Providence: 1842. Hardcover. SCARCE. The first document is the text of the newly adopted state constitution, the state’s first. From 1663 until 1842, the state was governed under the original charter granted to it by King Charles II. After rancorous debate in 1841-1842 over universal suffrage, which included the brief Dorr rebellion, the Freeman’s Constitution was passed by the electorate. Both documents are in very good condition save for some occasional light foxing and aging to pages, and a 3 inch tear to the margin of the last page of the first one, not affecting the text. The second document is a discourse delivered in 1847 by Job Durfee, the Chief Justice of Rhode Island and a prominent figure in the state’s government and politics. In this discourse the Judge provides a proud history of the state and praises it “extravagantly.” Along with the discourse, the document appends a poem by Providence writer Sarah Helen Whitman that was recited to the Society before the Judge’s discourse. Whitman is now perhaps best known for having been romantically involved with Edgar Allan Poe during the couple of years before his death. Their relationship developed after having composed poems to each other. The two documents are bound in a very good red leather binding with gilt ruling along edges and gilt titles to front cover. The front hinge is cracked, and there are light ink marks along the gutter between the first and second documents. 24 pages; 42 pages plus 5 pages AMHIST/072808. Very Good.
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