Philadelphia: Samuel F. Bradford. Vol 1 printed by H. Maxwell; vol 2 printed by Robert Carr, 1804. 8vo in 4's. 2 vols. 219 x 143 mm. Pagination: I: vi pp., 1 f.. blank, 313,  pp. II: , 466,  pp. Collation: vol. I: [A]4, B-3G4 3H8 (-3H8, a blank). Vol 2: [A]2, B-3N4, 3O4 (-3O4, a blank). Both volumes lack frontispieces, clearly never bound in to this copy as there are no indications of extraction of any kind, and the bindings were clearly expensive to produce. Bound in early American tree calf, joints with unimportant wear, very slightly bumped, spine compartments bordered on top and bottom with three different ornamental rolls in gilt, spine titled in gilt on red morocco spine label in second compartment, fourth compartment has volume number titled in gilt, other compartments contain victory ornament in gilt with weapons and vines, ornamental roll in gilt along edges, "Stroud" printed paper label at foot of spine, marbled endleaves. Textblock edges painted yellow, top edge dusty, small tear along foreedge of 2H4 of vol. 2 not affecting text, minor some browning and foxing throughout, small stain on pp. 32-37 of vol. 2. Overall an excellent set. Very Good. Item #2996
Beautiful early American tree calf bindings on a text published by a member of the famous Bradford family of printers, the most famous colonial printing family in Philadelphia. The Quaker William Bradford (1663-1752) established Pennsylvania's first printing press in 1686 shortly after emigrating from England. Bradford's grandson, also named William (1719-1791), is considered the most prominent printer during the American Revolution as he became the official printer for the Continental Congress in 1774, printing their "Declaration of Rights" in response to the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament. At the outbreak of the Revolution, William left the printing press in the hands of his son Thomas while he went into military service. Thomas Bradford continued his father's publications and, after his father quit the milita due to an injury he received at the Battle of Princeton, worked in partnership with his father. Thomas took over full-time after William's death in 1791.
Thomas's son, Samuel Bradford (1776-1837), the printer of our text, continued the family tradition and became well-known for his new edition of Abraham Rees's "New Cyclopaedia" which he first printed in 1805, supplemented with additions on America and the United States. This "Cyclopaedia," unfortunately, would eventually lead him into bankruptcy. Samuel Bradford also edited a newspaper, "The True American, and Commercial Advertiser," which appeared from 1798-1815. The Bradford Family Papers are held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
A timely publication, "Letters of Junius" contains letters written by an anonymous polemicist, Junius, critical of the government of King George III. The present collection was edited by Scottish writer Robert Heron (1764-1807), with an essay on the eloquence of Junius, a discussion of Junius's view of the British Constitution, and some comments on the controversy surrounding Junius's identity, which to this day remains a literary mystery.
Evans 6580 & 6851.