Livingston Solicits Criticism of His System of Penal Law Livingston, Edward [1764-1836]. [Plumer, William (1759-1850)]. Sir, You Will Herewith Receive the First of Four Codes, Which Forms a System of Penal Law, Prepared for the State of Louisiana. [Running Title]. New York, November 29, 1824. Single sheet folded once to form two 9-3/4" x 7-1/4" leaves. Printed text on recto of first leaf, signed in type, verso of second leaf addressed. Light toning, a bit of discoloration to corners, fold lines, fold between the two sheets torn, but mended on verso with archival tape, small stain from sealing wax, light rubbing to edges. A rare item. $750. * Livingston mailed this circular letter to distinguished jurists and political figures to solicit feedback on the final draft of the first part of his System of Penal Law. It was, in effect, a cover sheet. He explains the nature of the code and asks his readers "to note in the margin such observations as occur to you for its amelioration, and to communicate them to me with your first leisure. He ends his letter with a request for "the aid of your learning, experience, and judgment, to supply what is deficient, and to correct what is erroneous in the work." Plumer, the recipient of this copy was an important New Hampshire lawyer, politician and Baptist lay preacher. He is best known for his efforts to convert Dartmouth College into a public institution while governor of New Hampshire, a post he held in 1812-1813 and 1816-1819. His efforts resulted in the great U.S. Supreme Court case Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward. Livingston's circular is a rare item. However, a few copies are found today bound into copies of the System. Shaw and Shoemaker, American Imprints 16927.
Book number 66607