The Laws of the United States of America, Four-Volume Set, Circa 1796-1799

(United States Congress). The Laws of the United States of America, in three volumes published by authority. Philadelphia: Richard Folwell, 1796-[7] with the additional, separately published fourth volume - 1799. Octavo, bound in quarter calf leather and decorative gilt spine and marbled boards.

This multi-volume set of the official printings of the laws of the United States, the scarce Falwell first editions, contains legislation from the First Congress in 1789, continuing through to the Fourth Congress in 1790.

With texts of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Treaty of Paris, this extraordinary set contains all Acts passed by the First through Fourth Congresses. The series was published by Richard Folwell under direct order of Congress, with the laws were compiled by Zephaniah Swift. The publication is credited as being the first compilation of United States statutes.

The Folwell volumes feature “one copious, luminous Index (in Volume III)… comprising in itself a complete Digest of all the Laws of the United States” (Evans). The printing includes sections on the laws concerning to copyright, crime, duties, fisheries, foreign and Indian relations, judicial and legislative powers, the military, the office of the President, and the State, Treasury, War departments, and a flag with fifteen stripes. According to Evans, the third volume, though dated 1796, was not printed before 1797. The fourth volume was published separately in 1799. 


In good condition, considering age and use. Internally, pages are clean and healthy. Set is beautifully bound in quarter calf leather , with decorative gilt spine and marbled boards. The volumes are housed in a custom cloth slipcase, which features a copy of the Constitution of the United States on the front. 

Related Items