William Reese Company


Catalogue 249

Early American Law
& Legal Thought 


Section III:  Illinois Laws to Louisiana



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Papers on Book Collecting by William S. Reese



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73. [Illinois Laws]: THE REVISED CODE OF LAWS OF ILLINOIS.... Cincinnati. 1829. 278pp. Contemporary calf backed boards. Calf dry and cracking. Foxing. Else good.

Early Illinois laws, containing James Hall's report as treasurer. Published by Alexander Grant & Co. of Shawneetown, Illinois, but published in Cincinnati. The NUC locates eleven copies. $500.

The Famous "Blue Book": The First Laws for the Northern Plains

74. [Iowa Laws]: THE STATUTE LAWS OF THE TERRITORY OF IOWA, ENACTED AT THE FIRST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF SAID TERRITORY, HELD AT BURLINGTON, A.D. 1838-'39. Dubuque: Russell & Reeves, Printers, 1839. [2],597,[1]pp. Modern half morocco. Occasional light foxing. Overall just about very good.

This law book is essentially the first legal code for Iowa and the Nebraska, Dakota, and Montana territories. Issued as the first collected Iowa laws, it became famous as "Old Blue Book," which was adopted to serve for many years as the law of all the country west of the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains between the 42nd and 45th parallels. This prints the Northwest Ordinance, the act to establish the territorial government of Iowa, and other resolutions and acts of the Territory. This was the second book printed in Iowa Territory, preceded only by a volume of the Wisconsin legislature, printed in Burlington in 1838, when that legislature was forced to temporarily relocate. A seminal frontier American law book. SABIN 35020. FITZPATRICK, IOWA TERRITORIAL DOCUMENTS, p.19. LC, IOWA CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION 122. $2500.

75. [Iowa Laws]: REVISED STATUTES OF THE TERRITORY OF IOWA, REVISED AND COMPILED BY A JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATURE – SESSION 1842-'43, AND ARRANGED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TERRITORY. Iowa City: Printed by Hughs & Williams, 1843. viii,904pp. Contemporary half sheep and plain boards, leather label. Covers heavily worn and scuffed, lower corner chipped off on rear cover. Some light foxing, stain in lower forecorner of titlepage. Else good.

An extensive revision of the 1839 Iowa laws. An early Iowa imprint and laws, printing the Northwest Ordinance, United States treaties with France, and the statutes of Iowa. A scarce early western law book. FITZPATRICK, IOWA TERRITORIAL DOCUMENTS, p.21. $500.

Not Quite The Federalist, but Still Favors the Constitution

76. [Jackson, Jonathan]: THOUGHTS UPON THE POLITICAL SITUATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN WHICH THAT OF MASSACHUSETTS IS MORE PARTICULARLY CONSIDERED. WITH SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE CONSTITUTION FOR A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. ADDRESSED TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNION. By a Native of Boston. Worcester: Isaiah Thomas, 1788. 209pp. Early 20th-century half calf over marbled boards. Annotations on titlepage and occasionally in text. Very light browning in text, occasional light foxing and dampstains. A very good copy.

Ownership inscription, dated 1930, on front free endpaper of Nobel laureate George R. Minot, great great grandson of noted federal-era historian George Richards Minot and great grandson of the author, Jackson. Annotation by Minot in pencil on the front fly leaf concerning the purchase of a volume at Goodspeeds in 1927 and his family's relationship to the author.

An important argument in favor of adopting the Constitution. "Jackson arrives in a most leisurely manner at his conclusion that the Constitution should be ratified...he condemns opulence and drunkenness as unbecoming to a republic, and warns the country to be on guard against European influence in either politics or fashion" – Streeter. Jackson (1743-1810) was a Harvard graduate, member of Congress, state senator, and in 1789 was made a United States marshal. His arguments are a classic example of a New England Federalist. HOWES J23. EVANS 21173. COHEN 2838. SABIN 35441. STREETER SALE 1051. DAB III, pp.395-96. $2000.

77. [Jamaica]: ACTS OF ASSEMBLY. PASSED IN THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA; FROM 1770, TO 1783, INCLUSIVE. [bound with:] AN ABRIDGMENT OF THE LAWS OF JAMAICA: COMPREHENDING THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF EACH ACT AND CLAUSE, PROPERLY DIGESTED. TO WHICH IS PREFIXED, BY WAY OF INDEX, A TABLE OF THE GENERAL TITLES AND MARGINAL NOTES. Kingston, Jamaica: Printed for James Jones, Esq. by Lewis and Eberall, 1786. v,31,[1],4-424; [4],40pp. Quarto. Modern polished calf, gilt leather label. Contemporary ownership inscription on titlepage of Acts...: "George Harrison Lincolns Inn 1791." Titlepage worn and soiled, repairs at top and bottom margin with no loss of text. Occasional minor foxing, last two leaves dampstained. Small hole in leaf F* with loss of a few letters. First four leaves and last four leaves of An Abridgment... dampstained, leaf aa repaired (no loss of text), final leaf supplied in facsimile. These exceptions noted, very clean internally. A very good copy.

First editions of two rare 18th-century Jamaican legal imprints. The volume was previously owned by legal author Sir George Harrison, the son of Thomas Harrison, who served as attorney-general and advocate-general of Jamaica. The elder Harrison's name is included in the list of subscribers for the Acts..., and father or son have made minor manuscript additions on a half dozen pages in the text.

