"WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES": FIRST FOLWELL EDITIONS OF THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1796
(UNITED STATES CONGRESS). The Laws of the United States of America, in Three Volumes, Published by Authority. Philadelphia: Richard Folwell, 1796-. Three volumes. Octavo, modern full brown calf, raised bands, red morocco spine labels; pp. 494 (1); 576; 477 (1), (130). Housed in a custom slipcase. $4000.
First editions of the official printings of the laws of the United States, the scarce first Folwell editions, this important three-volume set containing legislation from the First Congress in 1789 and continuing through to the Fourth Congress, handsomely bound.
With texts of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Treaty of Paris, this extraordinary set contains all Acts passed by the First through Fourth Congresses in a series of official printings published by Richard Folwell under order of Congress. The Folwell volumes feature "one copious, luminous Index (in Volume III)… comprising in itself a complete Digest of all the Laws of the United States" (Evans). Includes sections on the laws concerning copyright, crime, duties, fisheries, foreign and Indian relations, judicial and legislative powers, the military, the office of the President, and the State, Treasury, War departments, and a flag with fifteen stripes. According to Evans, the third volume, though dated 1796, was not printed before 1797. Rarely found complete with all three volumes of the Folwell edition—virtually the earliest obtainable published version of the first Congressional laws. Evans 31356, 32973. See Evans 32951, 36479. Harvard Law Catalogue II:803. Sabin 39424.
Interior generally fresh with some toning, scattered foxing. Full calf bindings attractive and fine.