A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States...
by Adams, John
1797. Published Under Adams's Supervision Adams, John [1735-1826]. A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, Against the Attack of M. Turgot in His Letter to Dr. Price, Dated the Twenty-Second Day of March, 1778. Philadelphia: Printed by Budd and Bartram, for William Corbett, 1797. Three volumes. 6, xxxiii, , 4-392; [iv], 451; [ii] 528,  pp. Volume I has six-page subscriber list; copperplate portrait frontispiece not present (see note at end of annotation below). Volume II has half-title, it lacks the blank front endleaf. Final two leaves of Volume III bound in reverse order. Octavo (8" x 5"). Contemporary tree sheep, carefully rebacked retaining spines with lettering pieces and gilt fillets, hinges mended. Light rubbing and a few shallow scuffs and nicks to boards, moderate rubbing to spines and extremities with some wear to corners and spine ends. Light toning to text, somewhat heavier in places, light foxing to some leaves. A notably handsome copy. * Third, final and best edition, the last one published under Adams's supervision. He wrote this fundamental contribution to American political theory when he was the American ambassador at the Court of St. James. First published in London, the Defence was a profound influence on the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the framers of several post-Revolutionary state constitutions. It also did much to familiarize Europeans with the novel political events taking place in America. Adams intended the Defence to be a one-volume work. He added two more volumes in 1787 and 1788 to offer more examples and address issues raised by critics. The first volume, reprinted from the London edition, was reprinted in New York and Philadelphia in 1787 and Boston in 1788. An abridged two-volume French translation was published in Paris in 1792. The third edition, a corrected reprint of the second and final London edition, 1794, was the only complete three-volume text published in the United States. Many copies have a copperplate portrait frontispiece of Adams in Volume I. But not all. We have seen several copies without one. Also, Cohen's collation does not call for one, though he notes a frontispiece in the London edition of 1794. Close inspection of our copy gives no indication of a now-lost frontispiece, such as o (Inventory #: 65282)
Law & Legal History, International Law, Trials, Americana, Criminology, Early Printed Law Books, Legal Ephemera, Manuscripts: Law, Political Science
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