First Edition of Reeve's Baron and Femme, The First American Treatise on Family Law Reeve, Tapping [1744-1823]. The Law of Baron and Femme; Of Parent and Child; Of Guardian and Ward; Of Master and Servant; And of the Powers of Courts of Chancery. With an Essay on the Terms, Heir, Heirs, and Heirs of the Body. New Haven: Printed by Oliver Steele, 1816. [iv], 494,  pp. Octavo (9-1/4" x 5-1/2"). Later library cloth, red and black calf lettering pieces and fragment of paper shelf label to spine. Light shelfwear, some rubbing and edgewear to lettering pieces. Light browning to text, brief notes in early hand to a few leaves, light chipping and edgewear to preliminaries, which are partially detached, early owner signature ("J.L. Riker") and faint library stamp to title page, brief library markings to verso, partially legible fragment of leaf of contemporary notes bound between preface and following leaf. $350. * First edition. In 1782 Reeve founded the first American law school in Litchfield, Connecticut. The first American treatise on family law, Reeve's Law of Baron and Femme is a restatement of Blackstone's Commentaries, Book I, Chapters XIV-XVII. It rejects some of the fundamental doctrines of the common law, most notably coverture. As Blackstone puts it, "the husband and wife are one person in law; that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during marriage." Reeve says the opposite. Also a prescriptive work, Baron and Femme aimed to liberalize the American law of domestic relations, arguing, for example, that married women were permitted to make wills, a point contradicted by the contemporary statute and case law of Connecticut and several other states. Terry and Sibley were lawyers who practiced in Ontario County, New York. The most prominent was Sibley [1796-1852], a Canandaigua lawyer and judge who served in the state assembly, state senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 4745.
Book number 68891