Sep 28, 2023 - Sale 2646

Sale 2646 - Lot 21

Price Realized: $ 9,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1776.) Journals of Congress, Containing the Proceedings from January 1, 1776, to January 1, 1777. [2], 520, xxvii pages. 8vo, early 1/2 calf over marbled boards, tastefully rebacked with portion of original backstrip laid down; title page toned, otherwise minimal toning and foxing; inked private library stamp on front free endpaper. York, PA: John Dunlap, 1778

Additional Details

Contains the momentous work of the Continental Congress for 1776, most notably the Declaration of Independence on pages 241-246.

This book was by necessity a collaboration between Philadelphia's two great printers of the Revolution. Robert Aitken had the original contract to print the Journals, and delivered 532 copies of this volume under his own imprint in early 1777 before the arrival of the British in Philadelphia. His printing press did not escape from Philadelphia, but 50 partial sets of the unbound sheets for the Journal did escape. His rival John Dunlap managed to relocate his own printing press to "York-Town," Pennsylvania, and secured an appointment as the new Congressional printer in May 1778. He salvaged the sets of Aitken's first 424 pages, printed his own setting of the remaining hundred-plus pages, and sold the resulting 50 volumes with a new title page under his own imprint. The typeface changes perceptibly from page 424 to 425. The imprint thus suggests that this is a Dunlap printing of the Declaration of Independence--no small matter, as Dunlap's 1776 broadside printing remains one of the most precious documents in the Americana realm. However, those leaves were actually printed by Aitken in the present volume. No worries; they were all on the same side.

Evans 16137; Matyas, Declaration of Independence 77-09B.