While working on a new research guide, I ran across references for what looked to be an interesting book – State of the Trade of Great Britain with all Parts of the World by César Moreau. Because I wasn’t looking too closely at the record, I initially thought it was a book, but it turned out to be so much more. It was actually a large folded document — a beautiful 60×93 cm table — on a cloth back.
Originally published in 1824, the document was folded up and put in a box. One side of the box had snippets from reviews, much like you see on the backs of books today. The images below show that across the top, there were columns for trade “partner” imports and exports, beginning with the year 1697 at the top and 1823 at the bottom (1823 was written in and not typed). Also at the bottom was another chart titled “Average of each Country’s Trade divided into the Periods of War and Peace successively.” To the left side of the table was an Introduction that included a little bit of trade analysis, while along the right side was a chronological list of major events, beginning with the 1697 Peace of Ryswick (proclaimed in London, 19th October) and ending in 1822 with the “Great fluctuation in the Public Funds owing to rumours of War between France and Spain.”
Given what I was working on, I was mostly interested in the part with the trade numbers for “all parts of America,” and specifically the United States; but, it was interesting to see all the place names as they were when this book was published – Prussia, Gibraltar, all of Italy, the West Indies, etc.
It seems to have been quite the endeavor – and one that was appreciated. According to the review from the Globe and Traveller:
“It is an extraordinary work, and no counting-house or library ought to be without it.”