Probably the Single Most Important Interpretation of American Law Kent, James [1763-1847]. [Kent, William (1802-1861), Editor]. [Eaton, Dorman Bridgeman (1823-1899), Editor]. Commentaries on American Law. New York: Published by William Kent, 1851. Four volumes. Star-paged to the second edition (1832). Octavo (9-1/2" x 6"). Contemporary sheep, blind rules to boards, red and black lettering pieces to spines, blind tooling to board edges. Light rubbing to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities, light gatoring to spines, some chipping to spine heads, hinges cracked, a few boards beginning to separate but secure, owner signature of Dr. George F. Heidemann to front pastedown of each volume. Moderate toning to interiors, light foxing and soiling to a few places, offsetting to margins of preliminaries and final leaves. $1,250. * Seventh edition. Kent's Commentaries is probably the single most important interpretation of American law. Writing in 1847, Marvin ranked it above Blackstone and observed that it contains "not only a clear statement of the English law, with all the alterations that have taken place since the time of Blackstone, but a full account of the main principles of Equity, also, a review of the modifications engrafted on the English law by the different states of the Union." Marvin's latter observation points to the significance of this landmark work. Published at a time when there was significant opposition to English law, Kent's Commentaries established it in a manner that appealed to the majority of influential American jurists and legislators. Born in Germany, Heidemann [1839-1908] was the first doctor to establish a practice in Elmhurst, Illinois, now a suburb of Chicago. Marvin, Legal Bibliography 438. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 5404.
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