The volume records both public and private acts, organized chronologically for 1770 through 1783. The Abridgment..., published as a separate work with separate titlepage, clearly supplements the Acts... by listing the acts by subject and providing an index. There are numerous acts regarding slaves which provide much insight into that institution on the island, including legislation regarding runaways, "Free-Negroes," "Negro towns" and maroons, firearms, holidays, and even drumming. Other acts cover a wide range of laws and activities, including those related to land, roads, cattle, gaming, hawkers and peddlers, the militia, settlers, ships, and smuggling.

All 18th-century Caribbean imprints are rare, most are extremely so, and these laws are no exception. Furthermore, the majority of Caribbean printing is often ephemeral and fairly slight, rather than a substantial volume such as this one. The first British colony south of Maryland to have a press, printing began in Jamaica in 1718. Except for several items printed in Havana by a press briefly established there, this was the first press in the Caribbean; however, only a handful of fugitive pieces survive from the 1770s. In that period the economic importance of Jamaica was supplemented by an influx of Loyalists who seems to have invigorated the cultural and publishing life of the colony, while the British government liberalized its colonial policy to avoid a repetition of the problems of the American Revolution. In this social and political climate, these retrospective laws of the local colonial government were printed.

A very good copy of two rare 18th-century Jamaican imprints, with provenance related to the island and British legal history. SABIN 35617 (Acts... and Abridgment...). CUNDALL SUPPLEMENT 446, 447. GOLDSMITH 13208. ESTC T140415. OCLC 28209638, 30304147, 31220784. DNB IX, p.32. $5000.

A Remarkable Collection of 18th-century Jamaican Imprints

78. [Jamaica]: ACTS OF ASSEMBLY, PASSED IN THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA, FROM THE YEAR 1681 TO THE YEAR 1769 INCLUSIVE. [bound with:] APPENDIX: CONTAINING THE LAWS RESPECTING SLAVES. [bound with:] AN ABRIDGEMENT OF THE LAWS OF JAMAICA, IN MANNER OF AN INDEX.... Kingston, Jamaica: Printed by Alexander Aikman, 1787. Four volumes bound in one. [2],31,[1],262,[2]; [2],15,[1],82,5,[1]; [4],32; [4],29pp. Folio. Modern half calf and marbled boards. Unobtrusive old library stamp on titlepage. Internally clean. Very good.

An extraordinary collection of 18th-century Jamaican printing, combining three separate imprints (the first in two volumes) in a single book, all printed by Alexander Aikman in 1787 in Kingston, Jamaica. The texts include the Acts of the Assembly from its beginning in 1681 to 1769 (revised to the date of publication), abridgements of the various acts, and a publication combining all of the slave statutes in one place.

All 18th-century Caribbean imprints are rare, most are extremely so, and these laws are no exception. Furthermore, most Caribbean printing is fairly slight, not substantial volumes such as these. Printing began in Jamaica in 1718. It was the first British colony south of Maryland to have a printing press, and except for several items printed in Havana by a press briefly established there, this was the first press in the Caribbean; however, only a handful of fugitive pieces survive from the 1770s. In that period, the economic importance of Jamaica was supplemented by an influx of Loyalists, including the printer, Alexander Aikman, who seems to have invigorated the cultural and publishing life of the colony, while the British government liberalized its colonial policy to avoid a repetition of the problems of the American Revolution. In that climate these retrospective laws of the local colonial government were printed. Of all early Caribbean printing, that of Jamaica is best documented through the early and thorough work of Frank Cundall. His bibliographies illustrate both the rich variety of material printed on Jamaica and its rarity.

Of the present items, only the Acts of Assembly... is located by Cundall and on OCLC (one copy, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies). The others are not located by Cundall, nor are they in the NUC. In all, a remarkable assemblage of Caribbean printing. CUNDALL, p.52. OCLC 45638811. $4500.

Possibly Unique Jamaican Imprint

79. [Jamaica]: AN ACT TO PREVENT LEVIES ON SLAVES ON SATURDAY [caption title]. Jamaica: Printed by Alexander Aikman, 1825. [2],2pp. Printed coat of arms on front page. Signed in manuscript at the end. Quarto. Single horizontal fold. Worn along the edges, with tears at both edges of the horizontal fold. Good.

With the formation of the Royal African Company in the 17th century, Jamaica became one of the world's great slave markets. Passed in 1824, during a time of economic distress on the island, this act prevents constables from making "any levy upon any negro or other slave on Saturday." While it may seem that this law was meant to offer slaves some sort of relief, it is actually a measure to safeguard the economic interests of impoverished planters. In 1833 a revolt on the island occurred and a number of whites were killed by slaves. Slavery was abolished on Jamaica (and in British colonial possessions generally) in 1835. Alexander Aikman, "printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty and to the Hon. House of Assembly," had been active as printer on the island since the early 1790s and was a member of the Assembly when this act was passed. Not listed on OCLC, and possibly unique. A rare Jamaican imprint, with important information about the state of slavery on the island. $1850.

The National Debt is Always with Us: The First Act to Reduce the Debt, Signed by Jefferson

80. [Jefferson, Thomas]: [United States Congress – First Session]: CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES...AN ACT MAKING PROVISION FOR THE REDUCTION OF THE PUBLIC DEBT [caption title]. [New York: Printed by Francis Childs and John Swaine, 1790]. [2]pp. printed on a 12¼ x 8¼-inch sheet, signed in manuscript by Thomas Jefferson. Closed tear in lower left margin repaired with no loss, closed tear in lower right margin, with no loss. Old adhesive marks on edges. Very good.

