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“IN MEMORY OF THE LANDING OF THE FATHERS AT PLYMOUTH”

ADAMS, John. Autograph letter. WITH: Oration Delivered at Plymouth. Boston, 1802.

Autograph letter by John Adams, penned by him shortly after his tenure as America’s second President and dated December 22, 1802, expressing regret at being unable to attend “the Anniversary dinner in memory of the landing of the Fathers and Plymouth” at which his son John Quincy was speaking, tipped into a first edition copy in original uncut wrappers of the Oration delivered by John Quincy at the event. $15,000.

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"THE OLDEST FUNCTIONING WRITTEN CONSTITUTION IN THE WORLD"

(ADAMS, John). Constitution or Frame of Government… Massachusetts-Bay. Boston, 1780.

First edition of the landmark 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, "one of the great, enduring documents of the American Revolution." Chiefly authored by Founding Father John Adams, this "ideal of a 'perfect constitution'" (Wood) notably contains the Massachusetts' constitutional convention's revision of his initial wording—that all men are "born equally free and independent"—to "All men are born free and equal," reflecting Jefferson's timeless phrase in the Declaration. Handsomely housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $14,500.

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"LIBERTY AND THE LAWS DEPEND ENTIRELY ON A SEPARATION OF [POWERS]"

ADAMS, John. Defence of the Constitutions of Government. London, 1787.

First edition of Adams' important work on a constitutional separation of powers, his reasoned yet impassioned "rendition of the case for checks and balances in government" (McCullough). $12,500.

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"THE GREATEST THREAT TO AMERICAN LIBERTIES": RARE FIRST EDITION OF CONTINUATION OF THE PROCEEDINGS, 1770, ISSUED IN BOSTON SAME YEAR AS THE BOSTON MASSACRE, DOCUMENTING THE "CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS" PROVOKED BY LT. GOVERNOR THOMAS HUTCHINSON

(AMERICAN REVOLUTION) (HUTCHINSON, Thomas) (ADAMS, John) (ADAMS, Samuel) (HANCOCK, John). Continuation of the Proceedings. Boston, 1770.

First edition of the momentous work that documents powerful legal and philosophical debates in a stand-off between Boston patriots and Hutchinson over his command to remove the Massachusetts Court from Boston amidst fury over the recent Boston Massacre, causing colonial leaders, chief among them Samuel and John Adams, to rage against "the most valuable of our Liberties from being wrested from us," this rare edition "almost certainly a major cause" of the Declaration of Independence "accusing the King of calling 'together legislative bodies at place… distance from the repository of their public records for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance." $9500.

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