We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • John Law's Mississippi Company Established
    Paris: Chez la Veuve Saugrain & Pierre Prault, à l’entrée du Quay de Gêvres, du côté du Pont au Change, au Paradis, [1717] Quarto, 12 pages, a fine copy with wide untrimmed margins.
    This is the charter of John Law’s famous Mississippi Company, the Compagnie d’Occident (also known as the Compagnie du Mississippi), was established in 1717 by the Scottish financier John Law and changed its name to the Compagnie des Indes in May 1719, had a monopoly over trade in Louisiana from 1717 to 1731, as well as a monopoly over Canadian beaver exports from 1718 to 1760.           As early as 1715, John Law had put to the Regent a plan for the economic and financial recovery of France, the “Système,” which was at first refused but which Law finally succeeded in putting into place progressively. After founding the Banque Générale Privée, which developed the use of paper money, in May 1716, he created the Compagnie d’Occident, which received its letters patent in August 1717 (the present item) and was granted a monopoly over trade in Louisiana. The area covered by the company included the whole of the Mississippi valley, the Illinois Country becoming part of Louisiana through a decree in September 1717. The company’s obligations were vast: it was to transport 6,000 colons and 3,000 black slaves over twenty-five years; it was also responsible for expenditure related to religion and defense.            Over the following years, the Compagnie d’Occident took over all the other large French trading companies, as well… more >