The official printing, one of just a few signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, of the Act for the Reduction of the Public Debt. This law was passed just eight days after the crucially important "Assumption Act," by which the federal government assumed the debts incurred by the individual states during the Revolution. The Public Debt Act, which authorized the federal government to borrow money and to use budgetary surpluses to pay down the federal debt, was an important linchpin of Alexander Hamilton's overall plan for putting the national economy on a sound footing. This copy of the Public Debt Act came from the personal collection of Dumas Malone, the most influential and exhaustive of all Thomas Jefferson's biographers. Malone's monumental Pulitzer-Prize winning six-volume biography, Jefferson and His Time, remains an exceptional and vital work of scholarship, one that all who follow in Malone's footsteps must contend with.

Paying down the public debt was a fundamentally important aspect of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's plan for building the American economy and establishing the public credit. Hamilton believed that assuming the debt of the states would help bind the nation together. Furthermore, paying down the public debt in a steady manner would result in a sound currency, and would also encourage the creation of a national bank to facilitate the endeavor. Though an ardent proponent of states' rights, Thomas Jefferson shared with Alexander Hamilton a common desire for binding the states together and for establishing the credit worthiness of the young republic. Jefferson subtly worked with Hamilton in negotiating the passage of the Assumption Act, and would have also been pleased by the intent of this Public Debt Act.

The Public Debt Act provides that all monies raised from duties on imports and on the tonnage of ships that are not used on appropriations should be used to buy down the public debt. Further, it is stipulated that those in charge of reducing the debt are the President of the Senate, the Chief Justice, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General, and it is enacted that the debt should be bought down in such a manner as to benefit each state equally. The President is also authorized to borrow up to two million dollars (at not more than 5% interest) to be used to further buy down the debt.

Individual acts and bills of the first Congress were routinely printed for public distribution. A provision was made, however, to print a few copies of each act on large paper for official dissemination to the states, and to have each of those copies signed by the Secretary of State. The present copy is one of those large paper issues, bearing Thomas Jefferson's manuscript signature beside his printed title, as well as the printed signatures of President George Washington, Vice President John Adams, and House Speaker Frederick Muhlenberg. The Act was approved by the Congress on Aug. 12, 1790, just a day after a crash in the value of government securities.

NAIP lists only two locations for the present document, at the American Antiquarian Society and the Library of Congress. The copy at the Library of Congress also bears Jefferson's signature, but the AAS copy does not. Bristol locates a copy at the South Carolina Archives, which is also signed in manuscript by Jefferson. Very rare and important in the financial history of the nation. BRISTOL B7574. SHIPTON & MOONEY 46050. NAIP w014351. $55,000.

Jefferson and Madison Try to Find a Law Professor for the University of Virginia

81. Jefferson, Thomas, and James Madison: [AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED, FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON TO JAMES MADISON REGARDING EFFORTS TO APPOINT PHILIP PENDLETON BARBOUR AS A LAW PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. TOGETHER WITH AN AUTOGRAPH NOTE, SIGNED, FROM JAMES MADISON TO SAMUEL A. STORROW]. Monticello. March 29, 1825. Jefferson note: [1]p. on a 5 x 8-inch slip of paper. Madison note undated but composed March 9, 1828: [1]p. on a 3 x 7½-inch slip of paper. Small chip in upper margin of Jefferson note, not affecting text. Vertical split, very expertly repaired, with no loss of text. One-inch closed split in lower margin of Madison note, very expertly repaired, not affecting text. Very good. In a half morocco slipcase.

A fine letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, showing the dedication of the Sage of Monticello to his final great project well into the closing months of his life, and also highlighting the role played by Madison in the creation and development of the University of Virginia. In this letter, Jefferson and Madison work together to try to secure the services of Philip Pendleton Barbour, a Virginia judge and politician, for the chair of law at the University. Despite their assiduous efforts, Barbour eventually declined the position. The letter is accompanied by a closing salutation and signature, clipped from a longer letter, from James Madison to Samuel A. Storrow, written in 1828.

The earliest plans for the University of Virginia began to germinate in 1816 when the Virginia legislature passed a bill proposed by Jefferson to establish a state college. In 1817 a Board of Visitors for the proposed "Central College" was formed, with Jefferson, Madison, James Monroe, and other Virginia notables named the first members. The Board decided to name Jefferson as a one-man search committee for faculty members, and Jefferson labored long and hard over the next eight years to build a faculty for his nascent university. He relied heavily on James Madison for his advice in finding candidates and for his influence in securing them. In fact, while Jefferson is rightly regarded as the father of the University of Virginia, Madison was an active and enthusiastic collaborator with him in the project, and the creation of the university became their closest link in their retirement years. A great number of the letters between the two former presidents over the final nine years of Jefferson's life pertain to the creation and development of the University of Virginia.

By early 1824, with most of the construction completed on his "academical village," Jefferson turned to the search for a faculty for the university. Madison was his close and constant sounding board in the hunt. The initial search for professors focused on England and Europe, though Jefferson insisted that only Americans should be chosen for the chairs of law and moral philosophy. By October 1824 seven of the eight chairs had been filled, the only professorship remaining vacant being that for law. When the University of Virginia formally opened on March 7, 1825, the school still had no law professor, a circumstance which greatly distressed Jefferson. James Morton Smith says that the need to fill the law post in the spring of 1825, especially with a Virginian of good Republican principles, was "the chief concern of Jefferson and Madison" (p.1916). The two made up a list of six possible candidates, with Madison proposing the name of Philip Pendleton Barbour.

