Paris: Chez Prault, Imprimeur du Roi, quai des Augustins, à l’Immortalité, 1786. First edition in French. Text in French and English. In later cardboard. Tinted edges. Printed on thick paper. 66 p. In fine condition.
First French translation of Humphreys’ A poem, addressed to the armies of the United States of America. First published in 1780 in New Haven under the title A poem, addressed to the armies of the United States of America, Humphreys’s poem became one of the most famous poems of the American Revolution. According to the author, it was written on the battlefield to inspire the soldiers “with perseverance and fortitude, thro' every species of difficulty and danger to continue their exertions for the defence of their country, and the preservation of its Liberties”. The poem was reprinted twice in 1785 in London and Paris, and the present one is its first French edition, which contains the original English text on versos and its French translation although in prose on facing rectos by François Jean de Chastellux. David Humphreys (1752–1818) poet, a member of the Hartford Wits, and an American Revolutionary War colonel and aide de camp to George Washington. François Jean de Chastellux (1734–1788) was a French man of letters and a member of the Académie française, also a military officer, who served during the War of American Independence as a major general in the French expeditionary forces acted as the principal liaison officer between the French commander in chief, Comte de Rochambeau, and George Washington. In this position, he became a lifelong friend of Washington. Scarce on the market, no auction records on Rarebookhub.com within the last 65 years. Sabin 33803.