Paris: L'Imprimerie Royale, 1756. 12mo, pp. viii, 275. Second edition (after the quarto edition of the same year). Bound in contemporary French calf with gilt spine and with the exception of some insignificant marginal worming in a couple of signatures, a very fine copy. Sabin 47511; Wroth, American Bookshelf p. 22; Lande 657; TPL 250; Streeter II, 1013; Echeverria & Wilkie 756/29. Item #18865
Writing in The John Carter Brown Library Report (1946) pp. 48-49, Lawrence Wroth notes that this is "one of the most important diplomatic documents in American colonial history ... in which the French government is justifying its position as a contestant in the French and Indian War. Printed, amongst other pertinent documents, is Washington's captured journal of the Fort Necessity campaign, and spread upon the record the articles of surrender in which the young provincal leader accepted the enemy's designation of the killing of Jumonville as an assassination." Sabin notes "From the evidence drawn from these documents, they charge Washington with the murder of Jumonville. The memoirs prove that Jumonville was approaching Washington on an embassy of peace, but that Washington, unwilling to trust him, ordered his advance to be fired upon." The Dictionary of Amercian History in discussing this same battle at Great Meadows, near Unionville, PA, in April of 1754, asserts that Washington learned of the small force of French camped a few miles north of Fort Necessity and after a night march attacked them soon after sunrise, killing ten including their commander Jumonville. This was Washington's first battle and the first engagement of the French and Indian War. After Washington's return to Fort Necessity, he was attacked by 500 French and 400 Indians eventually capitulating and marching back to Virginia on foot.