Barbour (1783-1841) was born not far from Charlottesville, in neighboring Orange County, Virginia, and attended William & Mary, studied law, and served as a member of the Virginia General Assembly (1812-14). A Jeffersonian Republican, he represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives (1814-25, 1827-30), served as Speaker of the House from 1821 to 1823, and eventually became an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1836-41). At the time of Jefferson's letter to Madison, Barbour had just concluded his first stretch of service in the U.S. House and was a judge in Virginia, travelling throughout the state to hear cases. On March 10, 1825, Jefferson wrote Madison that he had recently spent two hours with Barbour at Monticello discussing the possibility of Barbour's appointment as law professor. Jefferson was encouraged by the meeting and called on Madison to visit Barbour to try to convince him to accept. Madison did visit Barbour, on March 27, but wrote Jefferson the next day that Barbour seemed disinclined to accept the position at the university unless he could retain his judicial duties as well. The present Jefferson letter to Madison of March 29 is Jefferson's last ditch attempt to convince Barbour to accept the law position. Jefferson asks Madison to use his judgment in forwarding an enclosed letter to Barbour (not accompanying the present letter from Jefferson to Madison). In that letter Jefferson proposed holding off the opening of the law program until February 1826, giving Barbour time to complete his legal circuit. The combined efforts of Jefferson and Madison could not sway Barbour, however, and he declined the law professorship in April 1825. Eventually the position was accepted by John Tayloe Lomax of Virginia in April 1826.

The text of Jefferson's note reads:

"Dear Sir Not knowing whether you may have obtained Mr. Barber's [sic] acceptance in the visit you proposed, I have thought of a proposition which it has been suggested to me would reconcile him to our offer. If therefore he has not accepted that of joining us at the end of his first circuit, and you would approve of giving him a year on his assurance that he will then accept, be so good as to forward him the inclosed letter but to retain it if he has already accepted, or if you would disapprove of it. Affectionately yours Th. Jefferson."

The Madison note is on an unrelated topic. It is the closing salutation and signature, in Madison's handwriting, clipped from a letter Madison sent to Samuel Appleton Storrow, a New England gentleman, on March 9, 1828. The whereabouts of the rest of the letter are unknown, although the Papers of James Madison Project at the University of Virginia has a copy of Madison's original draft of the letter. The full text of the letter concerns Madison's attempts to retrieve correspondence between himself and George Washington that he had lent to Jared Sparks for Sparks' work on Washington. Sparks, in Massachusetts, had arranged for the letters to be returned to Madison through Storrow in the fall of 1827, but as of the spring of 1828, Madison had still not received them. The clipped portion of the Madison note present here reads: "Mrs. M. offers her kind remembrances to the ladies of Farley: Be pleased to add mine, with cordial salutations from us both to yourself & Mr. Carter." Storrow had married Elizabeth Hill Carter, of the Carter family of Culpeper County, Virginia, whose plantation was called "Farley." The "Mr. Carter" referred to in the salutation is William Carter, Storrow's father-in-law.

James Morton Smith notes that in 1825, Jefferson and Madison exchanged seventeen letters on the subject of the law chair at the University of Virginia. The need to fill this final position on the faculty was acute, and its completion would put a cap on the long search for professors for the new school. This letter from Jefferson to Madison is a rare opportunity to obtain an epistle which nicely illustrates the problem which so vexed the two great statesmen late in their lives. James Morton Smith, ed., The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1776-1826, pp.1771-1939, passim (esp. pp.1915-1939). $20,000.

82. Jefferson, Thomas: REPORTS OF CASES DETERMINED IN THE GENERAL COURT OF VIRGINIA. FROM 1730, TO 1740; AND FROM 1768, TO 1772. Charlottesville. 1829. viii,145pp. Modern half calf and marbled boards. Ink stamp removed from bottom of titlepage, bit tanned, bookplate. Else very good.

This volume prints the early Virginia court cases that Jefferson organized for publication from the manuscript records at the bar of the General Court. The appendix is comprised of Jefferson's disquisition on whether Christianity is a part of the Common Law, describing "the most remarkable instance of Judicial legislation, that has ever occurred in English jurisprudence...." A quite rare posthumous collection of works by Jefferson, with an introduction and annotations on cases provided by him. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 41386. $2500.

Black Murderers Executed in Philadelphia


"Mrs. Cross kept a small shop in which she was strangled with a clothesline by Joyce and Mathias, negroes, who robbed her. They were defended by Nicholas Biddle, the Philadelphia financier, and Richard Rush, later United States attorney general and statesman; but as so frequently happened in cases before defendants could testify, the defense consisted solely of speeches by counsel" – McDade. There were also editions of eighteen and thirty-six pages. McDADE 543. COHEN 12764 (ref). SHAW & SHOEMAKER 15337. $1000.

"The foremost American institutional legal treatise" – DAB

84. Kent, James: COMMENTARIES ON AMERICAN LAW. New York: Printed by O. Halsted, 1826-30. Four volumes: vi,[2],508; viii,528; viii,413; viii,550pp. Modern calf, gilt leather labels. Old dampstaining, mostly in the second and fourth volumes. Modest pencil marginalia throughout. A good set.

