[HAMILTON, Alexander (1757-1804), Secretary of the Treasury. [Caption title:] Report of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States on the Subject of Manufactures. Presented to the House of Representatives, December 5, 1791. Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine, 1791.
2o, (13 1/8 x 8 1/8 in.). , , 58pp. Collation: [A]4 B-Q2 (Q2 blank not present) = 31 leaves. (Repair to lower margin of last leaf, catching several letters, numerous small repairs to inner margins, just catching a few letters, light but pervasive dampstains carefully washed and re-sized). Modern quarter calf gilt, marbled paper boards.
FIRST EDITION: THE GENESIS OF THE HAMILTONIAN ECONOMIC SYSTEM. Hamilton's third great state paper, following the Report on the Public Credit (1790) and linked reports on taxation, banking and the establishment of the mint. The Report, a carefully considered analysis drawing on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, has been termed "the Magna Carta of industrial America" (quoted by Howes). In it, Hamilton "revealed...the full range of his program for making the United States a prosperous, secure and happy nation," laying out in detail "what he regarded as the proper role of government n the economy of a free society" (Forrest MacDonald, Alexander Hamilton, pp., 232, 235). "To this day...often heralded as the quintessential American statement against the laissez faire doctrine of free trade and for activist government policies--including protectionist tariffs--to promote industrialization" (David A. Irwin, "The Aftermath of Hamilton's 'Report on Manufactures,'" The Journal of Economic History, vol. 64, no. 3 [September 2004]).
The Report is surprisingly rare; several reprints were called for in the decade following the original Childs & Swain printing. Evans 23915; Howes H123.