Philadelphia Printed, London: Re-printed for J. Whitson and B. White, 1764. xv,31pp. Modern blue paper wrappers. Bookplate on verso of front wrapper, contemporary ownership inscription on titlepage. Contemporary printed clipping pasted to top of page one. Very good. In a half morocco and cloth folding case, spine gilt. Item #WRCAM55122
The first British edition of Dickinson's famous speech, issued the same year as the first American edition. In his speech, Dickinson, politically conservative by nature, opposes Benjamin Franklin's faction in the Pennsylvania Assembly on the question of the proprietary government of the colony. Franklin favored transferring Pennsylvania from the control of the Penn family of proprietors to a royal government. Dickinson "adopted the unpopular side. In the great debate of 1764 he admitted all the evils of the proprietary system but feared that any change might bring worse, and that any royal government granted by a British ministry of that day would be still more dangerous" (DNB). In the late 1760s Dickinson would pen his famous LETTERS FROM A FARMER IN PENNSYLVANIA..., making a strong case for the rights of the American colonists, a subject which united him and Franklin. The present speech is fine evidence of the factionalism present in colonial American politics before the Stamp Act and other British measures united the colonists against a common foe. "Mr. Dickinson reasons like a man of extraordinary good sense, with the knowledge of an able politician, and the pleasing flow of an accomplished orator" - (quoted in Sabin). AMERICAN CONTROVERSY 64-5b. SABIN 20049. ESTC T140971. HOWES D334. DNB V, pp.299-301.