A Rare Guide to the 1841 Bankruptcy Act [Bankruptcy]. [Bicknell, George Augustus]. A Commentary on the Bankrupt Law of 1841, Showing its Operation and Effect. By a Member of the Bar of New-York. To Which is Annexed, An Authentic Copy of the Bankruptcy Act. New York: H. Anstice, Stationer, 1841. 47; 11 pp. Two parts, each with title page and individual pagination. The second part has title reading (in part): The Bankrupt Law of the United States. Octavo (8" x 5"). Disbound stab-stitched pamphlets, first and second parts divided, light toning, negligible light soiling to exterior, small inkstain to verso of final leaf. $950. * First edition. Enacted in 1800, the first Federal bankruptcy act aimed to encourage economic risk and supersede the patchwork of debtor laws in force in the different states. Never a popular law, it was repealed in 1803. Claiming this would retard economic development, supporters of the defeated bill launched a campaign to restore the law or enact a similar one. Support increased after the Panic of 1837 and the five-year depression that followed. These efforts reached fruition in the General Bankrupt Law of 1841. Almost as unpopular as its 1801 predecessor, it was repealed in 1843. Bicknell's pamphlet was one of the first commentaries on this act. A second edition, with the author's name on the title page, was published in 1842. Both editions are rare. No complete copies of the first edition are listed on OCLC, which lists two copies without the text of the act, one at the Hagley Museum, another at Columbia Law School. We located another copy, which has both parts, at the New-York Historical Society. Cohen, who based his record on Columbia's copy, notes the absence of the act in Bibliography of Early American Law (2003 Supplement, entry 2467.60).
Book number 72446