Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Live Free or...

What are the first things a newly formed state does after declaring itself no longer a colony? Establish a government and pass some laws. We have the first Acts and Laws of the State of New-Hampshire published in 1780 that codifies all of the state laws passed between July 1776 and 1780. Given current debates in Concord, it is ironic that among the first Acts passed were ones to enable the state to raise taxes and to regulate marriages.

But it is the title page that is most interesting. Transcribed in full, you can see the book working to establish the authority of the state and declare full independence: Acts and Laws of the State of New-Hampshire in America. By Order of the General Assembly. To which is prefixed, the Resolution of the American Congress, For Establishing a Form of Government in New-Hampshire; and the Resolve of the Provincial Congress, For taking up Government in Form. With the Declaration of Independence. America, Printed at Exeter, in the State of New-Hampshire. M.DCC.LXXX.

The Declaration of Independence casts off New Hampshire's status as a colony, and the Resolution of the American Congress appeals to broader authority. "America," referenced twice, places the state within its larger context as the Revolutionary War was waged.

Our copy is in its original side-stitched paper wrappers as issued in Exeter in 1780. To see it ask for Rare KFN1230 1780 .A22.

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