"OUR CAUSE IS JUST: OUR UNION IS PERFECT… BEING WITH ONE MIND RESOLVED TO DIE FREEMEN, RATHER THAN TO LIVE SLAVES": FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF THE 1775 JOURNAL OF CONGRESS, INCLUDING THE OLIVE BRANCH PETITION AND JEFFERSON'S CAUSES AND NECESSITY OF TAKING UP ARMS
(CONTINENTAL CONGRESS). Journal of the Proceedings of the Congress, Held at Philadelphia, May 10, 1775. Published by Order of the Congress. Philadelphia: Printed. London: Re-printed for J. Almon, 1776. Octavo, modern three-quarter brown calf, raised bands, brown morocco spine label, marbled boards. $3500.
First English edition of the Journal of the Second Continental Congress, covering the dramatic events of May-August 1775, with printings of the Olive Branch Petition and Jefferson's eloquent Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms—a precursor to the Declaration of Independence.
"On 10 May 1775, when all America was buzzing with the news of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress met at Philadelphia. No more distinguished group of men ever assembled in this country." Under John Hancock as president, and Washingon, Jefferson and Franklin among its delegates, Congress "approved the hot war that had broken out in Massachusetts, adopted the militia besieging the redcoats in Boston as the 'Army of the United Colonies,' [and] appointed Colonel George Washington commander in chief" (Morison, Oxford History, 215-16). Featured within are witness accounts from the Battles of Lexington and Concord, a draft of Rules and Regulations for the Continental Army and John Dickinson's Olive Branch Petition. Of particular importance here is Jefferson and Dickinson's July 6th Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms—a precursor to the Declaration of Independence: "Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great… the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties, being with one mind resolved, to die Freemen rather than to live as slaves." Preceded by the 1775 Philadelphia edition, this first English edition covers the period from May 10 to August 1775. With half title, without four rear advertisement leaves; mispagination, including page numbers 159-68 repeated, as noted in Adams, text complete. Adams 75-151b. Howes J264. See Adams 75-151a; Evans 14569; Ford 74.
Minor foxing, binding fine and attractive.