When Benjamin Franklin was the American minister to France, he set up a small press at his home in Passy in order to print government documents, mostly forms with blanks to fill in. Later he used the same equipment to publish humorous pamphlets for friends, a fake newspaper page for propaganda, and broadsides. His teen-aged grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache trained on the press in the early 1780s.
The earliest dated document surviving from the Passy press is this invitation to a celebration of American independence on 5 July 1779. The fourth of July fell on a Sunday that year, so Franklin scheduled his celebration for the next day. He probably invited the local American community and influential French sympathizers, but the entire invitation is in English, even the “R.S.V.P.”