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The Case, Trevett Against Weeden: On Information and Complaint
1787. [Trial]. Varnum, James M. [1748-1789]. Weeden, John, Defendant. The Case, Trevett Against Weeden: On Information and Complaint, For Refusing Paper Bills in Payment for Butcher's Meat, In Market, At Par with Specie. Tried Before the Honourable Superior Court, In the County of Newport, September Term, 1786. Also, The Case of the Judges of Said Court, Before the Honourable General Assembly, At Providence, October Session, 1786, On Citation, For Dismissing Said Complaint. Wherein the Rights of the People to Trial by Jury, &c. Are Stated and Maintained, And the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive Powers of Government Examined and Defined. Providence: Printed by John Carter, 1787. iv, 60 pp. Quarto (7-3/4" x 6"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in plain wrappers. Moderate edgewear and staining. Light browning to text, internally clean. An appealing copy of an important item. * First edition. This landmark in the history of American judicial review arose from a dispute with a butcher. In 1786 Trevett attempted to purchase meat from Weeden with paper money issued by an act of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, which Weeden refused. Trevett lodged a complaint with Superior Court of Newport, but it ruled in favor of the defendant, who was defended by Varnum, stating that it was unconstitutional for the state to demand acceptance of its paper money. The judges were called before the state legislature, where they defended their actions. This event received a great deal of public attention and inspired Varnum's brief study, which examines the motivations of the legislature, the power of the judiciary to alter legislation and the rights of individual citizens. John Marshall noted Varnum's book in the debates leading to his decision in Marbury v. Madison. Also a general in the Rhode Island State Militia, Varnum was a Rhode Island lawyer who served in the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1782. He was appointed Judge of the Northwest Territory in 1787 and spent the rest of his life in Ohio. Ritz, American Judicial Proceedings Published Before 1801 157. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 11239.
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Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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