[XYZ Affair]. Broadside Extra: Treaty between France and America from the "Massachusetts Spy." One sheet, 10.5" x 17.25", "Extra-Wednesday Morning, December 24, 1800," printed on both sides, with a four-column layout. Featuring a full accounting of the convention between the "French Republic and the U. States of America." Signed in print on page two by "Joseph Buonaparte, C. P. Fleurieu, Roederer, Oliv. Ellsworth, W. R. Davie, W. V. Murray." A most historic broadside reporting the treaty with France under John Adam's administration, which averted an all-out war with France. Minor dampstaining. No folds.

    In the first year of his administration, John Adams tasked three commissioners with securing an economic treaty with France. The mission was a failure. Tensions between the two nations ran high, and President Adams ordered all merchant vessels armed for possible hostility. Thomas Jefferson and the pro-French Democratic-Republicans called for the publication of the dispatches from the commissioners in an effort to undermine Adams, who they assumed was hiding the truth behind the mission. The dispatches, when released, revealed an attempt by the French to extort a large loan for the French government (upwards of $12 million), among other things. (Each of the French agents had been given letter designations: "X" for Baron Jean-Conrad Hottinguer, "Y" for Pierre Bellamy, and "Z" for Lucien Hauteval; hence the XYZ Affair.)

    The Americans refused the loan and countered with the same terms offered Great Britain in the Jay Treaty which France immediately rejected. France reacted by expelling two of the three American agents of the commission, Charles Pinckney and John Marshall, both Federalists. The release of the documents blew up in the faces of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans, fueling the fires of anti-French feelings throughout the U. S. The breakdown in diplomatic talks led to the undeclared Quasi-War, fought almost entirely on the high seas between 1798 and 1800.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    3rd Thursday
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