Seth Kaller, Inc.

Inspired by History

Other Constitution and Bill of Rights Offerings


Other Early Republic (1784 - c.1830) Offerings


Other Books Offerings


Early Printing of the Original Twelve Articles of the Bill of Rights
Click to enlarge:
Select an image:

Early reprint of Childs and Swaine’s first official printing, which was issued in New York in 1789. This issue appeared in Philadelphia after the nation’s capital was moved there, and the printers had set up shop. All early printings are scarce, especially those of the first three sessions.

[BILL OF RIGHTS]. Acts Passed at the First [-Third] Session of the Congress of the United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the Fourth of March, in the Year M,DCC,LXXXIX. Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Childs and John Swaine, 1791. 3 volumes bound in one, 8vo (368 x 305 mm, uncut). Library stamp on B1 of the first session, repair to lower right corner of Yy4 in the third session. Modern quarter morocco over marbled boards.

Inventory #26629.99       Price: $20,000

This publication contains an early printing of the original twelve articles of the Bill of Rights, of which only ten were ratified, as well as acts establishing the departments of State, War, and the Treasury. The acts of the second session included the establishment of the temporary and permanent capitols, treaties with the North American Indian tribes, and the “Definitive Treaty of Peace between the United States and His Britannic Majesty.” The acts of third session include the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union.


  • 1st Session: Bristol B7863; ESTC W14337; Evans 29674; Shipton & Mooney 46320.
  • 2nd Session: Bristol B7864; ESTC W14345; Evans 29675; Shipton & Mooney 46324.
  • 3rd Session: ESTC 14375 (folio ed.); Evans 29676

Francis Childs (1763-1830) was born in Philadelphia and apprenticed as a printer. He moved to New York in 1783 and began publishing the New-York Daily Advertiser in 1785. In the early 1790s he became the printer for the state of New York. Childs entered into partnership with John Swaine (1762-1794) in 1789, and they later opened an office in Philadelphia and conducted printing for the United States government, including the Journals of the House of Representatives and the Acts of Congress, through 1798. Philip Freneau (1752-1832) published the Democratic-Republican National Gazette at Childs and Swaine’s printing shop in Philadelphia to counter the Federalist Gazette of the United States.

Add to Cart Ask About This Item Add to Favorites