources, history, and government. Thomas Jefferson, who was then finishing his final term as Virginia's governor, responded to this query with a manuscript that later became his famous "Notes on the State of Virginia". Barbe-Marbois was elected a Foreign Honorary Member to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society in 1781. When the minister Chevalier de la Luzerne returned to France in 1783, Barbe-Marbois remained in America as charge d'affaires in 1784. That year he married Elizabeth Moore (1765-1834), the daughter of William Moore, former governor of Pennsylvania. In 1803 he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase treaty by which Louisiana was ceded to the United States, and was rewarded by the First Consul with a gift of 152,000 francs.


Front wrapper and first few leaves nibbled in the lower margin, without loss to text, lightly foxed else a very good copy in the extremely rare original wrappers and a near fine slipcase.

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