Philadelphia: Printed by T. Seddon, 1786. iv, 68 pp. 8vo. 19th c. three quarter morocco over marbled boards. A new edition with considerable corrections. A very good untrimmed copy; chips to spine ends; scuffed tips, owners bookplates on front end-papers and first blank; tight binding. Sabin 49395. Howes M653. Evans 19803. Echeverria & Wilkie: 786/49 JCB, III: 3084. Item #41762
First American edition. "The Society was not greeted so warmly in the United States. Within months of the adoption of the Institution, critics began to charge that the members planned to use the Society to impose a hereditary aristocracy on the new American republic. The leading critic was a South Carolina judge, Aedanus Burke. In a pamphlet titled Considerations on the Society or Order of Cincinnati, published in Charleston in late 1783 and soon republished all over the country, Burke charged that the Cincinnati would form an American aristocracy, dominating the government and extinguishing the liberties of the people. Dozens of other critics soon joined Burke, and resolutions denouncing the Cincinnati were introduced into several state legislatures. At a moment when Americans were deeply anxious about the future of their untried experiment in republican government, the Society of the Cincinnati stirred fears of a conspiracy to seize power and create a new aristocracy as the first step toward re-establishing a monarchy over America," (societyofthecincinnati.org). Mirabeau picks up this argument in his "highly controversial imitation" of Burke's work, which was suggested to Mirabeau by Ben Franklin" (See Echeverria & Wilkie, The French Image of America.) Provenance: Frank Maier, whose collection of American First editions was auctioned in 1909 (bookplate), Ganevoort-Lansing Collection to NYPL (Tiffany & Co. bookplate) and William S.S.Horton, M.D., manuscript collector (armorial bookplate).