First edition of one of the most important American legal treatises, written by one of the most influential and prolific jurists of his era. Kent's Commentaries... "continued his efforts as a judge to transplant the English common law to America, and its reliance on precedents had the two-prong effect of helping to maintain the primacy of judge-made law in contrast to codification by legislatures, while providing the legal profession with the degree and kind of certainty it craved" (ANB). It remains an incredibly readable and interesting work. James Kent (1763-1847) was a lawyer, politician, and legal educator. In 1798 he was appointed judge of the New York Supreme Court, and became chief judge in 1804. In 1814, Kent was appointed chancellor of the New York Court of Chancery. At the beginning and end of his career he taught law at Columbia University. These four volumes draw on his legal teachings and were written in his retirement. The work, divided into sixty-seven lectures, covers international law (the first American work on that subject and especially important on the subject of neutral commerce); the U.S. Constitution; municipal law; personal rights; personal property; and real property. The fourth volume contains an index to the entire text. Kent's work, published initially at his own expense, found such instant demand that the entire set was sold out by the time the fourth volume appeared in 1830, and several subsequent editions soon followed. "During Kent's lifetime, the work was almost extravagantly praised, but the eulogies were not without foundation, for the work still remains the foremost American institutional legal treatise" – DAB. A complete set of this work, in first editions such as these, is rare. COHEN 5398. SABIN 37473. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 25026. DAB X, pp.344-47. ANB 12, pp.596-99. $4500.

85. [La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, François]: A COMPARATIVE VIEW OF MILD AND SANGUINARY LAWS; AND THE GOOD EFFECTS OF THE FORMER, EXHIBITED IN THE PRESENT ECONOMY OF THE PRISONS OF PHILADELPHIA. By the Duke De Liancourt. London: Reprinted and Sold by Darton and Harvey, 1796. 48pp. Modern half morocco and marbled boards. Top margin of titlepage clipped, text unaffected. Occasional fox marks. Else very good.

First London edition, after the French editions and a Philadelphia edition, all of the same year. An important and scarce essay by the famous French nobleman who fled France after his father was killed by a mob in 1792. The Duke lived and travelled in the United States and Canada from 1795 to 1797. In 1799 an eight-volume account of his travels was published in Paris, with an English translation appearing in London the same year, and a Philadelphia edition in 1800. This short and very positive analysis of Philadelphia prison life was also published in French the same year, as well as in Philadelphia, and most likely at the same time as the English version. An edition was also published in Paris. "May the new continent...serve, in her turn, as a model, to reform the criminal jurisprudence, and establish a new system of imprisonment in the old world; severe, and terrible, yet humane and just." One of the earliest works on the American penal system. SABIN 3905. MONAGHAN 921. COHEN 4491. $1000.

Ante-fire and Anti-fugitive Slave Law

86. [Larned, Edwin C.]: THE NEW FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW. SPEECH OF EDWIN C. LARNED, ESQ. AT THE CITY HALL IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ON THE EVENING OF OCT. 25th, 1850, IN REPLY TO HON. S.A. DOUGLAS [caption title]. Chicago: Printed at the Democrat Office, 1850. 16pp. printed in double columns. Dbd. Two gathered signatures. Very good.

An important ante-fire imprint addressing the Fugitive Slave Law, which caused much outrage among the citizenry of Chicago. Larned's remarks were reprinted from the Chicago Weekly Democrat of Nov. 16, 1850. "Larned was a Chicago attorney with strong antislavery sentiments. This meeting was in reply to the Douglas meeting of October 23" – Byrd. A series of resolutions condemning the Fugitive Slave Law was subsequently approved at the meeting. BYRD 1599. McMURTRIE (CHICAGO) 219. DUMOND, p.72. COHEN 10153. EBERSTADT 135:368. SABIN 39041 (note). $1000.

87. Latrobe, John H.B.: PROTEST IN BEHALF OF THE CHOCKTAW [sic] AND CHICKASAW NATIONS, AGAINST THE REPORT AND AWARDS OF MESSRS. RICE AND JACKSON, COMMISSIONERS, &c....[caption title]. [Np, Washington?] 1867. 70pp. Modern half morocco and marbled boards. Very good.

Latrobe sets forth the claims of members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations for damages stemming from being driven from their homes during the Civil War. Specifically he protests against the ratification of the report of Rice and Jackson, who had acted as Commissioners under the Treaty of 1866 between the U.S. and the two nations. Contained here are several communications and replies by Latrobe, who acted as counsel for the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, to Indian commissioners and other officials. A rare legal brief, printed in a small edition most likely for members of Congress and other involved parties. $650.

Tennessee Constitutional Convention, 1834

88. Laughlin, S.H., and J.F. Henderson: JOURNAL OF THE CONVENTION OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, CONVENED FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVISING AND AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION THEREOF. HELD IN NASHVILLE. Nashville. 1834. 415pp. Modern half cloth and marbled boards, leather label. Some foxing, but good.

Journal of the convention for the second Tennessee constitution, and a rare volume. American Imprints Inventory locates only two copies, and the separate printing of the 1834 constitution, the text of which appears here, is a notorious rarity. AII (TENNESSEE) 300. $850.


