Philadelphia: Printed for P. Byrne, 1798-1807. Four volumes. Second edition of the first volume, first editions of the other three. Vol. I : x, , [1 blank], 502, xxiv, -26pp; Vol. II : , iv, 480, xix pp; Vol. III : , 519, [1 blank], xiii pp; Vol. IV : , 472, xxxiv,  pp. Bound in original calf with tooled borders [some scuffing, some wear to spine ends, couple of hinges just starting], gilt-lettered morocco spine labels [label of Vol. III missing], small gilt-lettered black morocco ownership label of "C. Henry Stinson" at foot of each spine [one label partly rubbed away]. Bookplate of "Charles A. Stinson" on front pastedown of all volumes, early ownership signatures at head of title pages, "J. Freedley 1821" and "J. Freedley August 1821." Light tanning, scattered foxing. Very Good.
This "very valuable work" [Sabin] prints the official reports of the United States Supreme Court's first ten years, including cases on admiralty, bankruptcy, constitutional interpretation, emancipation of slaves, naturalization, treason; other topics come from Pennsylvania courts beginning in 1754; and federal appeals courts beginning in 1781. "Many of the cases have an historic interest" [id]. "These Reports are the oldest in the United States, except Kirby's... Lord Mansfield is reported to have said of them, that 'they do credit to the Court, the Bar, and the Reporter; they show readiness in practice, liberality in principle, strong reason and legal learning; the method, too, is clear, and the language plain.' " [Marvin].
Cases on the Whiskey Rebellion, confiscation of Loyalists' estates, and the U.S. Supreme Court case of Chisholm v. Georgia are included, along with the appointment of John Jay as Chief Justice of the United States, and the earliest Rules of Practice. The Sloop Betsey, "one of supreme importance in the early history of the country," is printed. It vindicated the Neutrality Act and rebuffed Citizen Genet, by affirming federal court jurisdiction "to restrain or penalize activities violative of international law" [I Warren, Supreme Court in United States History 105-106]. Penhallow v. Doane is also printed, another "case of importance," in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal admiralty jurisdiction to adjudicate competing claims to captured vessels, despite contrary rulings of the New Hampshire State Courts. Each volume has a Table of Cases and a detailed Index by topic.
Previous owner John Freedley [1793-1851], of Pennsylvania, was an attorney who represented the Fifth District of Pennsylvania in Congress from 1847-1851. Charles Stinson [1825-1899] was Judge of 38th Judicial District of Pennsylvania and in the Pennsylvania State Senate.
Evans 33598, 35374. Marvin 249. Item #25458