Voyage dans les etats-unis de l’amerique, fait en 1784

Paris: Buisson, 1791. Two volumes. 8vo. xii, 206; [iv], 272 pp., including half-titles in each volume. FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH. Woodcut chapter heading in Volume 1. Contemporary half-calf and marbled boards, a bit worn; despite minor browning on the first and last few leaves of each volume, a wonderful set. Item #16984

First edition in French. This work records a trip of considerable interest for the current status of the United States at the end of the eighteenth century, with particular attention to economic and social aspects, and in particular to the Southern States. Smyth (1745-1814) was a Scot who lived in Virginia during the Revolutionary War. He traveled across the nation and recorded his impressions in this work. “The author, who was a zealous Loyalist, lost his property during the war; and his work is said to have been written to gain favor with the Government, by abusing the Americans and magnifying his own losses. He narrowly escaped hanging by the Whigs on more than one occasion, but lived to record many intersting particulars of the first days of the Revolution, together with many scandalous anecdotes relating to the public men of the time” (Lathrop Harper 143:453). Smyth details the living conditions of various Native American tribes; provides descriptions of Southern plantations, the use of black slaves, current situations in Virginia, Carolina, New Mexico, and New Orleans and its French population. One chapter is dedicated to the Moravian colonies. The last part of the second volume reports the economic situation of the United States after independence, a meeting with Washington, and a description of New York. The first edition appeared in London in 1784; the French translation is the work of Charles Louis Barentin de Montchal.

Howes S-730; Sabin 85256.

Price: $600.00

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