JOHN C. MASON'S PRESENTATION COPY OF THE CONSTITUTION, 1852, SIGNED BY HIM AND THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS OF THE 32ND U.S. CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOHNSON, HAMLIN, SUMNER, SEWARD, FISH, CHASE, DOUGLAS, HOUSTON, STEPHENS AND MANY MORE
(MASON, John C.). The Constitution of the United States of America… To Which are Added Standing Rules and Orders for Conducting Business in the House of Representatives of the United States, and the Rules of the Senate. Washington: Robert Armstrong, 1852. Octavo, original full black morocco rebacked with original spine laid down. $8800.
Later edition of this collection of important American founding documents, including the Constitution, U.S. Representative from Kentucky John Calvin Mason's presentation copy, signed by him in pencil on the title page, and signed by the majority of members of the 32nd U.S. Congress, including Andrew Johnson, Hannibal Hamlin, Charles Sumner, William Seward, Salmon Chase, Stephen Douglas, Sam Houston, and Alexander Stephens. Bound for Mason in contemporary morocco with his name gilt-stamped on the front cover.
This volume is signed by members of both houses of the 32nd Congress including Hannibal Hamlin, who later served as President Lincoln's first vice president; Charles Sumner, best-remembered as an outspoken opponent of slavery who was beaten on the floor of the Senate in 1856 after his famous 'Crimes Against Kansas' speech; Hamilton Fish, who served President Grant as his secretary of state; William H. Seward, secretary of state to both Presidents Lincoln and Johnson; Salmon P. Chase, who served as secretary of the treasury under President Lincoln and, later, as chief justice of the Supreme Court; Stephen A. Douglas, Democratic candidate for president in 1860 who lost the election to Abraham Lincoln; Lewis Cass, secretary of state under President Buchanan; Sam Houston, best-remembered for his role as general of the Texan Army during the Texas Revolution, the only man to serve as governor of two states, and two-time president of the Republic of Texas; Thomas Bocock, who served as speaker of the Confederate House of Representatives; Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America; Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's second vice president and 17th president after Lincoln's assassination; as well as signatures of the Speaker of the House, Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives.
John Calvin Mason (1802-65) was born in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. During hostilities with Mexico, he served with Ben McCulloch's Texas Rangers. He later served as a Democrat from Kentucky in the 31st and 32nd Congresses, from 1849-53. When the Civil War broke out, Mason joined the Texas State troops that served in Brenham, Texas. Some foxing and offsetting to text, signatures quite clear and legible. Original morocco covers scuffed, corners rounded. A very good copy, scarce and desirable.