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ISSUED THE DAY AFTER THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1776.) King José I of Portugal. Decree announcing the Portuguese boycott of the American colonies. 2 printed pages, 11 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches, on one sheet, signed in type by Antônio Rolim de Moura, Conde de Azambuja, as head of Portugal's Council of Finance. Bound in modern calf with several blank leaves, with gilt title "Boycott contra os Estados Unidos"; minor worming in upper margin, minor foxing, slight musty scent; modern collector's bookplate on front pastedown. Lisbon, 5 July 1776
Portugal was a steadfast ally of Great Britain's. Hearing of the proceedings of the 15 May Virginia Convention, in which the colony very nearly declared independence from Great Britain, Portugal issued this declaration boycotting the revolting British colonies. The text begins "Dom José por graça de Deos rey de Portugal. . . . Faço saber aos que este edital virem, que sendo ultimamente informado de que as colonias da America Ingleza por hum acto emanado do congresso." In rough partial translation from the original Portuguese: "We are lately informed that the Colonies of English America by an act of Congress had on 15 May not only declared themselves entirely separate from subjection to the Crown of Great Britain, but were already forming their own laws to resist the legitimacy of my friend and ally the British King. Such a pernicious example must move even the most indifferent princes to deny all favor, and assistance, direct or indirect, to those subjects who so publicly and formally rebel against their natural sovereign. I hereby order that none of the ports of this kingdoms shall allow entry to any ship that shall arrive with or without a load, coming from any of the ports of North America." King José could not have known it across the Atlantic, but the American colonies took their final decisive step toward independence on the day before he issued this proclamation. 4 copies in OCLC, and none traced at auction.
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