Philadelphia: J.W. & G. Onsell, 1810. 12 mo. , [1 blank], , [1 blank], 156pp. Bound in later quarter calf with marbled paper- covered boards, gilt spine bands, gilt-lettered red morocco spine label. Text lightly tanned with light scattered foxing. Early ownership signatures of Lidia Vansickle and Peter Vansickle. Very Good.
This is the first and only edition of an uncommon book with substantial Pennsylvania interest. It expresses the English Whig tradition of republican vigilance against aristocratic privilege, special interest politics, faction, rent-seeking, and extravagance. "Where the violence of schismatic prejudices is substituted for a virtuous vindication of individual merit and integrity, no man can doubt of the consequences: there are Judases in every rank."
The author blesses the American Constitution's separation of powers, checks and balances, and federal structure. But he warns against "the absolute power of the executive over the military." These "letters" discuss evils of chartered banking and bank notes, especially as they affect the price of labor and commodities and promote class privilege. The author warns against public debt, excessive foreign trade and luxury, extravagant public works, and war with Britain. It is easy to see "to what abusive purposes the blessings of heaven may be converted."
Kress B5692. AI 21271 . OCLC 42400920 , 911064684  [as of January 2016]. Not in Sabin, Gaines. Item #32695