Declaration Signer James Wilsonís Signed Copy of, 1774 Maryland Guide, the First Original American Legal Work, Earliest on Law of Wills


Published by Annapolis, MD, 1774
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Seth Kaller Inc. (White Plains, NY, U.S.A.)

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Signed Book. Vallette, Elie. The Deputy Commissary's Guide within the Province of Maryland. Annapolis: Ann Catherine Green and Son, 1774. Octavo. Engraved title & table by Thomas Sparrow. Signed twice by Wilson at head of title & on front free endpaper recto. Both signatures ruled through in ink by subsequent owners, other owner's signatures on endpaper. A little blue & red crayon underlining & scrawl at head of title. An important association copy of a rare book with many first claims: this is the only edition of the first original American legal work, and the earliest book published in America on the law of wills. It also contains the only engraving from a colonial Maryland press, by Thomas Sparrow, the only engraver south of the Mason-Dixon Line before 1775. Historical BackgroundJames Wilson (1742-1798) was born in Scotland and educated at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, imbibing the principles of the Scottish Enlightenment. Unable to graduate due to his father's death, Wilson immigrated to America, and became a tutor at the College of Philadelphia, and assistant to Pennsylvania lawyer John Dickinson. For many years, Wilson practiced law in Reading and Carlisle, and became a powerful force in Pennsylvania politics. In 1774, he published "Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament," an influential revolutionary pamphlet. Wilson was twice elected to the Continental Congress, and served concurrently as a brigadier general in the state militia. Like other Pennsylvanians in Congress, including his mentor, Dickinson, Wilson was pressured by his constituents to forestall declaring independence. Wilson himself eventually changed his mind, voting for and signing the Declaration. As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Wilson sat on the Committee of Detail, which produced the first draft. He proposed the Three-Fifths Compromise, and was, next to James Madison, the most active participant in the Convention. Wilson was a major proponent for ratification in his Pennsylvania, which became the second state to approve the new constitution in 1787. President Washington named him as one of the six original justices of the Supreme Court.ConditionOriginal sheep, gilt-ruled spine, later red morocco spine label. Some dampstaining primarily extending from bottom gutter & bottom fore-edge corners.ReferencesEvans 13742; Worth, Maryland 338; Worth, Colonial Printer 290; Cohen, Early American Law 4632. Bookseller Inventory # 23609

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Declaration Signer James Wilsonís Signed ...

Publisher: Annapolis, MD

Publication Date: 1774

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Book Type: Signed Book

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About the Seller Since 1988, I have been the largest buyer of important content American historic documents. Thousands of documents I have handled are in museum collections, including the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendments acquired for the Lincoln Museum of Fort Wayne, Indiana, now on display in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the Manuscript Society, and a member of the ABAA. References are available upon request. Starting Your Own Collection We have the expertise necessary to acquire individual items, or build a personalized collection for you. We can inspire you by creating a unique link to the historical figures, events or ideas that inspire you. Seth Kaller Inc. can handle or coordinate each aspect of the process such as: Pre-acquisition research, Physical inspection and purchasing, Auction representation, Authentication, Inventory and accounting reports, Conservation, Framing and display, and Collection management. Museum Quality\Private Ownership Most people know that markets exist for Impressionist paintings, fine English antiques, or rare coins. However, the field of historic documents has long been quietly dominated by a select few: J.P. Morgan, Henry Huntington, Malcolm Forbes. This is changing as more collectors discover the satisfaction of a personal, unique connection with history. Achieve Immortality! Become associated with your favorite museum, library, university or historical society. Important properties can be loaned for exhibition, placed on deposit or donated outright, to insure their survival for generations to come. We can handle all the arrangements for you, including working with tax attorneys and accountants, and coordinating insurance, transit, and proper acknowledgment.

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