Spring 2022 Catalogue

New Acquisitions Spring 2022 – 16 – Bauman Rare Books Rare First British Printing Of The Plan Of The New Constitution For The United States Of America, 1787 18. (CONSTITUTION) Plan of the NewConstitution for the United States of America, Agreed Upon in a Convention of the States. London, 1787. Slim octavo, modern full polished brown calf gilt. $26,000. Very rare first printing in England of the American Constitution, printed shortly after news arrived in London in early November 1787, an exceptional document in Anglo-American history, beautifully bound in full polished calf. On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed. “Other than perhaps the Bible or the Koran, it is hard to think of any single document… that has been more fully interpreted, analyzed, parsed and dissected” (New York Review of Books). That sense of this work’s seminal importance first emerged as delegates argued that summer under a cloak of secrecy, for it had been decided that “nothing spoken in the House be printed, or otherwise published or communicated” (Chernow, 228). In his closing address, Benjamin Franklin declared the final document “so near to perfection… I think it will astonish our enemies” (Isaacson, 458). Then, with “the injunction on secrecy lifted, the British consul in Philadelphia, enclosed a copy in a letter of September 20 to Lord Carmathan, the Foreign Secretary” (Rapport, 80). Soon, in this 30page document printed in London in November 1787, the British received clear notice of “the sudden rise of a new Empire in the World.” This is the very elusive first printing with Washington’s September 17, 1787 Letter to Congress, along with the Preface that corrects an erroneous report by London newspapers that Washington had been appointed president of the Constitutional Convention only by “a majority of one vote… The fact is,” the author observes, “that General Washington was elected with one voice, and not by a majority of one.” With rear advertisements, often lacking. Howes P413. Sabin 63294. Mere trace of marginal paper flaws. An especially handsome copy in fine condition.