[UNITED STATES - FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790)] Constitutions of the Thirteen United States of America, [Printed for Franklin by] Philippe-Denys PIERRES Imprimeur Ordinaire du Roi. et Pissot, pere & fils Libraires quai des Augustins, A Philadelphie ; et se trouve à PARIS, 1783.. , 540pp. Title page with the woodcut seal of the United States. Franklin's inspired French edition of the constitutions of the original thirteen states of the newly created United States, with the first appearance in book form of the seal of the U.S. Franklin was then ambassador to the French court and had just completed negotiations with Great Britain for the independence of the United States. The book was translated by the Duc de la Rouchefoucauld at Franklin's suggestion and includes over fifty footnotes by Franklin. In addition to the thirteen state constitutions, the book includes the text of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and treaties between the United States and France, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The title page bears the first appearance in book form of the seal of the United States, designed by Franklin; that is, the eagle, stars and stripes. On December 25, 1783, Franklin wrote to the President of the Continental Congress Thomas Mifflin. The extravagant misrepresentations of our political state, in foreign countries, have made it seem necessary to give them better information, which I thought could not be more effective and authentic. fact than by publishing a translation into French, now the most general language in Europe, of the book of Constitutions which had been printed by order of the Congress. I am persuaded that this will not only tend to promote the emigration to our country of a considerable number of people from all parts of Europe, by the numerous copies which I shall distribute, but will facilitate our future dealings with foreign courts, who could not before know what kind of government and people they had to deal with. "Howes C716; Livingston Franklin and his press at Passy pp 181ff; Sabin 16118; Streeter Sale 1035 (this copy); Echeverria, Durand, "French Publications of the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitutions, 1776-1783," Bibliographical Society of America, Papers, 47 (1953) p.313 ff.bound in calf spine with title on maroq piece
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