Newport Rhode-Island: Reprinted and sold by Solomon Southwick, 1774. [viii], 9-156 pp. Stitched, untrimmed, original plain rear wrapper. Light dusting. Final blank with the elaborate, contemporary ownership signature of Polly Noyes. "Her Book." Very Good.
"The attribution to Somers is considered doubtful in the Dictionary of national biography. Also attributed to Daniel Defoe and John Dunton" [ESTC]. The book was printed in Philadelphia and Boston during the previous year, their first American appearances. It provided intellectual ammunition to advocates of Independence on the eve of Revolution.
The author's Natural Rights theory of government argues that, "It remains free and entire to the People at their first Erection of, and Submission to Government, to prescribe and refine...unto what Rules and standards the Magistrate shall be restrained, in order to his defending and promoting the Benefit of the Society of which he is created the civil and political Head. And every one being equally Master of his own Property and Liberty, antecedently to their Agreement with one another," Rulers "can lay claim to no more Authority over the Liberty and over the Property of that Body Politick, than what the Community conferr'd upon them."
Evans 13631. Alden 564. ESTC W27536. Item #35846