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The Perpetual Laws, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, From the
1788. [Massachusetts]. [Thomas, Isaiah, Compiler]. The Perpetual Laws, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, From the Establishment of Its Constitution To The First Session of the General Court, A.D. 1788. Worcester: Isaiah Thomas, 1788. [viii], [5], 389 pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 4-7/8") Contemporary sheep, raised bands, gilt ornaments and lettering piece to spine. Some rubbing to extremities, a few minor scuffs to boards, corners bumped, hinges cracked, front free endpaper and upper portion of following endleaf lacking, bookplate of William Paine Sheffield to front pastedown, light browning and foxing to text. Early owner signature to head of title page, interior otherwise clean. An appealing copy. * First octavo edition, published one year after the folio edition. This title is significant as a first edition of a work printed by Isaiah Thomas, and as the first printing of the first collection of Massachusetts statutes, covering Massachusetts legislation up to the year of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The work contains Massachusetts laws regulating everything from the organization of the legislature to the militia to highways, and represents an important work of American history, as this volume was the tool used to disseminate the laws throughout the Commonwealth. It was intentionally printed in a size and at a price that would enable significant distribution. However, at this time few copies remain. Isaiah Thomas was a successful and highly regarded printer in Worcester, Massachusetts who owned his own paper mill and bindery, and employed many people. An important figure in the history of printing and book collecting in the United States, he founded the American Antiquarian Society and wrote the classic reference on early American printing, The History of Printing in America. Not in Tower or the Harvard Law Catalogue. Benedict locates only ten copies. Benedict, Acts and Laws of the Original Thirteen Colonies and States 214. Check List of American Laws, Charters and Constitutions of the 17th and 18th Centuries in the Huntington Library 467.
      [Bookseller: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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