“LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY”: ANNUAL REGISTER, 1774-1776, A CRUCIAL PRIMARY SOURCE FOR THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, FEATURING EARLY PRINTINGS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION). The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year 1774 (1775, 1776). London: J. Dodsley, 1775-76, 1788. Three volumes. Octavo, period-style half brown calf, marbled boards, red morocco spine labels (1774-75); original boards rebacked, red morocco spine label (1776). $3800.
Desirable mixed editions (two firsts and one fourth) of these valuable contemporary accounts of the years leading up to the American Revolution, with descriptions of the Boston Tea Party, the First Continental Congress, the conflicts at Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the appointment of George Washington as commander in chief of the armed forces, the Articles of Confederation, and the Declaration of Independence. Handsomely bound.
The Annual Register is widely recognized as an important contemporary source for the events leading up to the American Revolution. It originated at the suggestion of Edmund Burke, who was for some years editor and principal contributor. Many leading historians of the conflict, including David Ramsay, James Murray, and William Gordon borrowed heavily from the series. This set contains the British perspective on key events, with special attention to the Boston Tea Party ("a number of armed men, under the disguise of Mohawk Indians, boarded the ships, and discharged their whole cargoes of tea into the sea"), the first Continental Congress ("they were unanimous in declaring… that they are entitled to all the rights and liberties of British-born subjects… the first of these are life, liberty, and property"), the Articles of Confederation ("the union which they established was to continue firm, until reparation was made for the losses sustained by Boston [and] for the burning of Charles-Town… and until the British troops were withdrawn from America"), and the Declaration of Independence ("relating the causes which rendered it necessary that all authority under the crown should be totally suppressed, and all the powers of government taken respectively into their hands"). The text of the Declaration appears on pages 261-64 of the 1776 volume under the title, "Reasons assigned by the Continental Congress, for the North-American Colonies and Provinces withdrawing their allegiance to the King of Great Britain," followed by the text of the Articles of Confederation. "This most valuable record and chronicle of historical and political events… contains accurate accounts of the Revolutionary War… and many other American subjects" (Sabin 1614). Volume for 1775 with library stamps of the Boston Atheneum.
Occasional embrowning. A very desirable and handsome set of primary source materials.