Paris: Chez Froullé, libraire, quai des Augustins, 1788.
First edition. (4), xvi, 383, (1); (4), 259, (1); (4), 292; (4), 366 pp. 4 vols. 8vo. Contemporary quarter leather, pastepaper boards, french tips, flat spines with red leather title and volume labels. Spines rubbed, some minor starting of joints to two volumes, small loss to head of vol. I, a very good contemporary set Sabin 47206; Leclerc 957; Howes M456; Monaghan 1052; Muller 1612; Fay 24; Einaudi 3807; Reese Revolutionary 87. Item #264649
Mazzei emigrated to America from Italy in 1773 and introduced the cultivation of grapes and olives to the United States. He became a neighbor of Jefferson in Virginia, settling near Monticello at Jefferson's request, and this association led to their long friendship and the author's acquaintance with Franklin and Adams. A staunch Republican, Mazzei took an active role in the Independence movement. In this work he outlines the history of the American colonies, the causes of the Revolution, and the economy and government of the United States. Also discussed are Indians, slavery, emigration, and the Society of the Cincinnati. The book was a contemporary success and remains an important work which Malone characterizes as "probably the most reliable of all the works of the period on the United States" (Thomas Jefferson 2:109-110). Jefferson aided Mazzei in the compilation of the work while acting as American minister in Paris.
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