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Thoughts on the Letter of Edmund Burke, Esq; to the Sheriffs of Bristol, on the Affairs of America, by Willoughby Bertie, the Earl of Abingdon

We have two early copies of this interesting and very popular tract both published in 1777, a second edition that is bound and shown above and a first edition that is unbound and is shown below. This is the description of the bound copy from an auction catalog where it was purchased in 2002:

64 pp. 8x5, green cloth-backed boards, contemporary front free endpaper, new rear free endpaper. Second Edition.

Written by the Earl of Abingdon who was a leading supporter of the rights of the American colonies. A widely read and much discussed tract regarding the suspension of habeas corpus, the supremacy of parliament, the establishment of religion, and the American revolution. Adams notes, within the year it was published with three more English editions plus other reprints in Dublin and Newry in Ireland, and in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (as well as two reprints in 1780). Originally published in wrappers, this copy is without the original wrapper covers. Howes A14; Adams 77-1a; Sabin 61.

Condition:

Rubbing to extremities, remnants of paper spine label present, soiling; paper label from the library of Luther S. Kauffman and light dampstains to tipped-in front free endpaper with foxing to verso, title-page a bit darkened and a few dark stains, bump and creases to front pastedown, some glue repairs to hinges; original contents very good or better; good to very good overall.

Wilkes describes Abingdon as one of the most steady and intrepid assertors of liberty in this age and he certainly was one of the strongest champions of American rights and liberties. Little can be judged of the force of his argument from the modest title of this pamphlet. In it he rallies Burke soundly for not following up with sufficient energy and persistency his first great speeches against the American War. (Stevens 1, 2.)

The House of Commons debate on the habeas corpus bill which Abingdon criticizes Burke for not vigorously opposing is included in a period imprint which we are also offering, the February and March,  1777 Scots Magazine. That volume also has very interesting Revolutionary War news and commentary, including an extensive British rebuttal of the Declaration or Independence, George Washington's report to Congress on his famous victory at Princeton and Benjamin Franklin's response to the peace overture of General Howe.

This bound copy has the bookplate of a former owner on the front endpaper, which reads "Volume No. 263, Library of Luther S. Kauffman." Kauffman was the Prohibition Party candidate for Congress in the At-Large district of Pennsylvania in 1920 and was an author of "Kauffman's Manual for Stock Companies" (1882) and "Romanism as a World Power" (1922), a warning to Americans of the true dangers of Roman Catholicism and her drive for world domination. Sound like he was a rich eccentric.

Pictured below is the final page of Abingdon's 64 page 1777 pamphlet.

Price: $225

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First Edition of The Earl of Abingdon's Pamphlet on Affairs of America

This first edition of Abingdon's pamphlet is unbound and in a little rougher condition than the one offered above, but it is intact and complete.  Handwritten in the top right of the title page is "Grimston 1777" presumably the original owner and date of purchase, which was the year of publication. Because it is unbound, the first and last pages shown above are more soiled, as you would expect. The interior is less soiled although there is still some soiling on the bottom of most of the pages as shown by the picture of the volume below opened to show the condition in the middle of the tract.

Price: $250/Sold