"NO OTHER AMERICAN PUBLIC MAN LEFT SO ENDURING A MARK ON LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE": A RARE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE EARLIEST EXTANT (ARGUABLY FIRST) EDITION OF JEFFERSON'S MANUAL, 1801, THIS COPY WITH A DISTINCTIVE PROVENANCE CONTAINING AN INSCRIPTION BY ALEXANDER JAMES DALLAS, WHO BEGAN HIS CAREER AS A JEFFERSON APPOINTEE BEFORE SERVING AS MADISON'S SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY AND ACTING SECRETARY OF WAR
JEFFERSON, Thomas. A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. For the Use of the Senate of the United States. Washington City: Samuel Harrison Smith, 1801. 12mo (4 by 6-1/4 inches), contemporary full brown tree sheep, burgundy morocco spine label. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $18,000.
Influential 1801 edition of Jefferson's Parliamentary Manual, containing "the foundations of some of the most important parts of the House's practice" (Malone, 456). the earliest extant edition, this is arguably the first edition, since the earlier listed by Sabin apparently never existed. This especially distinctive association copy with a presentation inscription by Alexander J. Dallas, President Madison's Secretary of the Treasury and Acting Secretary of War, inscribed entirely in Dallas' hand and signed by him, "Presented by A. J. Dallas to [unclear] Levy in 1815."
Jefferson first devised this Manual, a major influence on the United States Senate in its formative period, during his tenure as vice president. Designed "as a guide for himself and future presiding officers… Jefferson's Manual is, without question, the distinguishing feature of his vice-presidency. The single greatest contribution to the Senate by any person to serve as a vice president, it is as relevant to the Senate of [today] as it was to the Senate of the late 18th century… No other American public man 'left so enduring a mark on legislative procedure… That his Manual was cherished by his contemporaries and by posterity is amply demonstrated by the fact that more than a century and a half after he left his chair it was still being printed in the current Senate Manual, along with the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and Constitution…. Though prepared for the Senate and best suited to that body, it came to be highly valued by the House of Representatives" (U.S. Senate). Sabin identifies this edition as "another edition," with 199 unnumbered pages, and lists two other editions that supposedly precede it, but which apparently never existed: one for 1800 (not located by Evans) and one for 1801 with 188  pages (not recorded by Shaw & Shoemaker). Tompkins in his Bibliotheca Jeffersoniana lists these other editions out of respect for Sabin, but could not find copies of either, and hence doubts their existence. This edition is the earliest extant edition anyone has located. Sabin 35887. Shaw & Shoemaker 719. Tompkins, 83. See Sowerby 3338, 2088. This rare association copy is inscribed by Alexander J. Dallas who, born in Jamaica, began his career as a preeminent American statesman while serving as Pennsylvania's secretary of the commonwealth (1791-1801), where he became "one of the first reporters of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and as the compiler of the Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1793–1801). Jefferson "appointed him U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1801, and he was still in that office when James Madison selected him in 1814 to become secretary of the treasury."
Jefferson and Dallas were regular correspondents and on December 7, 1814, Jefferson wrote to praise Dallas' appointment, saying: "I tender my sincere congratulations on the occasion of your counsel and services being engaged for the public… the department to which you are called is the most arduous now in our government, and is that on which every other depends… I avail myself of this occasion of assuring you of my great esteem & respect" (Founders Online). "Under Dallas' leadership, the Treasury Department was reorganized, the federal debt lowered… [and] he championed the creation of what became the Second Bank of the U.S." As Madison's acting secretary of war in 1815, Dallas "ably oversaw the drastic peacetime reduction of the army. In 1815 he also functioned briefly as the temporary secretary of state'" before retiring, only to die the following year (ANB). Jefferson held two works by Dallas in his library. With later inscription dated 1832 below Dallas' inscription. Small numerical notation on blank initial leaf. Title page with small excision above the title, likely to remove a signature.
Text quite fresh with trace of scattered foxing, handsome contemporary tree sheep binding with expert restoration.