New York: Williams and Whiting, 1810. 1st Edition. 3 vols., small octavo, contemporary three-quarter calf over marbled paper-covered boards, spine ruled in gilt, red morocco labels gilt.
First edition of Hamilton's collected works (containing the third edition of the Federalist, the earliest to identify the author of each essay individually). Hamilton served as the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. His policies as a member of George Washington's cabinet were informed by his conviction that a strong economy based on manufacturing and trade was crucial to the health of the national government he had fought to establish during the Revolution and consolidate at the Constitutional Convention. Hamilton also founded the Federalist Party, the US Coast Guard, the Bank of New York, and the New York Post. The present set includes: the complete Federalist Papers, the series of 85 essays written by Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, interpreting and arguing for ratification of the Constitution (65 of the essays herein are attributed to Hamilton, though today he is believed only to have written 52); Hamilton's seven "Pacificus" letters, on the roles of the executive and legislative branches in the conduct of American foreign policy; and five of Hamilton's reports to Congress as Secretary of the Treasury ("Report On Public Credit," "Report On a National Bank," "On the Constitutionality of a National Bank," "Report On the Subject of Manufactures," and "Report On the Establishment of a Mint"). "[W]herever the principles of free government are rightly understood, and rational liberty is rationally enjoyed, there will the memory and the writings of Hamilton be consecrated in the affections of an enlightened and admiring people" (from the unsigned preface; the edition is thought to have been edited by John Wells, a New York attorney and friend of Hamilton's). Shaw & Shoemaker 20274. Sabin 29987. With an engraved frontispiece portrait – of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, respectively – to each volume. Vol. I with general title-page; vol. II with Federalist title-page, but without general title-page; vol. III with general title-page, but without Federalist title-page. Early owner inscription (dated 1814) to front blanks of all three volumes. Late 19th/early 20th-century library labels and pockets holding circulation cards mounted to pastedowns, with faded numerical ink stamp to lower margin of first leaf following title-page in each volume. Bindings rubbed and somewhat dusty, with minor edgewear; joints tender. Moderate foxing, mostly to preliminary leaves. Vol. I with lower corner of front blank torn away and horizontal tear across pp.135/6. A very good set of the most important papers of one of America's founding statesmen. Rare. Item #478