Philadelphia: John Binns, 1812. Original Wrappers. Very Good binding. Item #6435
Octavo. 16 pp. First American edition. Folded and never bound; uncut and unopened. Light shelfwear and soiling to the covers; the top fold shows a bit of silverfishing, but largely a very nice copy.
William Cobbett was among the most searing and shrewd pamphleteers in the early Federal period. Claude G. Bowers was hardly alone in his assessment when he described him thus: "He could string chaste words into a scorpion lash that Swift would have envied, or stoop to an obscenity or vulgarity that would have delighted Kit Marlowe in his cups. None but a genius could have risen from his original low estate, with so little education" (qtd in Gaines p. xiv). This address was originally published in The Rush-Light, Vol, 1, No. 6 (London 1800) after Cobbett's return to England. Gaines notes that it casts an unfavorable light on Americans generally, but particularly Adams and Jefferson. Cobbett writes, "we all know that as long as a King of England has a million of secret service money, a president of America will never be found who could find in his heart to disagree with so amiable a monarch. Some people are indeed of opinion that should Jefferson succeed to that office he would be above a bribe, and I myself have some reason to believe it; but of such an event there is not the smallest probability" p. 9. Binns reprinted this as a way to embarress Cobbett. He writes by way of short introduction, "The Defeat of James Ross, the dismissal of Timothy Pickering and the explosion of the Junto of Cobbett and his conspirators in 1799 and 1800, drove the British Emissary Cobbett howling back to London. He there published, under his signature, on the 30th of August 1800, the following account of his nefarious mission and of his aiders, abettors and supporters. We print from this original publication, without adding a word. . . ." p. 2. Binns's publication is likely the first American edition, though Gaines identifies a very close reprint (56b) of the London edition that at least one holding institution has speculated is an American reprint; Evans doesn't list it. Shaw & Shoemaker 25104; Gaines 56c.