NY: Hopkins & Seymour, January, 1806. First edition. 8vo., vi (1) 215 pp. Bound with; AN ANSWER TO WAR IN DISGUISE; OR, REMARKS UPON THE NEW DOCTRINE OF ENGLAND CONCERNING NEUTRAL TRADE. February, 1806. 8vo., 76 pp. Top margin of the first title page has been clipped; with evidence of former bookplates removed from the front pastedown; the title page has a small stain as do the last few leaves. This remains a very good copy bound in full tree-calf with a red morocco label on spine, front hinge expertly repaired. Item #8672
The first title is attributed to James Stephen (Howes S-937); the second title has long been attributed to Gouverneur Morris (Sabin 50827) however, Howes M-825 states "More probably by Rufus King." On the title page of our copy, in the place usually allotted for the author's name is the pencil signature of Rich. Peters. When considering the authorship, compared to the other two to whom this work is often credited, Peters seems far more likely. From 1771-1776 he served as register of admiralty in Philadelphia. Commissioned a captain in the Pennsylvania militia in 1775, he served as secretary of the War Board of the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1781. He represented Pennsylvania in the Congress 1782-83; a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly from 1788 to 1790; from 1792 to 1828 he served as judge of the United States Court for Pennsylvania. He was regarded as a specialist in maritime law, having published ADMIRALTY DECISIONS IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA DISTRICT 1780-1807.