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    Description

    John Adams. A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. London: Printed for C. Dilly, in the Poultry; and John Stockdale, Piccadilly, 1788. First edition of the final volume in John Adam's defense of the American system of checks and balances, presented to James Maury from the author, with a note of provenance in manuscript ink on the front free endpaper, presumably in Maury's hand: "From the author / see his letter to J. Maury / of 22 Sept 1816". Volume III only. Octavo (8.25 x 5 inches; 210 x 127 mm.). 528, [36, index] pages. Contemporary mottled calf; spine ruled and tooled in gilt, gilt-lettered red morocco label; plain endpapers and flyleaves. Joints cracked; board edges worn, especially at the corners, heat cracking along the edges, more so along the spine. Front hinge cracked. Light foxing to the preliminary and terminal pages but internally very clean and bright. Housed in a modern slipcase. Very good.

    James Maury (1746-1840) was one of the first U.S. diplomats and the first American consul appointed overseas, serving in the Consulate of the United States in Liverpool. He held the position of Consul for 39 years until he was removed from office by Andrew Jackson in 1829. John Adams' gift of this volume is mentioned in a letter in the Adams Family Papers dated September 22, 1816. It reads, in part: "I thank you for your kind letter of July 30th... I had forgotten the first volume, which you say I presented to you in 1787: but as you remember it so well, I pray to you to accept the 2nd and 3rd which I wish you may remember as long not indeed for any great value that is in them but as a token of gratitude for your many civilities to me and mine... John Adams." Sabin 234.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2020
    4th Wednesday
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