"WE HAVE BY THIS VERY EXTRAORDINARY CONDUCT BROUGHT ON US AN OPEN, AN AVOWED, A DECLARED CIVIL WAR WITH THIRTEEN COLONIES OF THAT CONTINENT UNITED AND COMBINED TOGETHER AGAINST US": RARE FIRST EDITION OF ROBINSON-MORRIS' A FURTHER EXAMINATION OF OUR PRESENT AMERICAN MEASURES, 1776, OFFERING BRITISH SUPPORT FOR THE AMERICAN CAUSE
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION) ROBINSON-MORRIS, Matthew. A Further Examination of Our Present American Measures and of the Reasons and the Principles on Which They Are Founded. Bath: R. Cruttwell, 1776. Octavo, later marbled paper wrappers, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $2500.
First edition of this British work written in support of a peaceful American independence, the successor to the author's 1774 popular pamphlet, "Considerations on the Measures Carrying on with Respect to the British Colonies in North America." Robinson-Morris' works were highly influential for the Founding Fathers, especially John Adams who shared similar views in his Novanglus letters written in the lead-up to the Revolution.
Matthew Morris-Robinson, 2nd Baron of Rokeby, was known for his sympathetic views toward American independence. The series of pamphlets he wrote—emphasizing the strong ties between Britain and the Colonies and advocating for a peaceful American independent—became favorites of the Founding Fathers and other American patriots. "On 13 January 1775 Edward Dilly, the London bookseller, wrote John Adams: 'I have also sent you 4 Copies of Mr. Robinson's "Considerations on the Measures"carrying on with respect to the British Colonies in America [the pamphlet preceding this one] The 2d Edition with considerable Additions' (Adams Papers). Dilly's letter was acknowledged by Abigail Adams on 22 May, since her husband was attending the Continental Congress when it arrived, and with her letter she sent some newspapers containing pieces written 'under the signature of Novanglus who has had the happiness of entertaining the same Opinions that Mr. Robinson has'" (Massachusetts Historical Society). In 1886, shortly after the end of the war, Adams opened correspondent with Rokeby through Dr. Richard Price, the American sympathizer and author of Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution. Rokeby and Adams used this new connection to discuss taxation, commerce, and financial systems—crucial issues in the early days of the American Republic. In 1887, Abigail Adams referenced Rokeby (as a person "who has written some things in favour of our Country, and who has always been Friendly to our cause") in a letter to Mercy Warren. Without half title (due to removal from larger volume). Adams, American Controversy, 76-134. Howes R373. Sabin 72154. ESTC T95752. Benjamin Franklin 2193. Sowerby, 3056. Early ink notation on title page reading, "Supposed to be M. Robinson [referring to the lack of author identification on the title page]. Bib. Amer. Nova. Vol. I. p237."
Interior generally quite nice, only a bit of wear to later wrappers. Near-fine condition.