Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 788

Brackenridge’s Famous Speech on Religious Liberty and the “Jew Bill”

""Religious Liberty" [in] Niles' Weekly Register, May 29, 1819",

Subject: Document - Religious Liberty

Period: 1819 (published)


Color: Black & White

6.4 x 9.6 inches
16.3 x 24.4 cm
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This volume contains H.M. Brackenridge's "Religious Liberty” bound into pages 226-233 of the Niles’ Weekly Register. Niles includes the first printing of Brackenridge’s complete speech before the Maryland House of Delegates in favor of religious liberty and the bill, commonly referred to as the Jew Bill, to extend to Jewish citizens in Maryland the same rights and privileges extended to Christians, namely the right to hold office. The Maryland Constitution required office holders to be Christians. The Jew Bill was introduced in 1819 but was not enacted until 1826. The speech is an important document in American religious history. As recently as 2017 Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. cited Brackenridge’s speech in issuing a ruling on the separation of church and state. This is the complete issue bound with an incomplete set of issues of Volume XVI, or Volume IV, New Series. Hardbound with a modern cloth spine over original boards.


Condition: B

Text is lightly toned with scattered foxing. Rebacked over original boards which are lightly worn and bumped.

Estimate: $250 - $325

Sold for: $150

Closed on 9/15/2021