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    The Third Compilation of the Laws of
    New Jersey, and the Last of the Colonial Period

    [Samuel Allinson, compiler]. Acts of the General Assembly of the Province of New-Jersey, from the Surrender of the Government to Queen Anne, on the 17th Day of April, in the Year of our Lord 1702, to the 14th Day of January 1776. To which is annexed, The Ordinance for regulating and establishing the Fees of the Court of Chancery of the said Province. With three alphabetical Tables, and an Index. Compiled and published under the Appointment of the General Assembly, and compared with the Original Acts, by Samuel Allinson. Burlington: Printed by Isaac Collins, Printer to the King, for the Province of New-Jersey, 1776. First edition of the third compilation of the laws of New Jersey, and the last of the colonial period, commonly known as Allinson's Laws. Large folio (13.25 x 8.875 inches; 337 x 225 mm.). viii, 493, [1, blank], 6 (Appendix), 6 ("An Ordinance for Regulating and establishing the Fees hereafter to be taken by the Officers of the Court of Chancery of the Province of New-Jersey, by his excellency Jonathan Belcher, Esq."), 4 ("A Table of Publick Acts in Force"), 4 ("A Table of the Publick Acts Disallowed, Expired, Obsolete and Repealed"), 3 ("A Table of the Private Acts"), 15, ("Index to the Principal Matters"), [1, blank] pages. Signatures: [pi]2 A-Z2 Aa-Zz2 3A-3Z2 4A-4Z2 5A-5Z2 6A-6D2 6E1 2A-K2. Twenty-four letter register includes W throughout.

    Original sheep binding. Covers double blind fillet border; spine with six raised bands and red morocco label decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt; board edges with blind diagonals. Binding worn and stained, with some areas of surface loss and with boards exposed in places; hinges strengthened with cloth tape. Endpapers and first and last few leaves browned at the edges from leather turn-ins. Some foxing and browning, as usual; a few small marginal stains or dampstains; stain in the text from page 312 to page 329. Small area of paper loss at fore-edge (due to biopredation?), visible from Z1-3Y2 (pages 89-280). Overall, a very good copy, and a possible candidate for rebinding. Early ink signature at foot of page viii: "Francis [illegible] / AD 1891," and in outer margin of page 12: "Francis [Leis ?]."

    More Information:

    "The third compilation of the laws of New Jersey, and the last of the colonial period. The compilation was originally ordered by the assembly on December 5, 1769...Despite this order, the question of a new compilation of the laws was not raised in the legislature for more than four years...On February 15, 1774, Skinner and Kinsey asked the house to be relieved of the task of compiling the laws, and they suggested that Samuel Allinson be appointed in their place...On January 18, 1775, committees of the assembly and the council approved Allison's work and ordered the book to be printed...The entire edition was uniformly bound by James Leishman of Burlington in sheepskin with a red morocco spine label...Nearly all copies of the book contain contemporary manuscript corrections, most of which are in the same handwriting. While the items corrected vary among copies, almost every copy examined has corrections on pages 20, 119, 281, and 291 [this copy has early ink corrections or annotations on pages 20, 21, 62, 115, 119, 281, 291, and 324]...Samuel Allinson (1739-1791) was a Burlington lawyer, a Quaker, and a staunch antislavery advocate. He took no part in the Revolution, but he wrote several long philosophical letters to Governor Livingston explaining the pacifist views of the Society of Friends. At the time of his death he owned many copies of his compilation, and his son William's accounts with Robert Smith between 1788 and 1791 record the disposition of numerous copies" (Felcone).


    On page vii of his lengthy preface, Allinson comments on the book's format and content and on the difficulties attending its compilation: "The Length of Time which has been unavoidably spent in completing this Volume, has been attended with the considerable Advantage of including the Laws passed at last Session of Assembly, some of which are of great Importance to the Province in general; but as a close Attention had been given to expedite the Publication, that Advantage must have been lost, if the Printer had been able to procure Paper sufficient to have proceeded in the Impression without Loss of Time; the Want of that Material stop'd the Press several Weeks at sundry Times, until more could be manufactured, although proper Care was early taken to procure a suitable Quantity."


    ESTC W6511; Evans 14911; Felcone, Printing in New Jersey, 1754-1700, 214; Humphrey, New Jersey Imprints, 157; Sabin 53046.

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