Thomas Jefferson presentation copy with transmittal letterThomas Jefferson Presentation Copy of A Manual of Parliamentary Practice with Holographic Edits and an Autograph Letter Signed Transmitting the Book to Francis T. Brooke. The first American publication on parliamentary procedure, published at the end of Jefferson's stint as the Senate's presiding officer (as vice president of the United States) between 1797 and 1801. Originally written as separate texts (from notes he had taken at The College of William and Mary where he was studying parliamentary procedure), he assembled them into a larger volume for the use of the Senate. The House of Representative also began to use the rules, where applicable, in 1837. The rules set forth in the book are still in use today.
Thomas Jefferson. A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. For the Use of the Senate of the United States. Washington City: Printed by Samuel Harrison Smith, 1801. 18mo, 188 unpaginated pages. Index. Jefferson himself has written two notations within the text. The first, found on page 63 under "Sec. XXII, Bills," is located in the margin; Jefferson has bracketed a block of text and written: "These word should have been in italics." The second, found on page 170 under "Treaties," is located at the bottom and serves as a footnote: "The treaty of the Pardo between Spain and G. B. in 1739 being disapproved by parliament, was not ratified in consequence whereof the war it was intended to prevent took place. Obserun's [?] of France on Memorial of England. pa. 107." Original leather binding with gilt stamped spine and attached title label. The front and rear joints are cracked and beginning to separate; front and rear hinges also cracked. Bumped corners and moderate shelfwear. Foxing scattered throughout. Minor damage to front flyleaf. Final page of the index is detached. Housed in a custom leather bound case which separates at the middle. Gilt title and "Thomas Jefferson's Copy" stamped on spine.
With a Thomas Jefferson Autograph Letter of Presentation Signed "Th: Jefferson" as president. Attached to the rear pastedown, the letter is one page, 7.25" x 4.75", Washington, December 20, 1802. Written to Francis Taliaferro Brooke, Jefferson is presenting this copy of A Manual of Parliamentary Practice. In full:
"Th: Jefferson presents his salutations to Mr. Brooke Speaker of the Senate of Virginia, and availing himself of the moment when the confidence of his country has placed him where the little volume accompanying this may be a convenience, he asks his acceptance of it as a testimony of the respect of the giver."
Francis T. Brooke (1763-1851) served as a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War in Harrison's artillery, under the Marquis de Lafayette in 1781, and under General Greene in Charleston. Following the war, he went into law and served in the Virginia House and Senate, serving as Speaker of the Senate. Following his time in the Virginia Congress, he was judge and president of the court of appeals. A close friend of George Washington, he married his niece, Mary Randolph Spotswood. Moderately foxed with adhesive staining at the upper and lower left corners and in the middle, but not affecting the text. Left vertical fold is weak resulting in separation at the edges.
Reference: Sabin 35887.
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