CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. - Rules and Articles for the better Government of the Troops raised, or to be raised, and kept in pay by and at the joint Expence of the Thirteen United English Colonies of North-America.
Estimate: £8,000 - £12,000
ca. US$12,269 - US$18,404
Price realised: £16,000
Rules and Articles for the better Government of the Troops raised, or to be raised, and kept in pay by and at the joint Expence of the Thirteen United English Colonies of North-America.
Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1775. 16 pp., 8vo (172 x 110 mm). 19th century morocco gilt, bound for presentation [see provenance]. Housed in a cloth chemise and morocco backed slipcase. Condition : top of title trimmed close, else minor foxing and age toning; minor rubbing at extremities. Provenance : Captain Alexander Graydon; Caspar L. Wister (lengthy inscription signed with initials presenting the book to); George B. McClellan. major general george mcclellan’s copy of an american military rarity -- the first edition of the first army regulations. Shortly following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress on 14 June 1775 authorized the formation of “the American Continental Army.” The regulations for that army, or “articles of war,” printed here were passed on 30 June 1775, and a committee of Silas Deane, Thomas Cushing and Joseph Hewes was appointed the task of reviewing them and arranging for their printing “as soon as possible” (Journals of the Continental Congress). This first manual of American Army regulations provides 72 rules for the governance of the troops, and is prefaced by the following statement of explanation: “Whereas his Majesty's most faithful subjects in these Colonies are reduced to a dangerous and critical situation, by the attempts of the British Ministry, to carry into execution, by force of arms, several unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the British parliament for laying taxes in America, to enforce the collection of these taxes, and for altering and changing the constitution and internal police of some of these Colonies, in violation of the natural and civil rights of the Colonies. And whereas hostilities have been actually commenced in Massachusetts Bay, by the British troops, under the command of General Gage, and the lives of a number of the inhabitants of that Colony destroyed; the town of Boston not only having been long occupied as a garrisoned town in an enemy's country, but the inhabitants thereof treated with a severity and cruelty not to be justified even towards declared enemies. And whereas large reinforcements have been ordered, and are soon expected, for the declared purpose of compelling these Colonies to submit to the operation of the said acts, which hath rendered it necessary, and an indispensable duty, for the express purpose of securing and defending these Colonies, and preserving them in safety against all attempts to carry the said acts into execution; that an armed force be raised sufficient to defeat such hostile designs, and preserve and defend the lives, liberties and immunities of the Colonists…” The provenance of this copy is impressive. Alexander Graydon (1752-1818) was commissioned a Captain in the newly-formed Continental Congress in 1775. After raising recruits, he participated in the Battle of Long Island and was subsequently captured at Harlem Heights. As the lengthy inscription explains, Caspar Wister purchased Graydon’s library where he found “this little work among many other intersting and rare Revolutionary Pamphlets.” In November 1864, at the height of the Civil War, he presented it to Major General George McClellan. Printed principally for circulation among the line officers, few copies of the Rules and Articles have survived. Only the Drury-Gutman copy of the first edition has appeared at auction in recent years. Evans 14577; Sabin 74054.
Informations about the auction
|Auction house:||Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions|
|Title:||The Jay T. Snider Collection, featuring the History of Philadelphia and Important Americana|
|Date of the auction:||19 Nov 2008|
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