89. [Lee, Charles]: PROCEEDINGS OF A GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL, HELD AT BRUNSWICK, IN THE STATE OF NEW-JERSEY, BY ORDER OF HIS EXCELLENCY GEORGE WASHINGTON...FOR THE TRIAL OF MAJOR-GENERAL LEE. JULY 4th, 1778. MAJOR-GENERAL LORD STIRLING, PRESIDENT. New York: Privately Reprinted, 1864. 239pp., extra-illustrated with twenty plates. Contemporary three quarter red morocco and marbled boards, spine gilt, raised bands, t.e.g. A bit of wear to joints. Contemporary ink inscription on titlepage, "Freeman M. Josselyn with regards P.S. Hoffman," and signed and numbered by Hoffman on verso. Marbled front free endpaper creased, light foxing in a few plates. Near fine.

This third edition of the proceedings of Charles Lee's court-martial was privately printed by J.M. Bradstreet & Son in three limited issues: octavo (100 copies), royal octavo (twenty copies), and quarto (six copies). The present copy is number three of the royal octavo issue, numbered and signed by P.S. Hoffman, presumably the editor or publisher of the volume. In addition to its elegant printing and fine binding, this copy is notable for its extensive extra-illustration, comprising twenty contemporary engraved portraits.

After years of military service in foreign lands, Charles Lee, an Englishman, returned to America in 1773 and fought valiantly in the Revolution on the American side. He was captured by the British in 1776, during which time he allegedly provided Gen. Howe with information to aid in the defeat of the Americans. A controversial figure, the DAB calls Lee "one of the most extraordinary and contradictory characters in American history." HOWES 192. SABIN 39713. COHEN 13546 (1st ed). $2500.


A very scarce Confederate work of military law. A comprehensive and original treatment of military trials and law, drawing from an earlier American work published by Capt. De Hart in 1846. Actually printed by Evans & Cogswell of Charleston. Parrish & Willingham locate thirty-four copies. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 4904. $950.

91. [Lee, John D.]: THE LIFE AND CONFESSION OF JOHN D. LEE, THE MORMON. WITH A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE AND THE EXECUTION OF LEE. HELPLESS WOMEN AND CHILDREN BUTCHERED IN COLD BLOOD BY MERCILESS MORMON ASSASSINS. Philadelphia: Barclay & Co., [1882]. [3],20-64pp. Illus. Original front pictorial wrapper (rear wrapper lacking). Spine taped. Corners and final text leaf chipped, affecting a few letters in both. Overall just about good.

A sensationalized account of this western tragedy, in which an entire party of emigrants was slaughtered by Mormons and Indians in 1857. The party of 149 overlanders was en route to California. They left their barricades when Lee, a Mormon bishop and Indian agent, promised protection, after which all but seventeen children were slain. This is another issue of a pamphlet first issued by Barclay in 1877 which contains only forty-six pages. Flake locates only three copies of the present edition, those at Harvard, Bancroft, and Yale. HOWES L208a. ADAMS SIX-GUNS 1310. FLAKE 4847. McDADE 596. $1500.

Laws of the British Caribbean

92. [Leeward Islands Laws]: ACTS OF ASSEMBLY, PASSED IN THE CHARIBBEE LEEWARD ISLANDS. FROM 1690, TO 1730. London. 1734. 15,[1],24,[4],25-231,[31]pp. Folio. Modern half calf and marbled boards, spine gilt, morocco label. Small institutional blindstamp on titlepage. Light, even tanning; very slight foxing. Very good.

The first collected printing of British laws for Antigua and the Leeward Islands, and a primary source on the administration of justice in the West Indies in the 18th century. After consolidating their power over most of the Leeward Islands in the late 17th century, the British set about instituting a uniform code of laws. Most of the laws were passed on and pertain to Antigua, the largest island in the group and the British colonial headquarters in the Leeward Islands. A handful of acts refer particularly to Nevis. Many of the laws date to as far back as the 1660s and '70s. The entire gamut of judicial, economic, and social intercourse is covered, including the establishment of a legal system, rules governing servants and laborers, weights and measures, agriculture, trade, and the local militia. Several acts address the issues of slavery and free Blacks. With an index. OCLC locates twelve copies. A scarce and crucial collection of laws for this important outpost of the British empire. BEINECKE LESSER ANTILLES COLLECTION 163. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 734/117. SABIN 12025, 10891. OCLC 13128040. $4000.

93. [Lincoln, Abraham]: [MANUSCRIPT LEGAL DOCUMENT IN ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S HAND]. Springfield, Il. Aug. 17, 1850. [1]p. Manuscript on upper half of recto. Light fold lines and minor edge wear. Near fine.

A legal form executed entirely in Abraham Lincoln's hand save for the signature. Lincoln's script reads:

"Office of the Register of the Land Office at Springfield, Illinois. August 17th, 1850. I, Turner R. King, Register of the Land Office aforesaid do hereby certify that Section N°. Twentyfive in Township N°. Twentyfour North, of Range N°. Four West of the Third Principal Meridian, was purchased entire, of the Government of the United States, on the 2nd day of Febry. AD. 1835, by William Sampson, Jonah L. James, and John A. [?] as appears of Record in this office."

The text is followed by King's signature.

Ousted from Congress because of his unpopular opposition to the Mexican War, Lincoln returned to Illinois to resume his law practice. The present form was written during the most prosperous period of Lincoln's career as an attorney, four years before the Kansas-Nebraska Act catapulted him back onto the political stage. A nice Lincoln item. ANB 13, pp.664-65. $3500.

