Two Important Pre-Revolutionary Works Published by Ben Franklin
[Ben Franklin, publisher]. [Pennsylvania]. The Charter
of Privileges granted by William Penn, Esq., to the Inhabitants of
Pennsylvania and Territories. Philadelphia: B. Franklin,
1741. First edition. Quarto. [ii], 8 pages. Complete. [Bound
together with:] [Ben Franklin, publisher]. [Delaware].
Laws of the Government of New-Castle, Kent and Sussex upon
Delaware. Philadelphia: B. Franklin, 1741. First edition.
Quarto. [ii], 282, [3, Table] pages. Lacks final two blank leaves,
else complete. Both works are bound in contemporary full brown
calf, boards and spine ruled in blind. Binding quite worn, joints
cracking, hinges reinforced with later cloth tape, two contemporary
ownership inscriptions on the front endleaves ("Thomas Canby's Law
Book/Price 17s: 1744" and "Thomas Canby's Law Book/Bought in the
year 1744/Price 17s"), some toning and foxing in text, occasional
pencil markings. Still, a good copy of these rare works.
The Charter of Privileges (granted by Penn in 1701, but first printed in 1741) is the keystone document for the independent government of the Three Lower Counties, which had a separate and unique political existence as a Crown Colony with its own laws from 1704 until the Revolutionary War broke out. The Laws of Government is the first collection of laws of the Three Lower Counties, and is also the first collection of laws of one of the original thirteen colonies. No copies of these works have been at auction in over forty years.
Sabin 4707, 4782. Miller 232, 252.
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