The First Legal Text Published In America!
1795-6 Treatise "The System of Laws of the State of Connecticut" Incorporates English Common Law
Subscribers of Two Volumes Included President George Washington & Vice President John Adams
Written by Congressman and Future Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Zephaniah Swift
Other Notable Subscribers James Madison, James Wilson, Oliver Ellsworth, Aaron Burr & Albert Gallatin
"A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut" by Swift, Zephaniah, Two Volumes, In Six Books. Windham: Printed by John Byrne for the Author, 1795-1796. Folding copperplate table of descents. Octavo (8-3/4" x 5"). Bound in original calf , original red and black morocco spine labels, hinges repaired, as shown below. Light browning and foxing in places. Early owner signatures, top of title pages cut off as shown below. "The first American law text. It displayed a thoughtful philosophy of government as well as a thorough presentation of the constitutional and working government of the state." Dictionary of American Biography IX:250. "The first essay of its kind in America." Sabin. Each volume contains three of the Six Books, as issued. The work is a comprehensive discussion of the powers and limits of government, the rights of persons, the nature of property, torts, crimes, and the principles of equity. The prestigious Subscriber List from 14 states includes President Washington, Vice President Adams, several Cabinet members and Supreme Court justices, Aaron Burr, James Kent, Alexander Dallas, Edward Livingston and other notables. FIRST EDITION.
At the end of the 2nd volume is an extensive list of subscribers, including those listed below. Another owner signature of Samuel White dated 1821 is at the bottom of the page and other owner signatures of Roger Welles and E. O. Goodwin, appear on the front endpapers.
Below is pictured Swift's introduction to the book.
Below is the title page for the first volume, with the top of the page with an apparent owner signature clipped off.
Below are the pictures of the spines and boards on the two volumes.
This first legal treatise published in America which was read by the Founders of the Nation is an important item for legal, Americana and Connecticut collectors.
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