Lot 45[FRENCH SPOLIATION CLAIMS]
Bound volume of pamphlets and broadsides, including the 1832 Convention, the treaty between the American and French over the spoliation claims dating from the Napoleonic era, and a mass of related documents, including many proceedings over individual seized American vessels, official deliberations of various governmental bodies, and much else, including some manuscript material, some 55 printed items relating to the matter. 20th century cloth. 10 x 7 inches (26 x 18 cm); various paginations. Front hinge broken, some chipping to oversize documents, foredges frayed, some foxing.
Laid into the front of the first volume is a lengthy letter (1880s) signed by J. H. Hickox on House of Representatives stationery noting that this collection was assembled by John H. Wheeler of North Carolina, clerk of the Board of Commissioners appointed by the July 13, 1832 Treaty Act. The letter also reports that many of Wheeler's manuscript notes are appended and claims that the collection is comprehensive.
The spoliation claims treaty was one of the triumphs of Andrew Jackson's administration, as the matter had languished under John Quincy Adams. William C. Rives, Jackson's minister to France, negotiated forcefully, and France agreed to pay the US 25 million francs, with the US paying a small sum in return. Unfortunately, the French were slow to implement the terms of the treaty, but with mediation from Britain, the matter reached successful closure in 1836. Many of the works in this volume are fugitive in the extreme, and it is unlikely that a similar collection could be assembled today.
Included in a second volume is a copy of the Message from the President of the United States transmitting copies of the several instructions to the ministers of the U[nited] States to the government of France, and of the correspondence with said government, having reference to the spoliations committed by that power on the commerce of the United States, anterior to September 30, 1800, &c., in compliance with a resolution of the Senate, Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1826. This relates to the beginning of the controversy in the John Quincy Adams administration.
C The New York City Bar Association
Sold for $4,063
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