April 2023 Catalogue

B a u m a n R a r e B o o k s A p r i l 2 0 2 3 8 “Congress Shall Make No Law”: 1791 Constitutions, First Collected Printing Of The U.S. Constitution And 12 Proposed Amendments, The Declaration Of Independence And 14 State Constitutions 7. (CONSTITUTION) UNITED STATES CONGRESS. The Constitutions of the United States, According to the Latest Amendments, to Which are Prefixed the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution; with the Amendments Thereto, This Edition Contains the Constitution of Vermont, Not in Any Former One. Philadelphia, 1791. 12mo, contemporary full brown sheep rebacked, custom chemise, custom clamshell box. $16,000. First edition to assemble a printing of the 1787 U.S. Constitution together with 12 proposed amendments, the first collected printing of the Vermont constitution and those of the 13 original states, including that of Massachusetts—“the oldest functioning written constitution in the world.” Writing from Paris in December 1787, Thomas Jefferson responded to a letter from Madison that outlined the newly constructed federal Constitution. Though unhappy with its “omission of a bill of rights,” Jefferson approved of this “government which should go on of itself peaceably” (LOA, Constitution I:210). Londoners had earlier hailed a 1781 collection of state constitutions (issued six years before the framing of the U.S. Constitution) as “the Magna Charta of the American States” (Monthly Review). This scarce volume is the first to assemble the U.S. Constitution, the constitutions of the original 13 states, and that of the newly added state of Vermont. Within are the colonial charters of Rhode Island (1662) and Connecticut (1663), the 1776 constitutions of Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire, Maryland and North Carolina, the 1777 constitution of New York, the 1789 Georgia constitution, the 1790 constitutions of South Carolina and Pennsylvania, and the 1786 constitution of Vermont, as well as the 1780 Massachusetts constitution authored by John Adams—“one of the great, enduring documents of the American Revolution… the oldest functioning written constitution in the world” (McCullough, John Adams, 225). Also containing the 12 constitutional amendments proposed by Congress in 1789 (with a printed note dated August 1791 on the failure of the first two to be ratified); pages 1, 71 unnumbered as issued. Evans 23887. Howes C716. Sabin 16097. ESTC W30537. Rosenbach 65:38. Text fresh and clean. A handsome coy of this important work, in extremely good condition.