CHARLES MAURICE DE TALLEYRAND, French Foreign Minister under Napoleon.
Superlative, historic letter, Signed from French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand to the then American Minister to France, Robert R. Livingston. This letter is requesting Livingston’s personal attendance, there in France, for meetings directly with Napoleon and his government ministers, concerning negotiations for “The Louisiana Purchase,” Choice Very Fine. This letter, dated April 16, 1802, bears content directly related to the future signing of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The letter has been written on official, Royal laid paper, bearing a large French “Crown” watermark, measuring 12.5” x 7.5”. This letter-document remains in excellent condition, with no chipping, foxing or major detractions. Talleyrand’s signature appears on the right side, about half way through the page, his signature measuring a large 2.5” across. Written entirely in French, as would be expected, the manuscript text remains quite sharp in detail, having crisp, easily readable brown ink. This letter reads, in full:
“You have received Sir, a letter from the Prefects of the Palace, who wish you to be at the Court of Justice on Easter Day at ten thirty in the morning. I have the honor to inform you that the First Consul (Napoleon) will betake himself from there to Notre Dame surrounded by his ministers. He ordered me to invite you to accompany him. I believe I must at the same time tell you that whatever you desire, one has to foresee in the future for you, six meetings, being able to put some obstacles in the way of rigorous observations, of rights and properties, relatively to the ranks. Whatever be those that the ministers occupy themselves, individually or collectively, it is necessary to make it understood that no tangible result be realized from this in the future in regard to the near place where the Seal is deposited. - Ch. Maur. Talleyrand”.
This letter, written slightly over a year before the actual completion of the Louisiana Purchase, is fully history and the various ministers delaying intent, accurately hinting at the significant intrigue of the next year's events. Although Spain soon restored the right of deposit, the acquisition of New Orleans became of paramount national interest. James Monroe was later sent to France, on April 12, 1803 in order to carry out the American mission along with Robert Livingston. It was then that Napoleon's Minister of Treasury, Barbe'-Marbois, who made a final deal, which was authorized by Napoleon, selling New Orleans and the Province of Greater Louisiana to the United States. This letter, appears to be one of the first, if not the very first, official initial French notice to Livingston and the Americans, as to the upcoming hurtles in upcoming negotiations between Napoleon and his six ministers, Talleyrand and Livingston with the Americans. This letter comes accompanied with seven early engravings of Talleyrand.
The Louisiana Purchase was a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate in October, and the United States’ flag was raised over New Orleans on Dec. 20. The Louisiana Purchase, extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to British North America, doubled the national domain, increasing it to about 828,000 square miles (2,144,500 square kilometers). The final boundaries of the Territory were not settled for many years, since the 1803 Treaty Purchase did not precisely set the exact limits of the region.
Item Number: 75484