Skip to main content

1783-1815: Law and Justice: Publications

1783-1815: Law and Justice: Publications

Mathew Bacon, A New Abridgment of the Law, seven volumes (Philadelphia: Farrand & Nicholas, 1811)this first American edition, taken from the sixth London edition and with considerable additions by editor Henry Gwillim, included American decisions along with English judgments;

Cesare Bonesana, Marchese di Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes and Punishments: Translated from the Italian with a commentary by M. de Voltaire (New York: Stephen Gould, 1809)the first American edition of this treatise arguing for reform of penal laws and the abolition of capital punishment;

James Callender, The Prospect Before Us (Richmond: Printed by the author, 18001801)an incendiary tract which leveled severe criticism upon President John Adams and the Supreme Court. Callender was tried and convicted of sedition on the strength of this publication;

Alexander Hamilton and others, The Speeches at Full Length of Mr. Van Ness, Mr. Caines, the Attorney General, Mr. Harrison, and General Hamilton, in the great cause of the People against Harry Crosswell, on an indictment for libel on Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States (New York: G. & R. Waite, 1804)Jefferson opposed the Sedition Act, yet he encouraged state action against newspapers which criticized his administration. Hamilton and others took up the defense of those targeted by Jefferson and his allies;

James Iredell, Answers to Mr. Masons Objections (New Bern, N.C.: Hodge & Willis, 1788)Iredells first significant publication was a resounding expression of support for the Constitution and was influential in the ratification debates;

Iredell, The Case of Messrs. Brailsford and Others versus James Spaulding, in the Circuit Court for the District of Georgia (Savannah: James & Nicholas Johnston, 1792)opinions of Judges Iredell and Nathaniel Pendleton in a complicated inheritance case;

Iredell, Laws of the State of North Carolina (Edenton: Hodge & Willis, 1791)a 712-page compilation of laws covering the period 1715 to 1790;

James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance against the General Assessment (Worcester, Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, 1796)a reprinting of Madisons 1785 argument in favor of religious liberty;

John Marshall, Life of George Washington (Philadelphia: C. P. Wayne, 18041807)working with family documents provided by Associate Justice Bushrod Washington, Chief Justice Marshall wrote the first significant biography of the first president;

Benjamin Rush, Considerations on the injustice and impolicy of punishing murder by death (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1792)Rush was a prime advocate in favor of the abolition of the death penalty;

Rush, Considerations upon the present Test law of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Hall & Sellers, 1784)Pennsylvania required office-holders to take an oath to support the state constitution. Quakers were forbidden by their religion to take such oaths and were thus prohibited from holding public office;

Rush, Report of an action for Libel brought by Benjamin Rush against William Cobbett, in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, December Term 1799, for certain defamatory publications in a newspaper entitled Porcupines Gazette (Philadelphia, 1800)Rush successfully sued William Cobbett for libel. Cobbett had attacked Rushs tendency to bleed yellow fever victims;

St. George Tucker, Blackstones Commentaries; with notes of reference to the Constitution and laws of the federal government of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Philadelphia: W. Y. Birch & A. Small, 1803);

Tucker, Cautionary hints to Congress respecting the sale of the Western Lands belonging to the United States (Philadelphia: William. W. Woodward, 1795)this tract was originally attributed to James Madison and others;

Tucker, A dissertation on Slavery, with a proposal for the gradual abolition of it in Virginia (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1796)this essay on the abolition of slavery was part of Tuckers lectures on law and police at the College of William and Mary;

Tucker, A letter to a member of Congress respecting the Alien and Sedition Acts (Virginia: Published by the author, 1799)an anonymous pamphlet written and distributed by Tucker;

Tucker, Reflections on the cession of Louisiana to the United States (Washington, D.C.: Samuel Harrison Smith, 1803);

Tucker, Reflections on the policy and necessity of encouraging the commerce of the citizens of the United States and of granting them exclusive privileges of trade (New York: Samuel & John Loudon, 1786);

James Wilson, The Works of the Honourable ]ames Wilson, L.L.D., three volumes (Philadelphia: Lorenzo Press printed for Bronson and Chauncey, 1804)the famous law lectures of Associate Justice James Wilson were published after his death;

George Wythe, Decisions on Cases in Virginia by the high Court of Chancery with remarks upon those decrees by the high Court of Appeals, 17881795 (Richmond: Thomas Nicholson, 1795)Wythe published this in order to review and criticize the Court of Appeals which had reversed some of his own chancery opinions.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"1783-1815: Law and Justice: Publications." American Eras. . 18 Jan. 2019 <>.

"1783-1815: Law and Justice: Publications." American Eras. . (January 18, 2019).

"1783-1815: Law and Justice: Publications." American Eras. . Retrieved January 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.