Beneficent System ofFraternity
(“Ancient Order” Coverage). Upchurch, John Jordan. The life, labors and travels of Father J.J. Upchurch, founder of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. San Francisco: A.T. Dewey, Office of the "Pacific States Watchman", 1887. 12mo (19 cm, 7.5"). 264 pp.; 6 plts. (incl. in pagination).
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First edition: Lightly edited autobiography of the man who established the first fraternal insurance association in the United States. Upchurch was a North Carolina-born clerk, temperance hotel manager, engraver, railroad agent, horse-tamer, and locomotive engineer (said to have been successful at all but the second!) whose background as a Freemason strongly influenced his concept of a society which would offer insurance for workers and arbitration that treated capital and labor equally fairly.
Upchurch's account of his life and accomplishments includes descriptions of the founding of various lodges and the establishment of their rules, his observations on visiting chapters in California and a number of other states, and (in passing) the poor living conditions in San Francisco's Chinatown; it is illustrated with portraits of the author, depictions of lodge charters and regalia, and other memorabilia. Poems and eulogies were added by Samuel Booth, the editor, who also did his best to shape the plain-spoken Upchurch's thoughts into publishable form while not making any attempt at literary polish.
Binding: Publisher's roan, front cover with decorative gilt-stamped frame and gilt-stamped facsimile of Upchurch's signature ("Fraternally yours"), back cover stamped in blind. All edges gilt.
This is the original first edition, not a modern reprint. Actual holdings (as opposed to microform or online files) are uncommon in U.S. institutions.
Bound as above; rubbed overall most notably at edges and joints, front joint cracked but holding, spine with paper shelving label. Front pastedown with institutional presentation bookplate, lines unused. Pages faintly age-toned, otherwise clean; one leaf with small edge chip. (29694)
First Irish Edition — “Methodically Digested” Commercial Law
[Cunningham, Timothy]. The law of bills of exchange, promissory notes, bank-notes and insurances: Containing all the statutes, cases at large, arguments, resolutions, judgments, decrees, and customs of merchants concerning them, methodically digested. Dublin: Richard Watts, 1760. 8vo (21.1 cm, 8.3"). xxxvi, 451, [1 (adv.)] pp. (239/40 bound in after 241/42).
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Scarce first Irish edition, published in the same year as the London first: law and its interpretations regarding trade and merchandise. The author was a member of the Middle Temple, a resident at Gray's Inn for more than 30 years, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, as well as the author of several other legal texts including A New Treatise on the Laws Concerning Tithes and A New and Complete Law Dictionary. His present work provides rules and examples for "computing the exchange between England and the principal places of trade in Europe" along with "Sir Issac [sic] Newton's table of the assays of weights, and values of most foreign silver and gold coins; the chapter on "Policies of Assurance" extensively documents a variety of judicial decisions and practical issues regarding insurance policies on ships, cargo, and seamen. A list of subscribers is given at the front of the volume.
Uncommon: ESTC, WorldCat, and NUC Pre-1956 do not locate any U.S. institutional holdings, and searches of them and of COPAC locate only one copy in Britain, one in Ireland, and one in Canada. However, we know of a copy at the Irish National Library that does not appear in those databases.
ESTC N34936; Sweet & Maxwell (2nd ed.) 1:521.30. Period-style caramel-colored half calf and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped burgundy leather title-label and blind-tooled floral decorations between raised bands; spine and portion of front cover sunned not unattractively. Title-page with early inked inscription of [M?] Boshall in upper portion, and with Cunningham's name added to the "Gentleman of the Middle Temple" authorial attribution. Pages faintly age-toned with edges slightly darkened, a few leaves with very light foxing and a handful with darker spotting; one leaf with portion torn from lower margin not touching text. A solid and nicely bound example of an uncommon item. (34129)
Company). The deed of settlement of the Mutual Assurance Company,
for insuring houses from loss by fire, in and near Philadelphia. Philadelphia:
Pr. by W. Fry, 1818. 8vo (18.7 cm, 7.4"). 15, [1 (blank)] pp.
Early and uncommon American insurance item, with a nice woodcut
title-page vignette of a tree. The company was originally founded in 1784 and
incorporated in 1786; it produced its first deed of settlement in 1801, the
text of which is here amended to conform with changes made to the original act
libraries, this is a common item on microfilmvery uncommon, as a reality.
Shaw & Shoemaker 44957. Stitched in paper wrappers, front
wrapper with printed paper label; pencilled notations to upper margin of front
wrapper, small smudge to back wrapper. Ownership inscription to front fly-leaf.
A little foxing only.
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