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[UNITED STATES, CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]: A complete set of the Journals of Congress, containing proceedings from 5 September 1774 to 3 November 1788. Philadelphia: Published by Order of Congress [various printers, Robert Aitken, John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole], 1777-1788.
[UNITED STATES, CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]: A complete set of the Journals of Congress, containing proceedings from 5 September 1774 to 3 November 1788. Philadelphia: Published by Order of Congress [various printers, Robert Aitken, John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole], 1777-1788.

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[UNITED STATES, CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]: A complete set of the Journals of Congress, containing proceedings from 5 September 1774 to 3 November 1788. Philadelphia: Published by Order of Congress [various printers, Robert Aitken, John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole], 1777-1788.

13 volumes, various 8o sizes (208 to 223 x 130 to 138 mm). (Vols. 4, 8, 9 & 10 bound without the index as is often the case, lightly tanned, a few fore-edges a bit dusty.) Original plain paper boards, uncut and with some quires entirely unopened, as issued (vols. 1, 2, 4 & 5 neatly rebacked in appropriate paper, 6 others with backstrips mostly or wholly lacking, sewing of vols. 7 and 11 loose, front board of vol. 11 nearly detached), BUT A COMPLETE SET IN ORIGINAL, UNSOPHISTICATED CONDITION; in 13 uniform, fitted black cloth clamshell protective boxes, leather labels. Provenance: Vols. 9-13: William Livingston (1723-1790), Governor of New Jersey from 1776 to 1790 (signature on vol.10 title); His daughter, wife of John Jay; their daughter Elizabeth Clarkson (several signatures).

A COMPLETE SET OF THE JOURNALS OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, IN ORIGINAL BOARDS

A fundamental collection of documents recording the early history of the American republic, minutely documenting its progression from an array of disparate and disgruntled colonies to armed resistence and outright rebellion, Independence, confederation, and eventually, unification under a remarkable Federal Constitution. The journals records in detail the daily business of the Congress, and contain the most vital documents from the Revolutionary period through the end of the Confederacy, and culminates with the tumultuous adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1788. They are an essential basis for any comprehensive collection of the Revolution and early National period. The bibliographical and textual importance of books preserved in original, unsophisticated state needs no elaboration. Some of the edition sizes were quite small (as few as 500 copies). In fact, the resolution of 13 September 1786 directs "That the Secretary of Congress take order for having printed and bound in the usual manner [boards?] five hundred volumes of the journals of Congress for each of the years 1777, 1778, 1780 and 1781 1782" (vol. 11, p. 213).

These journals contain fundamental acts relating to every possible concern of a national legislature: issues of war and peace, inter-state relations; the recruitment, equipping and supply of the Continental Army, Navy and Marines, and the appointment and compensation of officers; instructions to general officers and commanders in the field; the receipt of communiques from officers including Washington, Knox, Gates, Nathanael Greene, St. Clair, Heath and others; the receipt of letters from U.S. ministers overseas including Franklin Deane, Adams and others; the management of British prisoners, their exchange, housing, transport and supply; the provision of pensions for wounded or disabled soldiers and sailors; the perennial difficulties in "supplying the Treasury"; Indian affairs, including reports from far-flung garrisons of incursions and alliances; the appointment of Superintendents of Indian Affairs and their reports; the handling of Tories and their property; matters of international diplomacy, diplomatic appointments and the ratification of treaties and pacts, including the critical Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France (vol. 6, 1780); foreign trade; the proclamation of days of prayer and thanksgiving; currency, the mint, bills of credit, loan certificates and the regulation of specie and paper currencies; maritime affairs, from the certification of privateers and the taxation of imports to the payment of prize-monies to John Paul Jones and other sailors; the settlement of conflicting territorial claims of the states and the survey of those borders; judicial issues, the appointment of judges, and the delineation of their spheres of responsibility; the postal office and postmaster-general's duties and stipulations concerning his authority; the receipt of and response to communications from officers, ministers plenipotentiary, Governors, state legislatures and foreign rulers; etc., etc. The attendance of delegates for each session and even their yea and nay votes on particular resolutions are noted.

Shortly after the Declaration of Independence, Congress recognized the necessity of publishing and disseminating its proceedings on a timely basis. These volumes appeared in more or less annual volumes, but in variable formats and from three different printers: Robert Aitken, John Dunlap, and David Claypoole. A tradition had already been established by the separate publication of the Journals from the First and Second Continental Congress in 1774 and 1775. The first volume in this series, begun after the Declaration of Independence, reprinted those journals, and was issued concurrently with the second volume, both appearing from the press of Robert Aitken in 1777 (that volume includes the full text of the Declaration of Independence, and the names of the Signers, pp. 241-246). John Dunlap, who printed the original Declaration broadside, issued the third volume in 1778; David Claypoole printed volumes four through eight, and Dunlap issued the ninth through thirteenth volumes. The series thus covers the entire span of the Continental Congress, beginning in 1774, through the Revolutionary years, and on to the period from the Peace in 1783 to the adoption of the Constitution. The final session sat through November 1788, and the new federal government was initiated in April 1789. The dates, printers, years of publication, and pagination of the individual volumes, are as follows:

1)1774-1776. Aitken. 1777. [2], 310, [12] pp. Evans 15683.
2)1776. Aitken. [2], 513, [22] pp. Evans 15684.
3)1777. Dunlap. [1778]. [2], 603, [22] pp. Evans 16138.
4)1778. Claypoole. [1779]. [2], 748 pp. No index. Evans 161584.
5)1779. Claypoole. [1780]. 464, [15], 74 pp. Evans 17766.
6)1780. Claypoole. [1780]. 403, [38],[3] pp. Evans 17392.
7)1781. Claypoole. 1781. 522, [79], [15] pp. Evans 17767.
8)1783. Claypoole. 1783. 483 pp. No index. Evans 18226.
9)1784. Dunlap. [1784]. 317 pp. No index. Evans 18840.
10)1785. Dunlap. 1785. 369 pp. No index. Evans 19316.
11)1786. Dunlap. 1786. 267, xvi pp. Evans 20068.
12)1787. Dunlap. 1787. 255, ix pp. Evans 20772.
13)1788. Dunlap. 1788. 170, [98], xi pp. Evans 21526.

The Journals contain the most vital records of the Revolutionary and Confederation period. A complete set such as this is extremely rare in any binding, while A SET IN ORIGINAL BOARDS IS NOW VIRTUALLY UNOBTAINABLE. (13)
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