Montreal. 1838-40. Five volumes (of six). 100,; 6,; 105,; 161,; ,222,pp. Quarto. Later cloth, red and black gilt morocco labels. Moderate soiling on covers, library labels at toe of spines. Uniform light toning. Perforated library stamps on titlepages, occasional additional library markings. First twenty pages of last volume in typescript facsimile. Overall very good. Lacks the sixth volume. Item #WRCAM32893
An important collection of Canadian laws as passed by the Special Council of Lower Canada from 1838 to 1840. When the Patriot Uprising of 1838 caused Canadian officials to suspend the 1791 constitution (which had divided Canada into the Upper and Lower Provinces, each with their own legislature) and establish martial law, the provincial judiciary assumed administrative control in the form of the Special Council. The Special Council continued in an administrative capacity until the Union Act of 1840, which reunited the provinces with a single legislature. A fundamental cause of the Patriot Uprising was the ambiguous extent of judiciary power; based on the reign of the Special Council (recorded in detail here), judicial powers were more clearly defined via the Union Act. TPL calls for six volumes bound in three. The present set features each volume bound separately, lacking the sixth volume. The large portions of unnumbered pages at the end of each contain sessional papers, appendices, and indices. Key insight into a tumultuous period of Canadian legal history. The journals were also issued in French. OCLC locates only five copies, none of which appear to be complete. TPL 2173. GAGNON I:1830. OCLC 12010933, 63013527.