Handsome Copy of an Important (And Very Rare) American Edition of Blackstone Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. Tucker, St. George [1752-1827], Editor. Blackstone's Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws, of the Federal Government of the United States, And of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In Five Volumes, With an Appendix to Each volume, Containing Short Tracts upon Such Subjects As Appeared Necessary to Form a Connected View of the Laws of Virginia As a Member of the Federal Union. Philadelphia: Published by William Young Birch, and Abraham Small: Robert Carr, Printer, 1803. 4 volumes in 5 books. Volume 1 in two parts. 4 tables (3 folded); Volume 2 has "Table of Consanguinity" and 3 different folding "Table[s] of Descents." Title pages in all volumes identical, with volume numbers omitted; volumes numbered on "Contents" pages and on the binding. Collates complete. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5-1/4"). Recent period-style calf, blind fillets to boards, red and black lettering pieces and blind fillets to spines, blind tooling to board edges endpapers renewed. Moderate toning, light foxing in places, notes in contemporary hand to a few leaves in Volumes I, Part I and Volume III. A strikingly handsome set. $20,000. * First edition. Tucker's Blackstone is a key resource for understanding how Americans viewed English common law in the years following the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Based on his lectures at the College of William and Mary, Tucker adapted Blackstone's often anti-democratic work to American practice. "Tucker's Blackstone became a standard reference work for many American lawyers unable to consult a law library, especially those on the frontier. It is impossible to measure its impact on American law, but it is clear that sales were strongest in Virginia, as could be expected; it was also widely used in Pennsylvania and South Carolina" (Bryson). More recently, Tucker's Blackstone has been cited in numerous constitutional cases by the United States Supreme Court relating to "original intent." Bryson, Legal Education in Virginia, 1779-1979: A Biographical Approach 102. Eller, The William Blackstone Collection in the Yale Law Library 87. Laeuchli, A Bibliographical Catalog of William Blackstone 137.
Book number 68038