New York. Printed by Hopkins and Seymour, for I. Riley & Co., 1806. Pamphlet. Removed from a book of pamphlets. Leather remnants on spine. Edges neatly trimmed. Octavo, 8" x 5". pp. 76. Dampstains, browning, and foxing throughout. (Sabin, 50827). Fair. Item #82699
The statesman Gouveneur Morris (1752-1816) played an instrumental role in the founding of the United States. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and penned the preamble to the Constitution (Wikipedia). In this pamphlet from the Early Republic period, Morris defended the United States' continuing trade with the French.
At that time, the nascent United States government had declared neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars which raged across continental Europe and its surrounding seas. Yet, the US economies relied on trade with those nations and therefore, their continuing trade called their neutrality into question. European nations, particularly England and France, suspected Americans of smuggling war supplies. In foreign waters, American ships were subject to search, seizure, and impressment.
These naval skirmishes fanned the flames of British-American tensions and eventually led to President Thomas Jefferson's controversial Embargo of 1807. These events precipitated the outbreak of the War of 1812.