1776 Scarce First Book printed in Montreal - Mesplet Reglement de la Confrerie de l'Adoration Perpetuelle du S. Sacrement et de la Bonne Mort.
Title: Réglement de la Confrerie de l'Adoration Perpétuelle du S. Sacrement et de la Bonne Mort. Erigée dans l'Eglise Paroissiale de Ville-Marie, en l'Isle de Montréal, en Canada. Nouvelle Edition...
Language: Text in French.
Publisher: Montréal, F. Mesplet & C. Berger, 1776. Casey, Catalogue of Pamphlets 1536; Dionne 18; Lande, Rare Canadiana 153 ("considered the first Canadian imprint in Montreal"); Tremaine 231. An earlier edition of this work is believed to have been prepared by Mesplet in Philadelphia. He had emigrated to America on the advice of Franklin, and had moved from Philadelphia to Montreal in 1776 when commissioned by the Continental Congress to accompany Franklin, Chase and Carroll for the purpose of establishing a French press.
Size: 5.5 "X 4 ".
Pages: 40 pages.
Binding: Attractive and good original boards, covered in figured wallpaper (spine worn but hinges still tight, overall worn and scuffed - as shown) in a quarter morocco leather cover with a nice ex-libris of C. GordonSmith with a view of Montreal in 1760, in a beautiful and fine burgundy morocco leather slipcase.
Content: Good content (tight, faint staining to lower right corners - as shown, lacking rear blank free endpaper - as shown). All pages are complete.
Estimate: Scarce with no other copies available for sale worldwide. AN EXTREMELY RARE little MANUAL OF PRAYERS, from the press of the first printers of Montreal.
The book: THE FIRST MONTREAL IMPRINT. Attractive, beautifully bounded and scarce First Book printed in Montreal. Published by Fleury Mesplet (1734-1794), this physically tiny work would be the first work printed by Mesplet after his arrival in Montréal in 1776. After leaving Lyon for Avignon, London and Philadelphia, Mesplet settled in Montréal on the recommendation of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790}, with whom he had collaborated on printing ventures for the American Congress. Mesplet’s luggage contained the first non-governmental press established in the “Province of Québec”. Mesplet published many utilitarian works, with this title being distributed to members of the Confrerie, who could boast a membership of 1000 in late-18th century Montréal. Mesplet would go on to found the La Gazette littéraire with journalist Valentin Jautard (1736-1787) (known by the pseudonym “le Spectacteur tranquille”) in 1778, but both would be thrown into prison without trial, which would put an abrupt end to their literary adventure. The wife of Mesplet, Marie Maribeau,(1746-1789) would take over the publishing reins during his imprisonment. Mesplet would establish the Gazette de Montréal in 1785, which would be bought by an Anglophone editor, eventually becoming the Montreal Gazette.
The publisher: Fleury Mesplet (January 10, 1734 – January 24, 1794) was a French-born Canadian printer best known for founding the Montreal Gazette, Quebec's oldest daily newspaper, in 1778. Mesplet was born in Marseille, France, and was apprenticed as a printer in Lyon. He emigrated to London in 1773 where he set up shop in Covent Garden.
In 1774 he emigrated to Philadelphia; it is thought that he may have been persuaded to do so by Benjamin Franklin. In Philadelphia he again went into business as a printer, but received little work; he printed the Lettre adressée aux habitants de la province de Québec, ci-devant le Canada (Letter to the Inhabitants of Canada) for the Continental Congress in 1775, and traveled to Montreal the following year to set up a printing press in the newly captured city. As the Americans withdrew from Montreal, he was arrested and imprisoned, but released later in the year; however, he managed to publish several works in 1776.
In 1778 he founded the Gazette Littéraire de Montréal, edited by Valentin Jautard. Both were arrested in 1779 for sedition, and imprisoned for three years; on his release, Mesplet was $5,000 in debt but quickly dealt with his creditors,. In 1785, published La Gazette de Montréal, now the Montreal Gazette, the successor to the suspended Gazette Littéraire.
In total, he published some seventy or eighty works, in French, English, Latin, and Iroquois; ten of these ran to more than a hundred pages, and another seven were almanacs.
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1776 Scarce First Book printed in Montreal - Mesplet Reglement de la Confrerie de l'Adoration Perpetuelle du S. Sacrement et de la Bonne Mort. Price List