“TO MAINTAIN, BY FIRE AND SWORD, DOMINION… CONTRADICTS EVERY PRINCIPLE OF LIBERTY AND HUMANITY”: SCARCE 1777 EDITION OF PRICE’S ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS IN SUPPORT OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
PRICE, Richard. Additional Observations on the Nature and Value of Civil Liberty, And the War with America… London: T. Cadell, 1777. Octavo, modern full burgundy straight-grain morocco, raised bands, green morocco spine labels, renewed endpapers, top edge gilt; pp. xvi, -176. $1400.
Second edition, issued within weeks of the first edition and preceding the first American edition, published in answer to a storm of “virulent invectives” against Price for his support of American independence in Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty (1776), handsomely bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
A close friend of Franklin and John Adams, Richard Price “was the most influential British advocate of American independence” (Howes P586), and “one of the most ardent defenders of civil and religious liberty and republican values in Great Britain” (Hamowy, Interpretation, Fall 2003:4). When Price was confronted with “virulent invectives against me” following the publication of his Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty (1776), he forcefully answered his critics with Additional Observations. Here Price even more emphatically supports the American cause, arguing: “to maintain, by fire and sword, dominion over the persons and property of a people… who have no share in its legislature, contradicts every principle of liberty and humanity” (ix). Profoundly influenced by Locke, Price’s Additional Observations eloquently continues his defense of “America in its controversies with the Crown… Indeed, he regarded the cause of the colonies as the cause of all free Englishmen and saw in colonial resistance… the best hope that freedom would be preserved in Britain” (Hamowy, 16). In 1778 Price was offered the singular honor of United States citizenship. Second edition: “printed in the same press run” as the first edition (Adams 77-75b). Collates complete as seen in Adams, ESTC, Kress, Goldmiths; without 36-page Supplement; folding “Summary View” as seen in Sabin, Howes. ESTC N29263. Kress B72. Goldsmiths 11644. Sabin 65444. Howes P583. See Sowerby 3110; Adams 77-75a. Bookplate.
Text generally fresh with lightest scattered foxing. A handsomely bound about-fine copy.