Rare Book Gallery
THE FEDERALIST: A COLLECTION OF...
Hamilton, Alexander; James Madison; and John Jay:
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
New York: Printed and sold by John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788.. Two volumes bound in one. vi,227; vi,384pp. 12mo. Contemporary sheep, spine with plain... More
New York: Printed and sold by John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788.. Two volumes bound in one. vi,227; vi,384pp. 12mo. Contemporary sheep, spine with plain gilt rules. Expertly rebacked, with original spine laid down, boards somewhat rubbed. Light foxing and toning. Pencil notes on free endpapers. Small tear in pp.49/50 with no loss. Overall very good, with the bookplate of F. Olcott. In a half morocco and cloth clamshell box with chemise. The rare first edition of the most important work of American political thought ever written and, according to Thomas Jefferson, "the best commentary on the principles of government." The first edition of THE FEDERALIST comprises the first collected printing of the eighty-five seminal essays written in defense of the newly-drafted Constitution. The essays were first issued individually by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in New York newspapers under the pseudonym Publius to garner support for the ratification of the Constitution. The first thirty-six numbers of THE FEDERALIST were here published in book form in March 1788, with the remaining forty- nine, together with the text of the Constitution, in May of that year. Upon its publication, George Washington noted to Alexander Hamilton that the work "will merit the Notice of Posterity; because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government, which will always be interesting to mankind" (George Washington, letter to Hamilton, August 28, 1788). The genesis of this "classic exposition of the principles of republican government" (Bernstein) is to be found in the "great national discussion" which took place about the ratification of the Constitution, and the necessity of answering the salvos in print from the Anti- Federalists and other opponents of a strong federal government. The original plan was that James Madison and John Jay were to help Hamilton write a series of essays explaining the merits of their system, whilst also rebutting the arguments of its detractors. "Hamilton wrote the first piece in October 1787 on a sloop returning from Albany...He finished many pieces while the printer waited in a hall for the completed copy" - Brookhiser. In the end, well over half of the eighty- five essays were written by Hamilton alone. Despite the intense time pressures under which the series was written "what began as a propaganda tract, aimed only at winning the election for delegates to New York's state ratifying convention, evolved into the classic commentary upon the American Federal system" - McDonald. THE FEDERALIST is without question the most important commentary on the Constitution, the most significant American contribution to political theory and among the most important of all American books. EVANS 21127. GROLIER AMERICAN 100, 19. STREETER SALE 1049. CHURCH 1230. HOWES H114, "c." COHEN 2818. SABIN 23979. FORD 17. PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN 234. R.B. Bernstein, ARE WE TO BE A NATION? THE MAKING OF THE CONSTITUTION (1987), p.242. R. Brookhiser, ALEXANDER HAMILTON: AMERICAN (1999), pp.68- 69. F. McDonald, ALEXANDER HAMILTON: A BIOGRAPHY, p.107. Less
Price: 185000.00 USD
A discourse of a method for the...
[DESCARTES, Ren?/ Tr. ANON.]
Bookseller: Martayan Lan, Inc.
London: Thomas Newcombe for John Holden, 1649. Very rare first English edition and fine copy of one of the most important works of Western... More
London: Thomas Newcombe for John Holden, 1649. Very rare first English edition and fine copy of one of the most important works of Western Philosophy ever written, Descartes’ Discourse, containing for the first time in English the phrase which is not only the conceptual cornerstone of Rationalism, generally considered the beginning of modern philosophy, but is synonymous in the cultural imagination with the very field of Philosophy: “I think, therefore, I am.” This English edition was the earliest recorded in the inventory of John Locke’s library (see J. Harrison/ P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke. 2nd ed #2451), and it is generally considered that Locke’s encounter with the ‘New Philosophy’ as it was known in England in the 1660’s, led him to write the Essay, his philosophical masterpiece. “Descartes’ purpose is to find the simple indestructible proposition which gives to the universe and thought their order and system. Three points are made: the truth of thought, when thought is true to itself (thus cogito, ergo sum), the invincible elevation of its partial state in our finite consciousness to its full state of the infinite existence of God, and to the ultimate reduction of the material universe to extension and local movement. From these central propositions in logic, metaphysics and physics came the subsequent inquiries of Locke (164 eg Essay on Human Understanding), Leibniz (177, Th?ic?, and Newton (161 Principia); from them stem all modern and scientific thought.” – PMM 129 (1637). Rather typically for English books of the period, the work is known in issues regarding the title page (and only the title page). These have not been well defined, and the circumstances of the translation’s commissioning and publication are simply unknown: as of 2002, when a series of facsimiles of Descartes’ works in English and related 17th c Cartesian writings was published, the translator of the present work remained unknown (see R. Ariew & D. Garber, Descartes’ Works in Translation, vol. I, p. ix.) According to the entry in the Norman catalogue, several states of the title are known: the title of the Norman copy is ‘A Discourse of a Method for the well guiding of Reason’, and it contains a signature marking, A4—highly exceptional if not unique for a 17th century English book; it does not contain Descartes’ name on the title. This is such an egregious and uncommon error that it is most likely the sign of the earliest state. Another title gives a different spelling ‘for Wel-‘ and Discovrse’; and yet another, like the Norman copy, omits Descartes’ name. OCLC lists 5 copies in American libraries: UCLA, Newberry, Northwestern, Harvard and Wisconsin. Wing adds Folger. In British libraries, Wing lists Oxford, Cambridge (King’s), Patent Office (London), National Library of Scotland. Through additional searching, we have also located two copies at the BL (one with the variant title), and one at Yale (Cushing Medical Library). Remarkably, the book is sufficiently rare that it is not included in the excellent Descartes bibliography of Guillebert; it was NOT included in the Biblioth?e Nationale’s anniversary exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the publication of the Discours in 1937, and to this day there remains no copy of the present translation in the Biblioth?e Nationale. Finally, it is missing from (at least) two major collections of 17th century English printed books of this level of importance: the Morgan Library and the Huntington. * Wing D1129; Norman 624 (variant imprint); J. Harrison/ P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke. 2nd ed #2451 not in Guillebert; Julien Cain/ Biblioth?e Nationale. Descartes. Exposition organis?pour le III i? Centenaire du Discours de la M?ode. (Paris 1937).. 8vo., 4.5 X 9 cm], (7) ff., of which the first two are blank and integral, 127 pp. (verso blank). Bound in contemporary calf ruled in blind, gilt spine and edges of covers faded and rubbed. Binding a bit shaken, and joints a bit fragile. Minor toning in margin, but a remarkably fresh copy in its original binding, housed in modern bookbox. Less
Price: 90000.00 USD
New Englands Prospect. A true lively,...
