Owned by a Signer of the Declaration of Independence [Hopkinson, Francis (1739-1791)]. Park, James Allan [1763-1838]. A System of the Law of Marine Insurances: With Three Chapters On Bottomry; On Insurances on Lives; and On Insurances Against Fire. Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1789. xvi, , xliv, 530,  pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 5"). Contemporary sheep, lettering piece and gilt fillets to spine. Moderate rubbing, a few shallow scuffs to boards, minor chipping to head of spine, joints just starting at ends, corners bumped, hinges starting. Armorial bookplate of Francis Hopkinson to front pastedown, his signature to head of title page. Light toning to text, foxing in a few places. A nice copy with an appealing association. $9,500. * First American edition. Lawyer, judge, merchant, author and musician, Hopkinson represented New Jersey in the Second Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served the Continental Congress as a member of the Navy Board and was the treasurer of the Continental Loan Office. Leaving Congress, he was appointed judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania. While he was not a member of the Constitutional Convention, he played a leading role in the debates leading to ratification in Pennsylvania. Appointed by Washington, he became judge of the United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania in 1789, the year he acquired his copy of Park's Marine Insurance. Unfortunately, Hopkinson only held the post for a few years. He died at the age of 53 from a sudden epileptic seizure. First published in 1787, Park's was the first legal work on insurance written by an English lawyer and the first book on the subject to appear in America. Holdsworth called it "the best text-book upon the law of insurance." A work of great authority, it went through numerous English and American editions and remained the standard text until the middle of the nineteenth century. Holdsworth, History of English Law XII: 390. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 7071.
Book number 59745