"IF THE ABUSES OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD, AT ANY TIME, BE GREAT AND MANIFEST… I ASK, WHAT PRINCIPLES ARE THOSE WHICH OUGHT TO RESTRAIN AN INJURED AND INSULTED PEOPLE… FROM ALTERING THE WHOLE FORM OF THEIR GOVERNMENT?"
(CONSTITUTION) PRIESTLEY, Joseph. LL.D.F.R.S. An Essay on the First Principles of Government. London, 1768.
First edition of the profoundly influential work by Priestley, the English scientist and philosopher who defied his countrymen to support the American Revolution, a close friend of Franklin and Jefferson—who owned a copy of Priestley's Essay and considered "this one of the books which furnish the principles of our constitution"—a defining work of the Enlightenment that went beyond Locke in its argument for "political, civil and religious liberty." $12,500.