Rare Book Gallery
The Federalist: A Collection of...
[HAMILTON, Alexander (1739-1802), James MADISON (1751-1836) and John JAY (1745-1829)]
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
New York: Printed and sold by John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788. 2 volumes, 12mo. (6 1/8 x 3 3/4 inches). vi, 227; vi, 384pp. Expertly bound to style in... More
New York: Printed and sold by John and Andrew M'Lean, 1788. 2 volumes, 12mo. (6 1/8 x 3 3/4 inches). vi, 227; vi, 384pp. Expertly bound to style in contemporary tree calf, the covers with a neo-classical Greek-key roll- tool border, the flat spine tooled in gilt, divided into six compartments with a Greek-key roll, lettered in the second compartment, numbered in the fourth, the others with an elegant repeat pattern in gilt, both contained within a recent black morocco box, spine gilt. 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 85 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. This first collected edition was published in early 1788: volume I published in March, contains the first 36 numbers, volume II published in May, includes the remaining 49, together with the text of the Constitution. 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, 28 August 1788). The genesis of this "classic exposition of the principles of republican government" (R.B. Bernstein, Are We to be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution, 1987, p.242) 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" (R. Brookhiser Alexander Hamilton: American, 1999, pp.68-69). In the end, well over half of the 85 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" (F. McDonald Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, p.107). 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. Church 1230; Cohen 2818; Evans 21127; Ford 17; Grolier American 100, 19; Howes H114, "c"; Printing and the Mind of Man 234; Sabin 23979; Streeter Sale 1049. Less
Price: 225000.00 USD
[MANUSCRIPT LETTER, SIGNED BY JOHN...
Jones, John Paul:
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
On Board the Bonhomme Richard at L'Orient, France. June 14, 1779.. p. manuscript letter on a folded folio sheet. Docketed on the fourth page and... More
On Board the Bonhomme Richard at L'Orient, France. June 14, 1779.. p. manuscript letter on a folded folio sheet. Docketed on the fourth page and addressed in Jones's hand to "Captain M[atthew] Parke of the Marine troops." Sheet strengthened around the edges, closed tear mended in the second sheet. Very good. In a half morocco and cloth folding box, spine gilt. A very interesting manuscript letter, signed by Captain John Paul Jones as commander the American squadron off the coast of Europe, ordering Matthew Parke, a member of the Marine troops, to attend a court martial on board his ship, the Bonhomme Richard. Jones would gain everlasting fame and glory just a few weeks after he signed this letter, when he captured the HMS Serapis in the North Sea. In 1779 John Paul Jones took command of a 900-ton French East Indiaman, armed and renamed Bonhomme Richard as a compliment to his patron, Benjamin Franklin. The outfitting of the ship in the port of L'Orient consumed several months, and it was not ready for sea until June. The ship's crew was originally formed of prisoners taken from English ships by the French. Evidently, a group of these prisoner-sailors conspired to capture the ship, and Jones ordered their court martial to take place on June 15 on board the Bonhomme Richard. The manuscript text, signed by Jones in his own hand at the end, reads: "By the Honble. John P. Jones Captain in the American Navy and Commander in Chief of the American Squadron now in Europe. Sir you are hereby required and directed to attend at a Court Martial to be held on board the Bon homme [sic] Richard tomorrow for the Trial of James Enion, John Atwood, John Lomney, John Balch, John Layton, Andrew Thompson, George Johnston, William Carmichael, Alexander Cooper, William Hanover, Thomas Cole and Nathaniel Bonner - all of whom have been put under confinement by Lieutenant John Brown for mutinous behaviour and for refusing to do their duty on board the American ship of war the Bon homme Richard. You are also to try any other person or persons belonging to the American service who may in the course of the evidence appear to have been principally concerned in that mutiny - for which this shall be your order. Given on board the Bon homme Richard at L'Orient the 14th day of June 1779." Along with the letter, laid into a compartment in the box, is a commemorative medal, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches, with a portrait on the recto of Jones after the bust by Houdon, and an allegorical scene on the verso entitled "America claims her illustrious dead - Paris Annapolis 1905." The medal was issued to commemorate the exhumation and re- burial of Jones's body from beneath the streets of Paris to its final resting place in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1905. Any substantive, Revolutionary-era John Paul Jones letters or manuscripts are extremely rare in the market. This is an especially interesting and displayable artifact of Jones' tenure as commander of the Bonhomme Richard, with several references to the ship, where he earned his greatest fame during the Revolution. Less
Price: 75000.00 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