One of the Most Important and Rare Publications of American Governmental Frameworks Prior to the Constitution, from the Library of a Delegate to the Continental Congress

    [Americana]. The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America the Declaration of Independence the Articles of Confederation Between the Said States the Treaties Between His Most Christian Majesty and the United States of America. Published by Order of Congress. Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Bailey, 1781. The first authoritative collected edition of the state constitutions of the United States and the Articles of Confederation, one of only 200 copies printed. Octavo. [ii], 226 pages. Contemporary full brown calf, ink title on spine, five raised bands. Joints starting, binding worn with some tears and small holes, front hinge cracking, evidence of bookplate removal on front free endpaper, text toned with some mild foxing. Jackson's name written in light pencil on the title-page in an unknown hand. From the library of Jonathan Jackson, the Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress, with his armorial bookplate on the front pastedown. A very good copy of a very rare book with a superb association.

    Jonathan Jackson (1743-1810) was a merchant who, despite his dependence on trade with England and Europe, became a supporter of the American revolutionary movement. In 1775, he was elected to the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress, and later became a member of Massachusetts' Committee of Correspondence. He attended the state's constitutional convention in 1779, and, in 1782, became Massachusetts' delegate to the Continental Congress. In later life, he served as the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the treasurer of Harvard University. Several of his descendants also had distinguished careers: his grandson Charles Jackson served on the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and another grandson, James Jackson, became a doctor who co-founded Massachusetts General Hospital, becoming its first physician. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court, was his great-grandson. Sabin 16086. Evans 17390. Howes 716.

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    "This interesting publication contains a greater portion of unsophisticated wisdom and good sense, than is perhaps to be met with in any other legislative code that was ever yet framed. It is, in short, the book which may be considered as the Magna Charta of the United American States." (The Massachusetts Review, LXVIII, as quoted by Sabin).

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