[UNITED STATES, CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. Journals of Congress [Weekly issues]. 36 [of 41] issues, Philadelphia: David C. Claypoole, 31 March-10 April to 13-18 December . [With:] Journals of Congress [Monthly issues]. 4 issues. Philadelphia; David C. Claypoole, February-March 1779; March 1-30th 1779; April and May 1780.
8o (220 x 130 mm and slightly smaller). (Minor foxing and soiling to a few issues, April 1780 issue lacks last leaf; May 1780 issue lacks last 2 leaves; 17 issues with discreet old library stamps, but in generally good condition.) Stitched, uncut, as issued.
A NEARLY-COMPLETE RUN OF THE RARE WEEKLY JOURNALS OF CONGRESS, IN ORIGINAL STATE AS ISSUED
As the Continental Congress continued it deliberations, some delegates voiced considerable displeasure that the Journals were being published only in annual form (see preceding lot) making it difficult for them, in debate, to refer back to actions previously voted. In early 1779, therefore, it was decided to issue weekly issues of the Journals. William Floyd of New York explained, in a letter to George Clinton, that "Congress finding that they cannot get the Journal printed so soon as they could wish in the mode heretofore adopted, have employed a printer [Claypoole] to begin at January, and print them us as soon as possible, and from April to have them printed weekly..." (Burnett, Letters of Delegates, 4:211). This fine, almost complete set, includes the monthly issues for February and March 1779, then all but two of the subsequent weekly issues, plus the monthly issues for April and May 1780. The editions of all were no doubt very limited, and due to their essentially ephemeral nature, few have survived, especially without having been bound.
The individual issues range in length from a mere four pages to 24 pages for the Monthly issues, depending upon how much business was under consideration during this difficult year, which saw increasing financial and supply shortfalls, the British burning of Norwalk and Fairfield, Connecticut; the fall of Savannah, Anthony Waynes's surprise success at Stony Point and John Paul Jones's victory over the British Serapis. A full list of all the issues in the lot with pagination and Evans citations is available on request. (40)