A System of the Law of Marine Insurances, with Three Chapters on Bottomry; on Insurances of Lives; and on Insurances against Fire.

Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1789.

Price: $3,500.00

About the item

First American Edition. xvi,[8],xliv,530,[46]pp. 8vo. Contemporary tree calf, nicely rebacked. Rear marbled endpaper supplied, minor soiling. Evans 22048; ESTC W22416.

Item #322702

First American edition of the first English work on insurance and the standard text on the subject until the mid-19th century. First published in London in 1787, at least six editions were published during the author's lifetime.

Although insurance in America famously began in the mid-18th century with the help of Benjamin Franklin, this first American edition of the first comprehensive work on the subject was published at a critical point in the history of American economic growth, just following ratification of the Constitution and during the birth of Alexander Hamilton's vision for American finance. Joseph Crukshank published the work by subscription, advertising "the handsome octavo volume" at the cost of two dollars to subscribers and half a guinea to non-subscribers during the summer of 1788.

Scarce, with no other examples in the auction records in the last quarter century.