A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut, In Six Books. 2 vols
The First American Legal Text Swift, Zephaniah [1759-1823]. A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut. In Six Books. Windham, CT: Printed by John Byrne for the Author, 1795-1796. Two volumes. vii [i.e. iv], 452; v, , 479,  pp. Folding copperplate table of descents. 6 page subscriber list at end of Volume II. Octavo (8-1/4" x 4-3/4"). Contemporary tree calf, green and red morocco labels, title and volume number within gilt wreaths on the green labels, and gilt fillets to spines, blind tooling to board edges. Light rubbing and minor nicks, somewhat heavier rubbing to extremities, early location numbers in faint ink to heads of spines, most of numeral lettering piece of Volume I lacking, corners bumped. Light browning and foxing to interiors, owner signature (William Knapp) and hole from removed owner signature to heads of each title page. A very handsome set, in a remarkable early American binding. $2,000. * First edition. Structured in the manner of Blackstone's Commentaries, Swift's System was the first original American legal treatise. It presented an overview of the common law of Connecticut, and the common law generally, based on local court decisions and legislation. "More than a hundred years later it was still cited by Connecticut courts" (Woxland and Ogden). The work was highly regarded outside of Connecticut. Published on a subscription basis, its subscribers included, among other notables, George Washington, John Adams, Aaron Burr, James Kent, James Madison, James Wilson, Edward Livingston, Theodore Sedgwick, and St. George Tucker. Woxland and Ogden, Landmarks in American Legal Publishing 22. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 5628.
Book number 74643