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132151 132151_1 132151_2
ADAMS, John.

A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America...

against the attack of M. Turgot in his letter to Dr. Price, dated the twenty-second day of March, 1778. By John Adams, LL.D. President of the United States. In three volumes. The third edition.

Availability: In stock

Published: Philadelphia Printed by Budd and Bartram, for William Cobbett, 1797

Stock Code: 132151

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition printed during Adams's presidency. First printed in London from 1787 to 1788, this is the third American edition overall, following two editions of the first volume only, and is consequently the first complete American edition. A highly significant work of American political philosophy, Adams's wide-ranging treatise evaluates the political writings of various thinkers, including Machiavelli, Sidney, Locke, Harrington and Milton; Adams defends the separation of powers, as well as the existence of a senate composed of the higher classes of society. This copy does not have the portrait frontispiece that is sometimes found - it is now generally accepted that not all copies were issued with it, without established priority between the copies that have it and those that do not.
With the ownership signature to the titles pages of George Washington Craik (1774-1808), the son of George Washington's physician James Craik. George was named after the first president, who insisted on educating his namesake; upon the completion of his education, Washington appointed him as one of his private secretaries during the second term of his presidency. Craik was a subscriber to this edition, and is listed as such on the subscribers list.

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3 volumes, octavo (211 x 123 mm). Contemporary tree calf (vols. I and II) and sheep (vol. III), rebacked and recornered with original spines laid down, twin red and black morocco labels, smooth spines gilt to compartments, marbled endpapers to first and second volume.


Bound with terminal blank in vol. I and the half-title in vol. II, as called for. Light stripping to sheep of third volume, repairs to endpapers, some light worming in places without loss, some faint creasing and soiling to contents, 5 cm closed tear to vol. I p. 139. A very good copy.


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