Journal of the Proceedings of the Congress, held at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774
Philadelphia: Printed by William and Thomas Bradford, at the London Coffee House, 1774. 8vo. (7 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches). ,144pp.
Expertly bound to style in quarter 18th century russia over period marbled paper covered boards, flat spine divided into compartments with gilt double fillets, morocco lettering piece in the second compartment, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt. Housed in a modern full blue morocco box.
The journal of the first Continental Congress.
The Journals of the first Continental Congress, describing meetings from Sept. 5 to Oct. 20, 1774, is one of the most basic documents of the American Revolution. This is the very rare issue of 144 pages, with the correctly dated state of the title page, probably issued several months after the first (with 132pp. only, omitting the Petition to the King, and the correct date in Roman numerals). Committees of Correspondence, responding to the Intolerable Acts passed by Parliament in the wake of the Boston Tea Party, resolved to hold a Continental Congress in June of 1774. Delegates from twelve colonies (none from Georgia) gathered in Philadelphia in the fall. It included many of the most distinguished men in America: Samuel and John Adams, Roger Sherman, John Jay, Joseph Galloway, John Dickinson, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Edmund Pendleton, and Henry Middleton, among others. The Congress succeeded in taking numerous important steps. On Oct. 14 they adopted a Declaration of Rights, and agreed to an Association governing imports and exports and boycotting British goods. They also drafted and sent an Address to the People of Great Britain and another Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec. They agreed to reassemble on May 10, 1775. This issue of the Journals adds twelve highly important pages of text, consisting of the address to King George III ("The Petition to the King") arguing the American position, asking for redress, and promising loyalty if the status quo of 1764 was restored. This text was agreed upon and voted in executive session on Oct. 1, 1774, and probably reached England in early November. This text does not appear in the 132pp. issue, probably published in November, because it was still secret. The Petition certainly reached Lord North, but it is unclear the King ever saw it. By mid-January 1775, as the flow of events progressed and it seemed unlikely there would be a response (there never was), it was published in this second issue of the Journals, possibly issued on Jan. 17-18, 1775. The title page for the Journal of 1774 bears the famous seal of the Congress, showing twelve hands representing the twelve participating colonies supporting a column topped with a Liberty Cap and resting on the Magna Charta. Rare and desirable.
Evans 13737, Howes J263, "aa."