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JOURNALS OF CONGRESS: CONTAINING THEIR PROCEEDINGS [FROM SEPTEMBER 5, 1774 TO NOVEMBER 3, 1788]
Philadelphia, 1801. Modern antique-style three-quarter calf and marbled boards. Bookplate of Edward Everett on front pastedown of each volume. Some light tanning and soiling, but generally clean internally. Very good. The first collected printing of the Journals of the United States Congress, known as the "Folwell Edition." Prior to the issuing of Folwell's set, the Journals had appeared in more or less annual volumes. Many of those original journals are virtually unobtainable. In 1799, Congress directed that Richard Folwell print 400 sets of the complete journals of the Continental Congress for the use of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This was accomplished during 1800 and 1801, reprinting the annual volumes comprising the proceedings of the Continental Congress from the two Congresses held prior to the Declaration of Independence, then for the duration of the Confederacy, through the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1788. This set has the important provenance of Elbridge Gerry, fifth Vice President of the United States, and then to distinguished American statesman Edward Everett. Everett's bookplate is in each volume, and he has written on the front fly leaf of the first volume: "This copy of the Journals of the Continental Congress belonged to Elbridge Gerry, Vice-President of the United States with President Madison in his second term. E.E." Gerry served in the Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was an early and vigorous advocate of American Independence, and played a crucial role in the formation of the new United States government, insisting on a bill of rights being added to the new Constitution. "Gerry warned that the Constitution would not be ratified without a bill of rights, and he proved to be right. Massachusetts accepted the document, but only with the strong recommendation that a bill of rights be added. Several other states followed suit, and the Constitution was ratified but only with these provisos. Gerry staunchly supported the new government, helped to frame the Bill of Rights, and served as congressman from 1789 to 1793" - ANB. His name is perhaps most remembered, however ignominiously, in connection with the term "gerrymandering." In his second term as governor of Massachusetts, Gerry redrew district lines to consolidate his party's control in the state senate. "The shape of one electoral district on the map resembled a salamander, and one wit promptly dubbed it a 'Gerrymander.' Hence, the term used today when redistricting results in a concentration of the strength of one political party and a weakening of its opponent's strength" - ANB. Though this was not necessarily a new practice, the name stuck. Gerry ran on the ticket with President Madison two years later, during Madison's second term as president, and died in office in 1814. Edward Everett attended Harvard, then became the first American to study in Europe and obtain a Ph.D. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives, as governor of Massachusetts for four years in 1835-39, then U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, President of Harvard, Secretary of State, and Senator from Massachusetts. Ironically, his career ended as the long-winded keynote speaker at Gettysburg, preceding Abraham Lincoln's Address with two hours of oratory. He died a year later. An important set, with the significant provenance of two of the most important statesmen from Massachusetts in the first half of the 19th century.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2015-11-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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