A Defense of the Common Law Endorsed by James Kent [C] [Atkinson, Samuel Coate]. A Catechism of American Law: Adapted to Popular Use. Philadelphia: S.C. Atkinson, 1832. viii, 256 pp. 12mo. (5-1/2" x 3-1/2"). Original cloth, paper spine label lacking. A fe faint dampstains, inkstain to head of front board and top-edge, moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to corners. Moderate toning and light foxing to interior, browning to sections of text, gradually diminishing inkstains to upper corner of text block front front endleaves to p. 36, early owner signature (of Charles S. Layton) to front pastedown, front free endpaper and title page. $300. * Only edition. A guide to all aspects of the common law for laymen. The publisher believed that the public was familiar with the Constitution, but required further education about the common law. Considering the controversy over the common law and the move toward codification at the time of its publication, the work can also be viewed as a defense of the common law. "I have perused the greater part of the MSS. of [this book]...and it appeared to me to be executed with judgment, precision and accuracy, and to be extremely well calculated for the useful purposes intended.": James Kent, testimonial on page viii. This work was reissued in 1838 and 1839 without any changes other than the imprint date. Cohen, Bibliography of American Law 5383.
Book number 74550