Journal of the Proceedings of the Congress, Held at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774. Philadelphia: William & Thomas Bradford, 1774
8vo (8 1/4 x 4 7/8 in.; 210 x 125 mm). Title-page with woodcut seal; lacking half-title, a few quires browned, a few small holes and stains in gutter margin of last page. Modern green half-leather, gilt-stamped title on spine.
First edition, first issue, of the first official journal of the Continental Congress.
"It had been resolved in June of 1774 that it was necessary to call a meeting of all the Committees of Correspondence throughout the Colonies to discuss the distressing differences between Great Britain and America, and to take appropriate united action" (Lilly/Powers). This first session of the Continental Congress sat at Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia from 5 September through 26 October 1774. The principal achievements of the first Congress — all printed in this first Journal — were the adoption of a Declaration of Rights, the forming of an Association, the drafting of an Address to the People of Great Britain and an Address to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, and the resolution to reassemble on 10 May 1775 if colonial rights and liberties had not been restored.
The famous seal on the title-page depicts twelve hands, representing the twelve colonies (Georgia did not send delegates), supporting a column topped by a Liberty cap and resting on the Magna Charta, all framed by the motto Hanc Tuemur / Hac Nitimur ("This we protect, on this we depend"). The present first issue is very rare; a more common second issue of the same year added a twelve-page Petition of the Continental Congress to the King.
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