Livingston's Reply to Jefferson on the New Orleans Batture Seizure

94. Livingston, Edward: AN ANSWER TO MR. JEFFERSON'S JUSTIFICATION OF HIS CONDUCT IN THE CASE OF THE NEW ORLEANS BATTURE. Philadelphia: William Fry, 1813. xi,187pp. plus two folding maps. Half title. Contemporary plain wrappers. Spine perished, chipped and worn at extremities. Minor foxing. Very good, untrimmed.

Livingston's bitter reply to Jefferson's justification for confiscating the former's waterfront property in New Orleans. The New Orleans batture case was one of the bitter controversies of Jefferson's presidency. Livingston, a prominent New Orleans attorney, claimed ownership of a strip of beach (the batture) at New Orleans which had long been used as a common boat landing. Jefferson asserted government ownership up to the high water mark and had a federal marshal forcibly dispossess Livingston. This resulted in a celebrated case of the use of federal power which continued to be bitterly argued, so much so that Jefferson felt constrained, four years after leaving the presidency, to compose his legal reasoning in a pamphlet, one of only three full-scale works published under his name in his lifetime. Livingston herein replies to the former president.

This copy is unusual in that it contains the two folding maps relating to the controversy. They are almost always lacking. The second of these is a detailed map of the eastern suburb of New Orleans, one of the first such maps of the area. The Streeter copy, the last to appear at auction with the maps, sold for $1300 in 1967. BOUND TO PLEASE 14, p.20. HOWES L396. STREETER SALE 1593. SABIN 41610. COHEN 2827 (note). $5000.

95. Lockwood, R.A.: THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE OF SAN FRANCISCO. METCALF vs. ARGENTI et al. SPEECHES OF R.A. LOCKWOOD, ESQ. San Francisco, Ca. 1852. 48pp. Modern half calf and marbled boards. Very good.

Lockwood was Metcalf's lawyer in this bizarre case. Metcalf, a drayman, was accused of stealing goods he was transporting. In the middle of the night, Argenti and a Vigilance Committee group came to Metcalf's house and violently searched it for "stolen items," material actually in a warehouse in transit. Metcalf sued Argenti and his band for damages. The verdict of the case was $200 in compensation for Metcalf. "These speeches of Lockwood are required reading for anyone wishing to understand the dark and cruel side of the activities of the Vigilance Committee" – Streeter. SABIN 41752. COHEN 12019. GREENWOOD, CALIFORNIA IMPRINTS 333. STREETER SALE 2713. COWAN p.394. GRAFF 2521. $2500.

Authorizing Civil Authorities in Louisiana, 1803

96. [Louisiana]: LAUSSAT, PRÉFET COLONIAL, COMMISSAIRE DU GOUVERNEMENT FRANÇAIS, CONSIDÉRANT QU'APRÈS AVOIR ASSURÉ LA TRANQUILLITÉ & LA SÛRETÉ DANS LES DIVERS POSTES DE LA BASSE-LOUISIANE...[caption title]. [New Orleans. 1803]. Broadside, 14¼ x 9 inches, with woodcut headpiece of symbolic figure with printed inscription: "Préfecture Coloniale." Minor old folds, light wear and some tanning at edges. Moderate dampstain affecting portions of eight lines of text. Contemporary manuscript inscriptions in ink above text. A good copy.

An exceedingly rare New Orleans broadside printed during the brief return of France's control of Louisiana between the Spanish and American periods of ownership. The decree was promulgated on Dec. 6, 1803 and authorized by Colonial Prefect Laussat and Commission Secretary Daugerot. "Having issued a previous decree maintaining office and confirming the authority and powers of various post commanders of lower Louisiana, Laussat now gives orders making the same provisions for civil functionaries in the provinces along the banks of the Mississippi River" – Hummel.

Spain signed a treaty of cession on March 21, 1801, but this was not announced to the inhabitants of the colony until March 27, 1803. The actual transfer of Louisiana back to France occurred on Nov. 30 of that year, and three weeks later the territory became a part of the United States. Pierre Clément de Laussat, Colonial Prefect, arrived in New Orleans from Paris to take formal possession of Louisiana, and as had already been arranged, transfer title to the U.S. "Laussat's first official announcement after his arrival in New Orleans was followed by five other proclamations or edicts in broadside form which have been seen and recorded in the course of this study, and there were undoubtedly still others which have not come to light. The purpose of these broadsides was to establish and carry on the machinery of government and to insure the maintenance of law and order after the automatic termination of the authority of the Spanish magistrates and office holders. Most of these bear at the top an interesting woodcut of the typical female figure symbolical of France, and inscribed 'Préfecture Coloniale.' This woodblock was undoubtedly brought by the commission from Paris" – McMurtrie (New Orleans).

An extremely rare broadside printed during France's brief control of Louisiana in the early 19th century. Jumonville records copies at New Orleans Public Library, Tulane, and Historic New Orleans Collection. JUMONVILLE 85. HUMMEL 796. McMURTRIE (LOUISIANA) 32. McMURTRIE (NEW ORLEANS) p.64. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 4554. $11,000.

