1796 · Philadelphia
Standard reference work for early American jurists, compiled by a prominent South Carolina politician and judge (and father of Sarah and Angelina Grimké, the abolition and women's rights activists). A number of decisions made since the first edition of 1788 have been incorporated into this second edition, which includes => a section on slaves in addition to to those on homicide, libel, gaming, forgery, etc.
This was printed by Philadelphia's Robert Aitken ("& Son"), with a garnish of headings in black letter.
Provenance: Front fly-leaf with decoratively flourished inked inscription: "Jn. M. Davis 1799"; title-page inscribed "Jn. Maynard Davis." Davis, a maritime insurance expert, was one of the founders of the South Carolina Insurance Company; he is thought to have been the first independent insurance agent in America. His particular focus is noted by the sole obvious mark of emphasis here, which points towards a paragraph of the section on wrecks. Grimke (1752–1819) and Davis (professionally active in 1783 and alive through at least 1822) were both South Carolinian Freemasons during the same time period, though from rival lodges; the former was Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons, while the latter was Senior Grand Warden of the Ancient York Masons.
ESTC W37120; Evans 30519; Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law, 8466. Contemporary mottled sheep, covers framed in blind beaded roll, spine with gilt-stamped black leather title-label; moderately rubbed and scuffed overall, spine leather and label with cracks. Pages much foxed and darkened; one leaf with chip out of upper margin; inscriptions and one early inked marginal emphasis mark as above; back fly-leaf with legal term pencilled ("Amerciament") in an early hand. => An important work of early U.S. law, with happy provenance. (Inventory #: 36771)