Portsmouth NH: Published by John W. Foster, 1819. First Edition. Hard Cover. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" Very Good. Item #00533990
First edition, in original boards, of one of the most significant and influential of the early cases appearing before the Supreme Court, a landmark decision dealing with the application of the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution to private corporations. The case arose when the president of Dartmouth College was deposed by its trustees, leading to the New Hampshire legislature attempting to force the college to become a public institution and thereby place the ability to appoint trustees in the hands of the governor of New Hampshire. The Supreme Court upheld the sanctity of the original charter of the college, which pre-dated the creation of the State. Dartmouth College was represented by one of its most famous alumni, the orator and politician Daniel Webster. The ruling for the trustees was important for establishing an assurance for all investors in American corporate enterprise that the terms by which they had committed their capital could not be summarily altered by a state, a significant step on encouraging the expansion of American business. Beautifully housed in a custom clamshell box of plum morocco over matching cloth. Seldom seen in the original boards. Some light wear and a few stains to covers; some repairs to spine; light dampstain to last forty or so pages, light foxing to endpapers and title page; an exceptional copy in the original boards, untrimmed and partially unopened, rare thus. , 406 pp. (8vo) 24.5x14.5 cm (9½x5¾"), original boards, paper spine label, edges untrimmed.