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    French King Louis XVI: Signed 1779 Document Declaring the King's Determination to Protect "my possessions in America by increasing my naval forces, ...take reprisals and attack England in her own colonies...." Partially-printed circular letter signed with secretarial "Louis" and countersigned by an unidentified Court official. 2 pages, 9.5" x 14", signed at Versailles September 9th, 1779.

    The document is sent to the Bishop of Everaux instructing him to encourage his parishioners to sign a "Te Deum" in tribute to the victories of Admiral d'Estaing over the English in the West Indies. Louis complains of "repeated insults done to my flag" and declares his intent to "re-establish liberty of the seas, by repelling attacks from a Nation plans that my moderation seems to make bolder." French naval forces were a deciding factor in the reversal of American fortunes in the Revolutionary War. In 1781 their armada would help to trap Lord Cornwallis's army on the Yorktown peninsula, forcing the surrender which effectively ended the War. Undoubtedly a rare document, this is the only existing copy we have uncovered.

    Light soiling and toning, minor loss at upper left corner not affecting text, minor partial separations along expected folds, glassine strip along verso of bifolium spine, clean vertical cuts (likely to accommodate a ribbon that is no longer present) run along each margin, else very good.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    13th Saturday
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