ACTS PASSED AT A CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.... [bound with]: ACTS PASSED AT THE SECOND SESSION OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.... [bound with]: ACTS PASSED AT THE THIRD SESSION OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
1791·Philadelphia & New York
by [United States Laws - First Congress]
Philadelphia & New York: Francis Childs and John Swaine, 1791. Three volumes bound in one. 93,; 228; ,228-277,[1 blank],-279pp. Folio. Contemporary calf, expertly rebacked in period style, original gilt morocco label preserved. Rubbed. Scattered dampstaining and foxing. Despite defects, overall still very good. The Acts of Congress, from the first three sessions of the first Congress, bound together. Included herein: The second folio edition of the ACTS PASSED AT A CONGRESS..., after the first of 1789, reprinted to go with the session laws with which it is here bound. The first session of Congress met in New York on March 4, 1789, and continued until the end of September. It officially ratified the Constitution and Washington's election as first U.S. president, and passed much of the most basic legislation for the machinery of government, regulating the Customs, Judiciary, Post Office, Mint, and the like. Much time was spent on the Bill of Rights, which appears here, still including twelve amendments (the first two, relating to the numbers in a congressional district and congressional salaries, were later omitted). Needless to say, all of these things make the acts of this session a foundation work in the history of American government. The ACTS PASSED AT THE SECOND SESSION... "contains the Treaties and Conventions ratified with the several countries of Europe, and with the Indian tribes" (Evans). Much more important foundation legislation was passed in this session, including the Census, naturalization law, the copyright bill, the settling of the District of Columbia as the seat of the new government, and various tariff and fiscal laws. This issue of the ACTS PASSED AT THE THIRD SESSION... is apparently unrecorded. Evans and the North AMERICAN IMPRINTS Project cite two other folio editions: another Philadelphia edition of 286 pages, and a Richmond edition printed for the General Assembly of the State of Virginia. This 279-page edition clearly is complete in itself: the last printing is halfway down the recto of the leaf, followed by a terminal type ornament. Evans states that the 286-page version is not the first, without providing an alternative. It seems likely that this is the actual first issue. More important legislation is found here: the admission of Vermont, the incorporation of the Bank of the United States, the admission of Kentucky, and the establishment of the Mint. A foundation volume of laws. EVANS 23842 (1st session), 22952 (2nd session), 23845 (3rd session, another ed). NORTH AMERICAN IMPRINTS PROJECT w014375 (another ed).
(Inventory #: WRCAM28226)
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