Traité d'Amitié et de Commerce, conclu entre le Roi et les États-Unis de l'Amérique Septentrionale, le 6 Février, 1778
Paris: de l'Imprimerie Royale, 1778. Quarto. 23, pp. Contemporary French inscription at bottom of final page concerning the treaty's registration.
Unbound. Housed in a full blue morocco box.
The rare official French printing of the first French-American treaty, the first treaty between the United States and any other country.
When news of Burgoyne's defeat reached Paris, France officially recognized the fledgling United States, which had been struggling to find allies abroad in their fight against England. This treaty was of the greatest importance to the United States, as it marked its first recognition by a major power and began a diplomatic and defense relationship crucial to achieving American independence. The American commissioners, Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and Silas Deane, negotiated the treaty of amity and commerce, published herein, and a treaty of military alliance in February 1778. The latter treaty was not immediately published in France, and it probably first appeared in print in Philadelphia. The former two treaties, however, were immediately published, first appearing in this Paris edition. France and the United States grant each other most-favored-nation trade status and agree to protect each others' commercial vessels. They both agree not to fish in each others' waters, with the United States specifically agreeing not to fish on the banks of Newfoundland. Howes records two Paris editions of 1778: this official printing and another that is eight pages. Both appear in the NUC, which locates seven copies of this official printing. OCLC records regional printings in Aix and possibly Grenoble.
Brunet I:12; Malloy, p.468; Sabin 96565; Howes T328; Echeverria & Wilkie 778/36; Streeter Sale 791.