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[Consecutive run of session laws from August 1734 through May 1742]. General Assembly VIRGINIA.
[Consecutive run of session laws from August 1734 through May 1742]
[Consecutive run of session laws from August 1734 through May 1742]
[Consecutive run of session laws from August 1734 through May 1742]
[Consecutive run of session laws from August 1734 through May 1742]

[Consecutive run of session laws from August 1734 through May 1742]

[Williamsburg: William Parks, 1734-1742]. 6 volumes in one, folio. (12 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches). Caption titles, as issued. 1-51; 1-48; 1-52; 1-21; 1-2; 1-58pp.

Expertly bound to style in full period calf, spine with raised bands ruled in blind, morocco lettering piece.

A remarkable run of early Virginia imprints.

An extraordinary run of the earliest Virginia imprints, the most extensive group of material to come on the market in perhaps a century. This remarkable volume contains six Assembly session laws published in Williamsburg between 1734 and 1742, from the press of Virginia's first printer, William Parks. The beginnings of printing in Virginia can be traced, in a sense, to 1682, when William Nuthead went to Jamestown with a press to print the acts of the Assembly; Governor Thomas Culpeper tossed him out, and Nuthead left without issuing a single publication. Culpeper's successor Francis Howard banned printing entirely, and it was fifty years before another attempt was made. In February 1728, William Parks, the official printer to the Maryland Assembly since 1726, seeking to expand his business, petitioned the Virginia Assembly for a similar position. Receiving the commission, Parks opened an office in Williamsburg in 1730. That year, he published what is generally credited as Virginia's first imprint: John Markland's Typographia: an ode to printing, a 15pp. paean to Sir William Gooch, the governor who had approved the invitation to Parks. This survives in a single copy, at the John Carter Brown Library. Indeed, the handful of early Virginia imprints prior to 1735 that are not laws only survive in unique copies. Parks moved to Williamsburg himself in 1731, although he would continue to maintain his Annapolis press until 1737. In 1733 he published the first locally printed collection of Virginia laws. The present imprints follow directly after that volume with new legislation issued over the next decade. He was certainly, with Benjamin Franklin, the most significant and enterprising printer in the American colonies south of Boston in the first half of the 18th century, prior to his death in 1750. During this time Parks sometimes quarreled with the Virginia House of Burgesses over fees and articles in his newspaper, but always retained the lucrative contract for printing the legislative materials of the colony. The present collection of session laws contains the fourth and final session of the 1727-1734 Assembly, all four sessions of the 1735-1740 Assembly and the first session of the 1742-1747 Assembly. The first of the above is significant, as it was "the first time the public and private acts of a session were printed in full" (Swem), the previous session laws including the titles of the private acts only. The acts within these sessions includes those addressing tobacco, duties on slaves, judicial matters, regulating liquor, for the encouragement of the College of William and Mary, dividing counties, relating to Native Americans, the raising of the militia for an expedition against the Spanish, among other matters. Of particular note is an act within the final session which establishes the town of Richmond on the falls of the James River. All early Virginia imprints are of great rarity. The legislative material was probably printed in editions of several hundred copies at the most. Berg locates eight to ten copies of each of the imprints listed here; in virtually all cases these copies have been held since before the First World War, and only a few individual imprints can be traced in sale records. The collection is comprised of: 1) [Virginia, General Assembly of 1727-1734, fourth session] Anno Regni Georgii II ... At a General Assembly, begun and held at Williamsburg, the First Day of February, in the First Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George II ... to the Twenty Second Day of August, 1734. Being the Fourth Session of this present General Assembly [caption title]. [Williamsburg: William Parks, 1734]. 51pp. Berg, Williamsburg Imprints 14 ("The economy, education, and public safety were matters of concern for the burgesses and councilmen at this session." - Berg); Clayton-Torrence, 127; Evans, 3849; Swem, III:22518. 2) [Virginia, General Assembly of 1735-1740, first session] Anno Regni Georgii II ... At a General Assembly, summoned to be held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, on the First Day of August, in the Ninth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George II ... to the Fifth Day of August in the Tenth Year of His said Majesty's Reign, in the Year of our Lord, 1736 [caption title]. [Williamsburg: William Parks, 1736]. 48pp. Berg, Williamsburg Imprints 20.( "...the Assembly passed legislation which affected many aspects of daily life in the Virginia colony."- Berg); Clayton-Torrence, 136; Evans, 4094; Swem, III:22521. 3) [Virginia, General Assembly of 1735-1740, second session] Anno Regni Georgii II ... At a General Assembly, summoned to be held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, on the First Day of August, in the Ninth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George II ... to the First Day of November in the Twelfth Year of His said Majesty's Reign, in the Year of our Lord, 1738 [caption title]. [Williamsburg: William Parks, 1738]. 52pp. Berg, Williamsburg Imprints 25; Clayton-Torrence, 152; Evans, 4317; Swem, III:22526. (Much information on the duties of officials, fines, and fees). 4) [Virginia, General Assembly of 1735-1740, third session] Anno Regni Georgii II ... At a General Assembly, summoned to be held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, on Friday the First Day of August, in the Ninth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George II ... to the Twenty Second Day of May in the Thirteenth Year of His said Majesty's Reign, in the Year of our Lord M,DCC,XL [caption title]. [Williamsburg: William Parks, 1740]. 21pp. Berg, Williamsburg Imprints, 34; Clayton-Torrence, 164; Evans, 4616; Swem, III:22531. (Important information on public expenditures for the War of Jenkins' Ear against Spain). 5) [Virginia, General Assembly of 1735-1740, fourth session] Anno Regni Georgii II ... At a General Assembly, summoned to be held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, on Friday the First Day of August, in the Ninth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George II ... to the Twenty First Day of August in the Fourteenth Year of His said Majesty's Reign, in the Year of our Lord M,DCC,XL: Being the Fourth Session of this present General Assembly [caption title]. [Williamsburg: William Parks, 1740]. 2pp. Berg,Williamsburg Imprints, 35; Clayton-Torrence, 165; Evans, 4617; Swem, III:22534. (Another imprint devoted to expenditures due to the war with Spain). 6) [Virginia, General Assembly of 1742-1747, first session] Anno Regni Georgii II ... At a General Assembly, begun and held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, the Sixth Day of May, in the Fifteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George II ... in the Year of our Lord 1742: Being the First Session of this Assembly [caption title]. [Williamsburg: William Parks, 1742]. 58pp. Berg,Williamsburg Imprints, 43; Bristol, B1192; Clayton-Torrence, 171; Swem, III:22537. (Includes the act founding Richmond). A unique opportunity to acquire some of the earliest Virginia imprints.

A. Franklin Parks, William Parks, The Colonial Printer In The Transatlantic World.. University Park, 2012.

Item #29116

Price: $25,000.00

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