1818.045: Introduction and Concise View of Decius’s Letters.

Published: 1818

Full Title: Introduction and concise view of Decius’s Letters, with the title page, and the substance and contents of the whole work, hereafter to be published at full length in a volume.

Author: Nicholas, John (1761-1819), comp.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Augustine Davis

Description: 50 pgs.; 24 cm. (12mo).


Item is first four gatherings of proposed new edition of a title first issued by Davis (1789.008) on the appearance of William Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry; the gatherings are covered by a half-title page (text as above) that served as a prospectus for that larger work, apparently never published; the following full title page provided a description of that proposed work: "Decius’s Letters, on the opposition to the federal constitution, in Virginia: written in 1788 and 1789. The third edition. With a new introduction and additional pieces and notes, on the principle and operation of party spirit since. With an appendix, consisting of various interesting letters, &c. from Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other high characters, in support of the last letters; written in 1818." Title page imprint states: "Richmond: Published by the author. Printed at the office of the Virginia Patriot. 1818." The Library of Congress holds copy of the first edition from the estate of John Nicholas of Albemarle County; annotations therein show that Nicholas compiled and published this series of letters published originally in Davis's Virginia Independent Chronicle from December 1788 to July 1789; the 33 letters therein constituted an exchange of opinions between Decius (who Nicholas identified as Dr. James Montgomery) and ten other Virginia correspondents; those notations inform the credit reported here. Davis renamed his Virginia Independent Chronicle in 1809 as the Virginia Patriot, so the press attribution here.

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