New York: S. Loudon, 1776. Ex-library, first American edition. Hardcover. Small octavo. 107pp. Red cloth library binding, with a red and white label pasted on the front cover. This is a first American edition of Richard Price's treatise on civil liberty and his stance supporting, and giving validity to the American revolution. The book discusses the nature of civil liberties and then applies the discussion to the examination of whether or not the British government (and Monarchy) has violated those liberties. He concludes that it has; "... it is what we have done to them - We have transported ourselves to their peaceful retreats, and employed our fleets and armies to stop up their ports, to destroy their commerce, to seize their effects and to burn their towns. Would but we let them alone, and suffer them to enjoy in security, their property, and governments, instead of disturbing us, they would thank and bless us." The back of the book contains the author's tables and calculations regarding the finances of Great Britain, examining taxes, surplus and expenditures of the recent period. Thus he provides a financial argument against the war and its related expenditures. This important work brought Price to the forefront of the British intellectuals in support of the Americans during the war. Binding with minor rubbing to extremities, and light pencil markings on the white label. Interior with previous owner's bookplate at interior front cover. Title page has been repaired with tissue paper, and still has a few small closed tears and a library blind-stamp. Binding and interior in overall very good condition. Scarce American edition. vg. Item #42713
Richard Price (23 February 1723 – 19 April 1791) was a Welsh moral philosopher, preacher and mathematician. He was a nonconformist, meaning that he was a Protestant Christian who did not "conform" to the governance and usages of the established Church of England. He was also a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution. He was well-connected and fostered communication between a large number of people, including several of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Price spent most of his adult life as minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, on the outskirts of London. He also wrote on issues of demography and finance, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society.
*There were four separate American printings of the title in 1776, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston the same year of publication as the British edition. The primacy of these editions has not been established. The Boston and Philadelphia editions each have 71pp., Charleston edition has 104pp.