The History of the American Revolution.

RAMSAY, David.

Editorial: London: J. Johnson and J. Stockdale, 1791, 1791
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Librería: Peter Harrington. ABA member (London, Reino Unido)
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Título: The History of the American Revolution.

Editorial: London: J. Johnson and J. Stockdale, 1791

Año de publicación: 1791

Edición: 1st Edition


2 volumes, octavo (204 × 124 mm). Contemporary calf, red morocco lettering- and black morocco numbering-pieces, flat spine, compartments gilt with an urn to the first, floral motifs to the fourth and sixth, and olive branch tool to the fifth, attractive "paraph" tools as corner-pieces to all, as also to the numbering-piece, edges stained yellow. Minor rubbing at the extremities, some skilful restoration on the joints, tan-burn from the turn-ins to the prelims, foxing to the endpapers and fore-edge, some encroachment to the margins, but overall a very good set. Errata leaf bound in at the rear of each volume. First UK edition, two years after the Philadelphia-published American first, but in fact from American sheets with a cancel title, part of the original title still visible in Volume II of this set. A very pretty set of "almost the first and very probably the most accomplished of the many histories of the American Revolution and making of the Federal Constitution" (O'Brien). The present work and Ramsay's History of the Revolution in South Carolina were the first works to be copyrighted by the authority of the United States government. As no copyright law had yet been enacted, this was done by a special act of Congress on 20 April 1789. Ramsay studied medicine at the College of Pennsylvania, and practised for a year in Maryland before settling in Charleston: "He bore a letter from his preceptor and friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, who declared that he was 'far superior to any person we ever graduated at our college'" (DAB). He was successful in practice, but his energies were soon absorbed in politics, from 1776 to the end of the War he represented Charleston in the legislature; in 1781 he was returned to the House of Representatives; during most of 1782 and 1785 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress; from 1784-90 he served in the state House of Representatives; and in 1792, 1794 and 1796 he was elected to the state Senate. In his preface he explains that the materials for his history "were collected in the year 1782, 1783, 1785, and 1786; in which years, as a member of Congress, I had access to all the official papers of the United States. Every letter written to Congress by General Washington, from the day he took the command of the American Army till he resigned it, was carefully perused, and it's [sic] contents noted. The same was done with the letters of other general officers, ministers of Congress, and others in public stations." Historiographically, Peter C. Messer considers Ramsay's history to reflect "the combination of anxiety and optimism that defined nationalistic sentiments in the 1780s," while Karen O'Brien identifies it as "almost the first and very probably the most accomplished of the many histories of the American Revolution and making of the Federal Constitution published in the immediate aftermath of those events the last of the European Enlightenment histories rather than the first of the American historical epics". A very pretty set in an unrestored contemporary binding. Howes R-35; Messer, "From a Revolutionary History to a History of Revolution: David Ramsay and the American Revolution", Journal of the Early Republic vol. 22, no. 2 (2002); O'Brien, "David Ramsay and the delayed Americanization of American History", Early American Literature, 29, 1 (1994); Sabin 67687. N° de ref. de la librería 86810

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