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2020-10-08 20:44:07
SKIDMORE, Thomas (1790-1832)
The Rights of Man to Property! Being a Proposition to Make It Equal Among the Adults of the Present Generation.
Printed for the Author by Alexander Ming, New York, 1829. 405, [1]pp. Contemporary calf, original gilt stamping on covers, gilt morocco spine label. Moderate edge wear, center vertical crease in spine, spine ends frayed. Early bookplate remnants on front pastedown, hinges a bit tender. First and only edition of this very rare and early American radical work, and one of the seminal works of the American Left. An early American radical work by a solitary crusader. It is an important early example of American progressive economic philosophy, calling for the rights of workers, redistribution of property, and universal education. Skidmore was a co-founder of the Working Men's Party, which emerged in 1829 and sought to abolish debtors' prisons, reduce the length of the workday and establish a lien law for building laborers, and the Agrarian Party in 1830, after being ousted from the former party by moderates. His three books were self- published in sparse numbers, and his early death during the cholera epidemic of 1832 prevented any furtherance of his radical writings. In his 1939 address to the Grolier Club, entitled "Radical Literature in America," Frederick B. Adams, Jr. wrote that "Skidmore's experiences as a working mechanic brought him personal knowledge of the position of the propertyless worker in an industrialized society. To achieve common ownership of the means of production, he proposed that the State take over all property and divide it equally." "Wealth to be equally divided, with its equal transmission to later generations on the maturity of each individual. An ear … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA) [New York, NY, U.S.A.]

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