An early and extremely rare edition of the Articles of Confederation, one of the great documents of American history and the vital stepping-stone to the United States Constitution
. After more than a year of debate, Congress approved the text of the Articles of Confederation on 15 November 1777. The Congress then went on to adopt a circular letter to be transmitted to the states, urging quick action on the articles: "This business has, in its progress, been attended with uncommon embarrassments and delay, which the most anxious solicitude and persevering diligence could not prevent. To form a permanent union, accommodated to the opinion and wishes of the delegates of so many states, differing in habits, produce, commerce, and internal police, was found to be a work which nothing but time and reflection, conspiring with a disposition to conciliate, could mature and accomplish. Hardly is it to be expected that any plan, in the variety of provisions essential to our union, should exactly correspond with the maxims and political views of every particular State. Let it be remarked, that, after most careful inquiry and the fullest information, this is proposed as the best which could be adopted to the circumstances of all; and as that alone which affords any tolerable prospect of a general ratification."
The Articles, with their emphasis on individual state's rights, proved a dismal failure. By the close of 1786, they were widely discredited, with many national leaders eager to refashion the charter into a stronger central government. The Convention called in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation ended by replacing it with the Constitution.
First printed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, while Congress met there during the British occupation of Philadelphia, this is the first Connecticut edition and the seventh edition overall listed by Evans. Copies are in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society, the Library of Congress, the Boston Public Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Harvard, the New York Public Library, and the John Carter Brown Library, but no copy of this printing can be traced in the auction records.