First Edition of Marshall's "Life of George Washington," from the Library of Mary Telfair[George Washington, subject]. John Marshall. The Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American forces, during the war which established the independence of his country, and first President of the United States. Compiled under the inspection of the Honourable Bushrod Washington, from original papers bequeathed to him by his deceased relative, and now in possession of the author. To which is prefixed, an introduction, containing a compendious view of the colonies planted by the English on the continent of North America, from their settlement to the commencement of that war which terminated in their independence. Philadelphia: Printed and published by C. P. Wayne, 1804-1807.
First edition. Five octavo volumes. , xxii, 488, 45, [1, blank]; viii, 560, 72; viii, 576, 28; viii, 626, , 16; vii, [1, blank], 779, [1, blank], 36 pages. Frontispiece portrait in Volume I.
Contemporary tree calf, smooth spines with gilt rules and devices, marbled endpapers. Spines worn with some wear to edges, some wear and rubbing to boards, four joints cracking, front free endpaper of Volume V slightly loose, frontispiece and front blank of Volume I browned, foxed, and dampstained. Foxing throughout, several pages quite brown. There is a small burn hole on page 51 of the Notes section of Volume II. Still, a very good copy in a contemporary binding.
Marshall's history of the colonies was omitted from later American editions of this classic biography of Washington.
This copy belonged to Mary Telfair (1791-1875), with her mother's gift inscription to her in Volumes I and II, and with her name signed (by another hand) in the other volumes. She was a remarkable woman, endowing the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, the oldest public art museum in the South. She was politically active and knowledgeable (a bit unusual for a woman of her time and station) and even debated Supreme Court Justice James Moore Wayne about renewing the national bank charter.
Howes M-317. Sabin 44788.
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