First American Edition of the First English Treatise on Evidence Gilbert, Sir Geoffrey [1674-1726]. The Law of Evidence. Corrected; With Many Additions; And a Complete Table to the Whole. London, Printed: Philadelphia: Re-Printed and Sold by Joseph Cruikshank, 1788. iv, 286,  pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 4-3/4"). Contemporary sheep, blind fillets to boards, lettering piece and blind fillets to spine. Light rubbing and some shallow scuffs to boards, Negligible light gatoring to spine, chipping to head of spine, corners bumped and moderately worn, front hinge cracked, upper corner lacking from rear free endpaper. Moderate toning, occasional faint dampstaining, upper corners lacking from two leaves with no loss to text, early owner inscription (of Geo. P. Taliaferro) to front free endpaper, later owner name (Colson) to rear free endpaper, early doodle in ink to rear pastedown. A handsome copy. $1,850. * First (and only 18th-century) American edition. The first book devoted to the subject of evidence, "[i]t long held its place as the chief book on this topic; and Blackstone is loud in its praises" (Holdsworth). Indeed, Blackstone thought so highly of this work that he apologized for not treating the subject of evidence at length "because of the fulness and excellence of...Gilbert's treatise, a work which it is impossible to abstract or abridge, without losing some beauty and destroying the chain of the whole.": Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England III:367. Holdsworth, Sources and Literature of English Law 120. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 5055.
Book number 71648