Andrews McMeel is set to reissue a book of which 600 copies were initially printed—one of them selling at auction last year for a whopping $9.8 million. Acts of Congress 1789: Includes the Constitution and Bill of Rights (Oct.), which will retail at $75, will consist of the text of the U.S. Constitution, the proposed Bill of Rights, and other legislative acts adopted by that first Congress of our fledgling nation, which met first in New York City and then in Philadelphia between March 4, 1789, and March 4, 1791. Acts of Congress is almost an exact replica of the original publication, owned by George Washington himself, from the leather-bound binding and the 18th-century typeface to notes scribbled by Washington in the margins.
“He didn’t usually write in books at all,” Kathy Hilliard, Andrews McMeel’s publicity director, says. “He usually wrote on loose notepaper.”
Andrews McMeel is producing Acts of Congress 1789 in partnership with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the organization that came up with the $9.8 million to buy the book, which was in the Washington family’s possession until 1876. Its publication this fall coincides with the opening of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, opening at Mount Vernon. The original is touring presidential libraries around the country before returning to its first owner’s home at Mount Vernon, when the National Library opens and Acts of Congress 1789 reissues.