Manual of Parliamentary Practice

Thomas JEFFERSON

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"NO OTHER AMERICAN PUBLIC MAN LEFT SO ENDURING A MARK ON LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE": RARE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE EARLIEST EXTANT (ARGUABLY FIRST) EDITION OF JEFFERSON'S MANUAL, 1801, EXTRAORDINARY VIRGINIA PROVENANCE WITH A PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION FROM PROMINENT VIRGINIAN WILLIAM RANDOLPH IV TO JEFFERSON'S FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR, VIRGINIA POLITICIAN JAMES BARBOUR

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 sheep, red morocco spine label. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box.

Scarce 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 most probably the first edition, since the earlier listed by Sabin apparently never existed. This copy of William Randolph IV, a descendant of one of the First Families of Virginia, inscribed to Virginia politician James Barbour, a good friend and neighbor of Thomas Jefferson, also descended from one of the First Families of Virginia.

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 [4] 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. Owner gift inscription from William Randolph IV, a descendant of one of the First Families of Virginia, to James Barbour, a Virginia politician and fellow descendant of a founding family. The inscription reads: "As a Tribute of my respect I beg J. Barbour to receive this as my present. Wm Randolph H. of D." William Randolph IV was the brother of politician and revolutionary hero Peyton Randolph and a descendant of the so-called "Adam and Eve of Virginia." The title page bears Randolph's 1809 owner signature, indicating that this was once his book. The recipient, James Barbour, "used a successful law practice and good family connections, including close ties to James Madison (1751–1836), to win election to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1798. There he led the attack on the unpopular Alien and Sedition laws and served with John Taylor (1753–1824) of Caroline as one of the principal advocates for the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 drafted by Madison as a legislative protest to accompany Jefferson's Kentucky Resolutions. His eloquent speech assailing the Sedition Act and other Federalist measures was praised by Republican legislative leaders and attracted the favorable attention of Jefferson. His strong defense of Jeffersonian Republican doctrine—strict construction of the Constitution, states' rights, and minimal government—endeared him to Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other Republican leaders. Befriended by both Madison and Jefferson, he rose rapidly to a position of leadership in the legislature and in the Virginia Republican party. His election in 1809 to the speakership of the House of Delegates was followed three years later by his elevation to the governorship of Virginia. For three terms during the troubled war years he provided strong leadership, for which he was rewarded in 1814 with election to the U.S. Senate… Among southern politicians of his day, Barbour was an anomaly. He was a Jeffersonian Republican who moved from a strict-constructionist, states' rights position in 1798 to a nationalist position after the War of 1812, a position he maintained until his death" (ANB). Barbour and Jefferson owned neighboring plantations; Jefferson designed the now-ruined house at Barboursville. "Pd 100 cents" written in early ink on front pastedown. Owner booklabel of John I. Mitchell, the American lawyer, jurist, and Republican party politician who served in the Pennsylvania state legislature as well as the United States House and Senate.

Usual minor embrowning to interior, some wear to binding including chipping to spine label. An extremely good copy.

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