First Boston Edition of Adams's Defence of the Constitutions Adams, John [1735-1826]. A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. London, Printed; Boston: Re-Printed and Sold by Edmund Freeman, 1788. xxx, 317 pp. 12mo (6-1/2" x 4"). Recent period-style calf, blind rules and corner fleurons to boards, raised bands and existing lettering piece to spine. Moderate toning to text, somewhat heavier in places, faint dampstaining and ink smudges to a few leaves, section of fore-edge of leaf T4 (pp. 193-194) lacking with loss to text, facsimile leaves laid-in. Early owner signature (David Shepherd/ Dedham) to front endleaf, interior otherwise clean. A handsome copy. $3,000. * First Boston edition. With six-page subscriber list that includes John Hancock, Levi Lincoln, Theophilus Parsons, Theodore Sedgwick and other distinguished New Englanders. Adams wrote this fundamental contribution to American political theory when he was the American ambassador at the Court of St. James. First published in London, the Defence was a profound influence on the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the framers of several post-Revolutionary state constitutions. It also did much to familiarize Europeans with the novel political events taking place in America. Adams intended the Defence to be a one-volume work. He added two more volumes in 1787 and 1788 to offer more examples and address issues raised by critics. The first volume, reprinted from the London edition, was reprinted in New York and Philadelphia in 1787 and Boston in 1788. OCLC locates 4 copies of the 1788 Boston edition in North American law libraries (Harvard, Library of Congress, Social Law, University of Maine). Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 2734. Sabin, A Dictionary of Books Relating to America 233n.
Book number 63479