UNITED STATES. CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. Journals of Congress. Containing the Proceedings in the Year 1776. Published by Order of Congress. Volume II. Philadelphia: R. Aitken, 1777. , 513,  p. Modern full mottled sheepskin, superbly executed in exact facsimile of the original binding, the spine with a red morocco title label and "1776" tooled on a black oval onlay. Some internal dampstaining and browning, particularly toward the end of the text, else a very handsome volume. With the signature of Samuel McCraw Gunn, dated 1822, on the title page. Enclosed in a four-flap chemise and morocco-backed slipcase. First edition of the second volume of the journals of the Continental Congress, covering Congress' proceedings for the year 1776 and containing the full text of the Declaration of Independence. On September 26, 1776, the Continental Congress ordered Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken to reprint the earlier (i.e., 1775) journals of Congress and to continue to print the journals "with all possible expedition." According to Charles Hildeburn, quoting Aitken's statement to Congress, "I printed 800 copies of the second volumes, 50 were carried to Lancaster, and committed to the care of Mr. [John] Dunlap. I find of the other 750 copies only 532 were delivered. I allow 218 copies as they have been lost or embessled." (Issues of the Press in Pennsylvania, 3577) The text contains a complete record of the proceedings of the Continental Congress from January 1 through December 31, 1776. On page 240 the session of Tuesday, July 4, begins: "Agreeable to the order of the day, the Congress resolved itself, into a committee of the whole, to take into their farther consideration the declaration, and after some time the president resumed the chair, and Mr. Harrison reported that the committee have agreed to a declaration which they desired him to report. The declaration being read, was agreed to, as follows." Here begins the full text of the Declaration of Independence, ending at the bottom of page 246 with the name of the final signer. The text of the entire volume is set solid in a Long Primer type. The text of the Declaration is set in a leaded Small Pica type. There is no mistaking the emphasis. Next foll. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Journals of Congress. Containing the ...
Publication Date: 1777
Book Description Philadelphia: Robert Aitken, 1777., 1777. ,513,pp. Early 19th-century sheep and marbled boards. Rubbed, some wear on spine ends and corners. Text uniformly toned. Very slight paper nicks at edge of title-leaf, slight paper loss at corners of a few index leaves. With the signature of Richard Bland Lee on the titlepage. In a blue half morocco and cloth box, spine gilt. This volume of the Journals of Congress is one of the rarest of the series issued from 1774 to 1788. It covers the exciting events of 1776, culminating with the Declaration of Independence on July 4, an early printing of which appears here, as well as all of the other actions of Congress for the year. It is thus a vital document in the history of American independence and the American Revolution. On September 26, 1776, Congress had authorized printer Robert Aitken to produce a uniform edition of their Journals. Aitken combined the Journals of the First and Second Continental Congresses of 1774 and 1775 (originally published by Bradford in two separate volumes) into one volume, to form Volume I of the series. The material from the first four months of 1776 was reprinted by Aitken from the monthly issues he had produced at the time strictly for the use of Congress, in an edition of eighty copies (the so called "Cartridge Paper" edition). In early 1777 he produced the rest of this volume, as Volume II of the series. This was completed in the spring or summer, and marks the first publication of the June-December 1776 Journals. According to Aitken's account, 532 copies were completed. In the fall of 1777 the British campaign under Howe forced the Congress to evacuate Philadelphia, moving first to Lancaster and then to York, Pennsylvania. The fleeing Congress took with it what it could, but, not surprisingly, was unable to remove many copies of its printed Journals, which would have been bulky and difficult to transport. Presumably, many left behind in Philadelphia were destroyed by the British, accounting for its scarcity today. The 1776 Journals record some of the most stirring moments of the Crisis of the Revolution. Much attention is devoted to the actual organization of a civil government to manage a war. On May 15, Richard Henry Lee's proposal of independence is recorded, and the concurrence of various other states appears throughout June before the formal motion was made on July 2. The Declaration of Independence appears in full on pages 241- 246. Besides this, there is a vast quantity of material of military and political importance. This volume belonged to Richard Bland Lee, a son of one of the most prominent Virginia families of the Revolutionary era. His older brother Henry ("Light Horse Harry") was one of the most noted cavalry commanders of the Revolution, and his other older brother Charles was Attorney General of the United States from 1795 to 1801. Richard himself served in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1784-88, then served as one of the first U.S. Representatives in 1789-95. His adherence to the Federalist party led to his defeat as a Congressman, but did not interfere with his warm personal friendship with James Madison, which continued throughout his life. The latter part of his life was devoted to managing his estates in tidewater Virginia. A nice association copy of the first Congressional printing of the Declaration of Independence. ANB 13:388. EVANS 15684. REESE, REVOLUTIONARY HUNDRED 48. Bookseller Inventory # WRCAM 43980