Philadelphia: Printed for Mathew Carey by Lang & Ustick, 1796. 149, [1 blank], [2 publ. advts.], as issued. Bound in original sheep, with gilt-lettered red morocco spine title. Hinges just starting. Contemporary ownership signature of George Sullivan. Very Good.
This first American edition is the only 18th century American printing of Bentham's classic argument that market forces should determine the cost of money. Bentham "contends that a contract for money should be left open to the good sense of those bargaining for it, like all other contracts. Mr. Bentham was one of the first to attack the policy of the Usury Laws" [Marvin].
The Letter to Adam Smith, the Dean of Free Market Economics, rebuts Smith's approval of legislation establishing maximum interest rates.
Evans 30057. ESTC W4815. Cohen 26. Kress 3088. [I Harv. Law Cat. 157 and Marvin 113 cite European editions.]. Item #38398