Raleigh: Thomas Henderson, Jun.- State Printer, 1819. 8pp, folded and uncut. Generously margined. Two persistent and prominent fox spots in the margins. Good+.
This rare Report, signed at the end in type by the Federalist Gaston, records a pivotal moment in North Carolina's legal history: the Legislature's establishment of the State Supreme Court as a separate entity. Before adoption of Gaston's recommendations, North Carolina's appellate court system had consisted of several Superior Court judges who sat en banc a few times per year. Here he explains the necessity for a permanent, distinct Supreme Court. "Without an adequate establishment of this sort, liberty and property, the natural rights which men retain after society is formed, and the civil rights acquired by entering into society, are unprotected and insecure."
Gaston had a long and respected career at the Bar and as a Congressman, State Senator, and U.S. Senator before his 1818 election to the North Carolina Senate, where he chaired the Committee that issued this Report.
FIRST EDITION. OCLC 37868599 [2- UNC, AAS] [as of October 2012]. Cohen 1170. Not in American Imprints. Item #24563