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October 26, 2007

Freshest Advices on Champ d'Asile

36. [CHAMP D’ASILE]. La Minerve Française. Paris: Au Bureau de la Minerve Française, February, 1818-February 1820. 113 numbers in 9 vols. Vol. 1: 64 pp.; Vol. 2: 652 pp.; Vol. 3: 628 pp.; Vol. 4: 652 pp., Vol. 5: 684 pp., Vol. 6: 644 pp.; Vol. 7: 627 [1] pp.; Vol. 8: 643 [1] pp.; Vol. 9: 428 pp. 8vo, contemporary three-quarter polished tan calf over tan marbled boards, later red morocco gilt-lettered title labels, smooth spines. Except for light binding wear and occasional mild, scattered foxing, a fine set. Vols. 2-4 & 6 each lack the two leaves of index, supplied in facsimile.

            First edition. Hatin, Bibliographie historique et critique de la presse périodique française, pp. 342-343. The Minerve issued irregularly to avoid the censorship laws and taxes governing regularly issued periodicals. Nevertheless, it was suppressed in March, 1820. The editors were some of the more prominent political, social, and religious critics of their time. This work, famous for many reasons, was the most important French publication that positively agitated the cause of the Champ d’Asile colony in Texas, towards which the editors were quite sympathetic. Over thirty articles, notices, and other materials relating to the colony appeared. The first article about the colony, apparently written by Évariste Dumoulin, appears in 1818 (3:256-263) and is a warm endorsement of the project, which it describes in the most glowing, enthusiastic terms. It was the first of several such notices. Of high interest are the numerous lists of contributors to the colony that this work published, the first of which appeared the same year (3:527-528); the subscription to support the colonists was the brainchild of Félix Desportes and was supported by people apparently from all walks of life. The last published list of subscribers states that 95,018 francs had been raised (6:447). This publication is one of the primary sources on this ill-fated French enterprise. ($500-1,000)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $587.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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