New Arrival

An Abstract or Abridgment of the Laws Made and Past by William Penn Absolute Proprietary, and Governour in Chief of the Province of Pensilvania and Territories There Unto Belonging, with the Advice and Consent of the Free-men Thereof in Generall-Assembly Mett at New-Castle the Fourteenth-day of October and Continued by Adjournment till the Twenty-seventh of November in the Year 1700.

Philadelphia: Reynier Jansen, 1701.

First edition. 40 [of 43] pp. π^2 A-F^4 χ1 [F3-4, χ1: blank, not present in this copy]. 1 vols. Square 8vo. Bound to period style in contemporary sheep over pasteboard, blind fillet rules to boards, text washed and conserved, with leaves F1-2 and upper portion of E4 in facsimile on contemporary paper. ESTC W25739; Evans 1018; Hildeburn Pennsylvania 79; Riewald, Reynier Jansen of Philadephia Early American Printer, 22. Not in Sabin or Smith. Item #314475

Previously unrecorded copy of the first printing of the laws of Pennsylvania, printed by the colony's second printer, the Dutch-born Quaker Reynier Jansen. Number 79 on Charles Hildrebrun's chronological list of Pennsylvania printing and number 22 of Jansen's 43 known works printed 1699-1706, the work contains brief summaries of the 91 laws enacted during the legislative session of 1700. Previously recorded in only one complete copy, at the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and an incomplete copy at the Department of Quaker Records, Philadelphia.

Printing began in Pennsylvania in 1685 with William Bradford. He printed only one Pennsylvania law, a 1693 tax bill, and that after he had fled the state to set up printing in New York, having chafed under the strict Quaker guidelines governing printing (see Riewald, p. 22). Pennsylvania remains without a printer until 1699 when Reynier Jansen, newly arrived from the Netherlands, where the proselytizing work of William Penn had effected his conversion to the Quaker sect, sets up a printing shop under the auspices of the Monthly Meeting.

"For almost six years after Bradford left Philadelphia, no printing was done there. Several times the Friends resolved to look into getting another printer, but did nothing about it. Then in 1698 there arrived in Philadelphia from Holland one Reynier Jansen, a lacemaker who happened to have learned how to print when he was a disciple of the Flemish mysitc Antoinette Bourignon, leader of a tiny radical sect called the Light of the World. At about the same time, a press and type arrived from London, and Janses, whose lacemaking skills were in little demand among the Friends, was put tot work on it … The press and type were the property of the Monthly Meeting, and they paid the rent of the house in which it was set up" (James N. Green, "The Middle Colonies, 1680-1720," in A History of the Book in America: Volume 1, pp. 215-6).

A remarkable survival of early Pennsylvania printing, known in only one complete copy. Riewald estimates that Jansesn would have printed no more than 400-500 copies of each imprint, and that of the 43 titles printed, 10 are not located, and 13 known in 1 copy only (p. 141). “In the nineteenth century a Jansen imprint was already worth its weight in gold” (p. 141).

Price: $75,000.00 Free International Delivery