"CIVIL LIBERTY WAS THE GREAT OBJECT OF FERGUSON'S ENTERPRISE"
FERGUSON, Adam. An Essay on the History… Civil Society. Edinburgh, 1767.
First edition of Ferguson's authoritative work, drawing on a Machiavellian "understanding of virtue" and positioned "between Montesquieu and Tocqueville" in its profound influence, with Jefferson owning a personal copy and Madison, who purchased his own copy in 1775, naming the Essay, with Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, as essential "for the use of the U.S. in Congress assembled." A handsomely bound, uncut copy. $13,000.