Signed by Colonial Prefect Laussat

97. [Louisiana]: LAUSSAT, PRÉFET COLONIAL, COMMISSAIRE DU GOUVERNEMENT FRANÇAIS, CONSIDÉRANT, QUE PAR LE REMISE DE POSSESSION DE LA LOUISIANE À LA RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE, LES OFFICIERS DE JUSTICE QUI TENAIENT LEUR CARACTÈRE DE LA COURONNE ROYALE D'ESPAGNE, ONT DÛ CESSSER LEURS FONCTIONS...[caption title]. [New Orleans. 1803]. Broadside, 13¾ x 9¼ inches, with woodcut headpiece of symbolic figure with printed inscription: "Préfecture Coloniale." Minor old folds at edges, moderate wear at edges. Moderate dampstaining in bottom margin. Autograph signatures of Colonial Prefect Laussat and Commission Secretary Daugerot, authorization stamp of the Préfecture Coloniale de la Louisiane, contemporary ink inscriptions and later pencil inscription above text. A good copy.

An exceedingly rare New Orleans broadside concerning the establishment of the French judiciary in Louisiana, printed during the brief return of France's control of Louisiana between the Spanish and American periods of ownership. The decree provides "for the hearing of urgent cases by the Municipal Council until a judicial system is established after cession to the United States" (Hummel).

Spain signed a treaty of cession on March 21, 1801, but this was not announced to the inhabitants of the colony until March 27, 1803. The actual transfer of Louisiana back to France occurred on Nov. 30 of that year, and three weeks later the territory became a part of the United States. Pierre Clément de Laussat, Colonial Prefect, arrived in New Orleans from Paris to take formal possession of Louisiana, and as had already been arranged, transfer title to the U.S. "Laussat's first official announcement after his arrival in New Orleans was followed by five other proclamations or edicts in broadside form which have been seen and recorded in the course of this study, and there were undoubtedly still others which have not come to light. The purpose of these broadsides was to establish and carry on the machinery of government and to insure the maintenance of law and order after the automatic termination of the authority of the Spanish magistrates and office holders. Most of these bear at the top an interesting woodcut of the typical female figure symbolical of France, and inscribed 'Préfecture Coloniale.' This woodblock was undoubtedly brought by the commission from Paris" – McMurtrie (New Orleans).

An extremely rare broadside printed during France's brief control of Louisiana in the early 19th century, signed by the Colonial Prefect Laussat and the French Commission Secretary Daugerot. Jumonville records copies at New Orleans Public Library and Historic New Orleans Collection, and McMurtrie (Louisiana) adds a copy in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville. JUMONVILLE 69. HUMMEL 798. McMURTRIE (NEW ORLEANS) 53, p.64. McMURTRIE (LOUISIANA) 22. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 4551. $10,000.

98. [Louisiana]: A DIGEST OF THE CIVIL LAWS NOW IN FORCE IN THE TERRITORY OF ORLEANS, WITH ALTERATIONS AND AMENDMENTS ADAPTED TO ITS PRESENT SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. New Orleans: Bradford and Anderson, 1808. v,xxi,[1],491pp. Quarto. Contemporary calf, leather label. Large chips at spine ends, boards worn. Old dampstain in upper gutter of final few leaves, else internally clean and in overall good condition. Untrimmed.

A most important compilation of laws covering the southern part of the Louisiana purchase (separated from the northern section in 1808), and so covering present-day Louisiana and Arkansas. Printed in parallel French and English, this volume amalgamated for the first time the combination of English, French, and Spanish law which represented the legal past and present of the territory. One of the most substantial books printed in New Orleans up to that time. JUMONVILLE 174. McMURTRIE (NEW ORLEANS) 114. $2750.

A Foundation Work of Law in the West

99. [Louisiana]: Lislet, L. Moreau, and Henry Carleton, trans: THE LAWS OF LAS SIETE PARTIDAS, WHICH ARE STILL IN FORCE IN THE STATE OF LOUISIANA. New Orleans. 1820. Two volumes. xxv,605; [3],612-1248,[4],73pp. plus errata. Modern paper boards, paper labels. Moderate foxing and browning. Very good.

An expanded variation of this interesting Louisiana legal item, after its first appearance in 1818. "Las Siete Partidas" translates as "The Seven Parts," referring to the number of principal divisions. This work is a compilation of the customary laws of Spain, the civil law, and the canon law, collected by four Spanish legal consults under Alphonso X in 1250 and promulgated as law in 1348 by Alphonso XI. At the time of publication, the laws were still in force in Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, especially those sections relating to water law. Sabin quotes Ticknor's Spanish Literature in calling this "A curious and learned work." COHEN 3645 (ref). SABIN 42244. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 2019. $2250.

100. [Louisiana]: Livingston, Edward: RAPPORT FAIT A L'ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE DE L'ETAT DE LA LOUISIANE, SUR LE PROJET D'UN CODE PÉNAL, POUR LEDIT ETAT. New Orleans: Benjamin Levy, 1822. 170,[2]pp. Contemporary plain wrappers. Minor edge wear, spine nearly perished. Moderate foxing. Very good, unopened and untrimmed.

The French language edition of Livingston's proposed penal code for Louisiana, also printed in English the same year. Livingston, a former member of Congress and a staunch Jeffersonian Republican, was elected to the Louisiana legislature in 1820, and in February of the following year he was charged with developing a penal code for the state. His revolutionary plan, ultimately not adopted, favored prevention rather than excessive punitive measures. "Although none [of Livingston's plans] were enacted into law, they were, together with their introductory reports, an influential force in this country and in Europe" – Cohen. An important work of jurisprudence and an attractive Louisiana legal item. JUMONVILLE 372. COHEN 10317. SABIN 41613. FAVROT, p.30. KORN 202. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 9282. ANB 13, p.763. $1250.




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