Sale  945
Lot   255
[UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. The Journals of the Proceedings of Congress. Held at Philadelphia, from January to May, 1776. Philadelphia: Printed by R. Aitken, 1776. 

4 parts bound in one, 8vo (195 x 119 mm). [2], 1-93; 1-70; [71]-146, INCLUDING THE TITLE-PAGE which is usually lacking in most copies; 147-237pp.  (Some spotting and browning throughout.) Contemporary sheep (worn, joints starting, losses to spine ends); red quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: V. L. Howard (several signatures on pastedown and front free endpaper dated 1777; Henry Howard (signature); Caleb Dorsey (early signature on half-title of second work); pencil note about W. Howard's sale, 26 March 1831;  Lucy C. Hank Finley (signature, Baltimore).


The Bradford family had the contract to print the Journals of Congress through 1775, after which, beginning with these journals, the contract was moved to Robert Aitken.  The journals were issued in monthly parts, although whole runs generally disposed with the monthly titles issued in February and March (as here, none were issued in January and April).  After April, Aitken was told to cease publication, and his "Waste Book" at the Library Company of Philadelphia records that he had sold only 80 copies of this edition. In the fall of 1776, Aitken was contracted to reprint all of Congress's earlier journals from 1774 through April 1776 as the first volume of the collected Journals of Congress. Once the work commenced, Aitken disposed of the remaining January to April edition, giving them to the Army to be used as cartridges (hence the "Cartridge Paper" edition).

These Journals of early 1776 cover some of the most critical moments of the Revolution. As only 80 copies survived, the present edition is perhaps the rarest of all of the early Journals of Congress. Evans 15145.

[Bound after:] Journal of the Congress of the United States of America; Continued. Philadelphia: William & Thomas Bradford, at the Coffee-House 1776. 8vo. With half-title. Covering September through January, 1775. The last issue printed by the Bradford family before the contract was moved to Aitken. Evans 15186. 

Property from the Collection of Dr. Brant Mittler
  • Estimate$15,000 - $25,000

Sold for $20,000

Sold prices are inclusive of Buyer’s Premium