First Edition of Wheaton's Landmark Treatise on International Law Wheaton, Henry [1785-1848]. Elements of International Law: With a Sketch of the History of the Science. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1836. [Verso of title:] Griggs & Co., Printers. xiv, -375;  pp. Includes 24-page publisher catalogue. Octavo (9-1/4" x 5-3/4"). Original publisher's cloth, expertly restored, text block recased, period-style paper title label to spine, hinges, head of spine and lower corner of title page mended. Light soiling and a few minor stains to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to spine end and corners. Moderate toning and light foxing to text, brief early notes in pencil to a few passages. An appealing copy housed in a custom quarter morocco over cloth clamshell box, raised bands and gilt title to spine. $3,000. * First edition. This landmark treatise was one of the first legal works by an American to enjoy an international audience. Acclaimed upon publication, it went through several editions in the United States and elsewhere, including a French edition in 1848 and a Chinese edition in 1864. (This latter edition is notable as the first translation of an international legal treatise into a non-European language.) It was a standard work for decades. As Sellers notes, this book established Wheaton as "the Blackstone of international law," who "shaped the law of nations for his contemporaries, and their successors, for at least half a century after his death" (Sellers). This copy is from the library of William Dillard, a learned judge from Amherst, Virginia. Sellers, Republican Principles in International Law 72. Marvin, Legal Bibliography 728, citing the third edition. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 7200.
Book number 71430