Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America;
(CONSTITUTIONS). Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; The Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation between the Said States; The Treaties between His Most Christian Majesty and the United States of America. Phila.: Printed by Francis Bailey, 1781. ,226pp. Bound to style in old calf, spine gilt, morocco label. Minor shelf wear. Ink burn from crossed-out signature on first text leaf, touching a handful of letters. Overall very good. In a red half morocco slipcase with cloth chemise, spine gilt. HOWES C-716, "aa." Brinley Sale 4188. Evans 17390. Sabin 16086. NAIP w020083. Matyas, Declaration of Independence, 81-01. Cohen 3017. Reese, Revolutionary Hundred 67. The first collected constitutions of the several states, and an important step on the road to the formulation of the Federal Constitution. Many constitutional historians, recently and persuasively Willi Paul Adams among them, have argued the role of the state constitutional conventions and constitutions in providing models for the framers of the 1787 constitution. In many cases it would have been this work which provided a convenient reference to the state constitutions. Printed in an edition of only 200 copies, this book is quite rare, and one of the most desirable works in American constitutional history. On Dec. 29, 1780 Congress appointed a committee of three to "Collect, and cause to be published, two hundred correct copies of the Declaration of Independence with the Constitutions or forms of government of the Several States, to be bound together in boards." The Monthly Review noted, "It contains a greater portion of unsophisticated wisdom and good sense, than is, perhaps, to be met with in any legislative case that was ever yet framed. It is, in short, the book which may be considered the Magna Charta of the United States."