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.

  • Transfer of the Letters of Nobility of La Salle to His Nephew
    folio 4 pages, and, octavo, 2 pages, the folio document is on watermarked paper: profile in crown, cross of Malta underneath, neatly inscribed in ink, the documents are in two different hands, top edge of folio document slightly ruffled, else very good. Folio document, likely a retained or notarial copy, it is “signed” at the end “Phelypeaux” likely Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Ponchartrain (1643-1727), one time Chancellor of France.
    These important documents transmit to Jean-Baptiste Cavelier de la Salle, the nephew of René-Robert Cavelier de la Salle, and apparently his sole surviving heir, in consideration “of the great expenses which he has employed in his discoveries, and which ended up in total financial losses to his family, and his nephew in particular”, the title of nobility of the great explorer, as well as all the properties which had been granted to his uncle. These included, inter alia, the entire estate of Fort Frontenac (now Kingston, Ontario) and all the adjoining lands four leagues around. Highly important documents in the history of Canada and New France; without La Salle French explorations would have taken a different pattern, and Louisiana, so important in the workings of John Law and his economic empire, would very likely have become part of Spain’s New World Empire.   René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle (1643-1687), came to Canada in 1667 and obtained the grant of a seigniory at Lachine. In 1669 he began his attempts to find the route to the Western Sea, and by the time he was killed he had explored more of North America than had any European before him. He first explored the Ohio River; then he penetrated into Lake Michigan, and discovered the upper Illinois. In 1673 he was placed in… more >