WOOD, William (1580-1639)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes for Iohn Bellamie, 1635. Small quarto. (7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches). 1 folding woodcut and letterpress map. (Map close... More
London: Printed by Tho. Cotes for Iohn Bellamie, 1635. Small quarto. (7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches). 1 folding woodcut and letterpress map. (Map close shaved to margins with two old neat repairs to verso, upper margins shaved touching headlines and occasional page number, neatly repaired wormtrack through outer blank margins of title and text leaves to C4). Twentieth century crimson morocco gilt bound for Myers & Co. of London, spine in three compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second compartment, gilt turn-ins. Black morocco backed slipcase. The rare second edition of Wood's 'New England's Prospect', with the very rare map: one of the classic works on early New England, important for descriptions of the land, natives, and of course its handsome map. The first edition of this remarkably accurate work was published in 1634. According to Vail it includes the earliest topographical description of the Massachusetts colony. It is also the first detailed account of the animals and plants of New England, as well as the Indian tribes of the region. Of particular note is a chapter describing the customs and work of Indian women. Part One is divided into twelve chapters and is devoted to the climate, landscape, and early settlements, and describes in some detail the native trees, plants, fish game and mineral ores, as well as including advice to those thinking of crossing the Atlantic. The early settlements described include: Boston, Medford, Marblehead, Dorchester, Roxbury, Medford, Watertown, New and Old Plymouth. These chapters also include four charming verses which are essentially a series of lists naming the native trees (20 lines, starting 'Trees both in hills and plaines, in plenty be, /The long liv'd Oake, and mournfull Cyprus tree/ ... '), the animals (12 lines, starting 'The kingly Lyon, and the strong arm'd Beare, / The large lim'd Mooses, with the tripping Deare, / ...'), the birds (28 lines, starting 'The Princely Eagle, and the soaring Hawke, / Whom in their unknowne wayes there's none can chawke: / The Humberd for some Queenes rich Cage more fit, / Than in the vacant Wildernesse to sit, / ... '), and the inhabitants of the seas and rivers (28 lines, starting 'The king of waters, the Sea shouldering Whale, / ... '). The chapter on the birds also includes what are clearly eye-witness descriptions of a number of birds including the Humming-Bird and the Passenger Pigeon. Part Two is devoted to the native inhabitants, and is divided into twenty chapters. The tribes described are the 'Mohawks', 'Connectecuts,' 'Pequants and Narragansetts.' Again Wood goes into some detail describing the clothing, sports, wars, games, methods of hunting and fishing, their arts, and ending with their language: the work ends with a five-page vocabulary of Indian words, one of the earliest published for New England. The map, which is often lacking, is here in a crisp, clean example. It is one of the most important early New England maps. It shows most of the New England coast north of Narragansett Bay. Philip Burden praises the map: `Although simply made, this map is of greater accuracy than any before it. Covering the area from the Pascataque River, in present day New Hampshire, to Narragansett Bay, it is, however, the Massachusetts Bay area that is shown with the most detail ...Wood's map was not improved upon until the John Foster map in 1677.' `Little is known of the author. The dedication to Sir William Armine, Bart., of Lincolnshire, may indicate that Wood was also from there. He was resident in New England, perhaps primarily in Lynn, from 1629 to 1633, when he returned to London to publish his book. He may have returned to New England afterward. The General Court of Massachusetts Bay voted thanks to him on the appearance of New England's Prospect. The exceptional charm and vivacity of Wood's writing, including flights of verse, is widely acknowledged.' (Siebert Sale). Burden 239 (map, state 2); Church 433; European Americana 635/134; JCB (3)II:258; Pilling Algonquin p.535; Pilling Proof-Sheets 4199; Sabin 105075; Siebert Sale 96; STC 25958; Vail 89 Less
Price: 75000.00 USD