Paris, 1789. 15pp. Quarto. Modern marbled boards, gilt leather spine label, edges stained red. Manuscript pencil mark in upper left corner of titlepage, otherwise internally clean and bright. Near fine. Item #WRCAM51864
A short account of the management of the French colony Saint Domingue by its outgoing governor François Barbé- Marbois. Barbé-Marbois had a long career as a French politician and diplomat, and including significant service in the United States during the Revolution and early Republic, eventually negotiating the treaty that settled the Lousiana Purchase. From 1785 to 1789, however, he served as the intendant of Saint Domingue. While there, he instituted a series of controversial reforms that angered the elite plantation owners, who ultimately succeeded in forcing him out. Before he left, however, he composed this essay as a guide for the incoming governor, discussing different aspects of the administration of the colony, its finances, and communications with France, among other topics. This work was originally published by the leading Saint Domingue printer, and later reprinted in Bordeaux and Paris. This is the Paris edition, with the colophon "Imprime par Mozart, au port-au-Princem ile Saint- Domingue, le 26 October 1789; & reimprime depuis a Paris." This is one of the few instances we have encountered where a French reprint of an item first published in the Caribbean is specifically aknowledged as such. SABIN 3311.