AMERICA - THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS Journals  of Congress. Containing the Proceedings in the Year, 1776. Published by Order of Congress. Volume II [containing the Declaration of Independence], FIRST ISSUE, Philadelphia, Robert Aitken, 1777
Lot 4
AMERICA - THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
Journals of Congress. Containing the Proceedings in the Year, 1776. Published by Order of Congress. Volume II [containing the Declaration of Independence], FIRST ISSUE, Philadelphia, Robert Aitken, 1777
Sold for £8,125 (US$ 10,900) inc. premium

Lot Details
AMERICA - THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
Journals of Congress. Containing the Proceedings in the Year, 1776. Published by Order of Congress. Volume II [containing the Declaration of Independence], FIRST ISSUE, occasional light spotting and some browning, small old ink spots to C4-E1, 3X1-3 roughly opened, contemporary mottled sheep, gilt panelled, spine joints cracked, spine and corners worn, 8vo, Philadelphia, Robert Aitken, 1777

Footnotes

  • A RARE AND IMPORTANT PUBLICATION IN THE BIRTH OF THE UNITED STATES: AITKEN'S FIRST ISSUE WITH HIS PRINTING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

    Robert Aitken was licensed by Congress to publish the Journals on 26 September 1776. Volume I of the series comprised reprints of his "Cartridge Paper" edition, the monthly issues which covered the first four months of 1776; the present volume II included the first publication of the June-December Journals, and came off the press the following year. According to Aitken 532 copies were printed, but when Congress had to flee from Philadelphia in the autumn of 1777 Aitken's press was lost and many copies were seemingly left behind and destroyed by the British. Subsequently responsibility for publication passed to John Dunlap and David Claypoole, and the former printed a second issue of the volume at York-town in 1778. Few complete copies of Aitken's issue are known: auction records list only three, each of which was part of the complete run of 13 volumes.

    The volume records some of the most tumultuous events of the Revolution, and the text of the Declaration appears in full, with the names of the signers, on pages 241-246. On 18 January 1777 it was declared to be the authentic text by a vote of the Congress (including Jefferson), and there are numerous variations between this and the Dunlap broadsides.


Saleroom notices

  • Please note this lot is as described in the catalogue, and does not include a volume which was at one stage on display alongside it during the public view.
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