Minor browning to title, stain in upper margin of two leaves, final leaf with some soiling and wear, minutely affecting text. Binding with slight toning and soiling.
The scarce Dublin edition, and second edition overall, which preceded the London edition by one year, of "one of the great American state papers. In this report Hamilton first set down in a formal way the economic principles by which he expected to see the new nation expand its manufacturing base. He compiled his report with the objective of encouraging American industry to compete with European imports and free the country from its dependence on foreign goods. "As the successive reports of the Secretary were studied, the scale of his ideas gradually became evident. He was not merely planning a fiscal system, but doing it in such a way as to strengthen the central government and develop the resources of the country, to stimulate trade and capitalistic enterprises, and to bring about a more symmetrical balance between agriculture and industry" (DAB). Hamilton's report can now be seen as the genesis of American manufacturing might. At the time, it was the only one of his major reports which failed to get a favorable reception from the House of Representatives, to whom it was submitted. Thomas Atwood Digges was responsible for publishing this edition. Digges wrote to Hamilton on April 6, 1792: "It was with much pleasure & attention I very lately read Your Report to Congress on the Subject of Manufactures, which I found published in the New York Papers in Numbers compleated to the end. In this quarter American Books are very rarely to be met, & when sent as presents, little read & not attended to. This induc'd me to take the liberty with your book of having it republished at my Expence 1000 Copys price 1/ - by Byrne Book sellers in Dublin in order to distribute it with ease, & for disseminating its information among many Manufactoring Societys here as well as in England, (where I will take 3 or 400 Copys in a few days) and by so getting it read, induce artists to move towards a Country so likely to very soon give them ample employ & domestic ease."
Digges was an interesting character and active American patriot during and after the Revolution, though there is some conjecture that Digges was a double agent acting for the British during this time. He was the scion of a prominent Maryland family, but also a kleptomaniac and a generally dishonest figure whose vehement detractors included Benjamin Franklin, who had good reason to believe that Digges had embezzled funds intended for American prisoners in England. In fact, it seems that almost everyone distrusted Digges except his neighbor across the Potomac, George Washington, who defended Digges as a patriot who "has not only been friendly, but I might add zealous" in his efforts for the American side during the Revolution. In any case, Digges was engaged in industrial piracy and espionage for the Americans in Ireland when Hamilton's report came to prominence, and he reprinted the famous Hamilton tract to encourage artisans to emigrate to the United States to further enhance the American economy. This edition ends with a brief "Note from the Editor" describing the incorporation of the National Manufacturing Society near Newark. This report was first printed in a folio format in Philadelphia in 1791.
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