MARSHALL, John (1755-1835)
The Life of George Washington, commander in chief of the American Forces, during the war which established the independence of his country, and first President of the United States ...
Philadelphia: C.P. Wayne, 1804 [vols. 1-3] - 1805 [vol. 4] - 1807 [vol. 5 and atlas]. 6 volumes (text: 5 volumes, 8vo [8 3/8 x 5 1/8 inches]; atlas: 4to [11 1/4 x 9 inches]). Stipple engraved frontispiece portrait, engraved by S. Edwin in vol. 1. Atlas with 10 engraved maps (8 double-page, 1 folding, 1 single-page). 22pp. subscriber's list in the rear of the atlas.
Text: Contemporary tree calf, flat spines in six compartments divided by gilt roll tools and decoration, lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, worn at edges, spines abraded with some losses. Atlas: original calf-backed marbled paper covered boards, original orange paper lettering piece on upper cover, joints cracked.
Provenance: George Metzger (early signature on title); Whitefield Jenks Bell, Jr. (later bookplate)
The classic biography of Washington: first edition, first issue of the text with the first edition quarto atlas.
"After the able, accurate and comprehensive work of Chief Justice Marshall, it would be presumptuous to attempt a historical biography of Washington" (Jared Sparks). Later American editions omitted the history of the colonies, which is the subject of the first volume. The atlas volume contains ten maps relating to the Revolution and 22pp. of subscribers' names. This set with the rare first issue of the text, with 1804 imprints to the first three volumes; a more commonly found second issue was published between 1805 and 1807.
Howes M317 "aa"; Sabin 44788; Larned 1561.