Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2005 Issue

Freeman's Begins Third Century with Celebration


A well-written story worth knowing.

This broadside prints the text of two coercive bills enacted by the Crown in response to the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, 1773. The first provided that persons indicted of capital offenses while carrying out official duties were to be tried by courts outside the province or in England; the second ensured that Massachusetts' Governor's council was composed of Crown appointees and that no town meetings were held without the Governor's permission. These bills served to help unite the Colonies opposition to the Crown & led to the establishment of the First Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, in September of 1774. The first Philadelphia printing, preceded only by the Boston printing of June, 1774. Not recorded by Evans, Bristol, or NUC. See Hildeburn 3074 for tangential reference to the existence of this imprint.

Lot 5. 1 piece. [United States Constitution.] The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. No. 2690. Philadelphia: Dunlap & Claypoole, September 19, 1787. Folio, unbound & untrimmed, 19 1/4 x 11 7/8 inches (488 x 302 mm). 4 pp. Very slightly browned, small dampstain in upper margin above "The" of banner, and in that relative position on the other three pages, unobstrusive early ink scrawl & mathematical calculations confined to two small areas in margins, vertical & horizontal fold marks on first leaf, with minute area of separation at their conjunction. Faint old pencil signature of Hannah Biddle Williams in margin above fore-edge portion of banner. The first publication, or public printing, of the U.S. Constitution, preceded only by the two "draft" or "transcript" printings for the use of delegates only, and the first printing of the final text of the Constitution for submission to the Continental Congress. The Pennsylvania Packet printing & the printings which preceded it were all printed by John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole, the official printers of the Constitutional Convention & proprietors of The Pennsylvania Packet.

The text of the Constitution in the Pennsylvania Packet was printed from the same setting of type as Dunlap and Claypoole's "official edition," with the exception of the Preamble which was reset in larger type. With the exception of a corrected printer's error, the rest of the unaltered text was reimposed to fit on four rather than six pages. Therefore, the Pennsylvania Packet printing is not only the first public printing of the Constitution, but also the second issue of the first printing of the final text of the Constitution. Evans 20819; Brigham 2:942 Freeman's has examined this copy against the trimmed & bound copy held by the Library Company of Pennsylvania, and found that all typographic & paper stock features correspond. As is to be expected, small variations which result from separate inkings of the type & the varying conditions to which paper is exposed for over 200 years are present. Provenance: Family descent from Hannah Biddle Williams and Charles Williams to J. Stanley Reeve and Eleanor Wilbur Reeve to the estate of their offspring, the consignor.

Page 7
67. 1 piece. Document Signed. Franklin, Benjamin. N.p., March 14, 1788. 1 p., folio, 13 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches (336 x 393 mm), vellum with three, largely intact, paper seals. Land patent in Washington County, Pennsylvania for George Vallandigham. Document occasionally lightly or moderately darkened, Franklin's signature clear & generally dark (occasionally slightly abraded). Lieutenant Colonel George Vallandigham (ca. 1737-1810), early settler & soldier on Pennsylvania's western frontier, helped to lead several expeditions against the American Indian allies of the British during the Revolutionary War; direct ancestor of Clement Laird Vallandigham, leader of the Peace Democrats or "Copperheads," strongly opposed to Lincoln's Civil War policies. In his last public office, Benjamin Franklin served from October 1785 to October 1788 as President of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - in effect the Commonwealth's governor.

Rare Book Monthly

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