[JUVENILE] WINCHESTER, ELHANAN. A plain political catechism intended for the use of schools in the United States of America, wherein the great principles of liberty and of the Federal Government are laid down and explained, in the way of question and answer. Made level to the lowest capacities.
Greenfield, Mass: T. Dickman, 1796. First edition (also issued in Philadelphia, see note). Contemporary calf backed paper covered boards. 5 x 3 inches (13 x 8 cm); 107 pp. The final leaf laid down as a pastedown with no loss of text, foxing and small stains, the paper deteriorated on the upper board, the calf joints splitting.
A very rare juvenile from Elhanan Winchester, an important early American Universalist (born in 1751 he was apparently greatly influenced by the Universalist themes in the German books printed in Pennsylvania by Christopher Sauer). By 1779 Winchester was an itinerant preacher who freely spread the gospel to slaves and later preached among Joseph Priestley in London from 1787-1794. Despite his travels abroad and religious leanings "Winchester was deeply committed to the new political vision of the United States as can be seen in ... A Plain Political Catechism, intended for use in U.S. schools" (MacDonald, All Shall Be Well: Explorations in Universal Salvation and Christian Theology, p. 145). This work is uncommon: Rare Book Hub reports no copy sold since both the Greenfield and Philadelphia issues were sold in the 1920s (priority between the two issues unknown-Winchester toured New England in 1794 and was in Philadelphia in 1796 before his death the next year). Sabin 104730; Evans 31645.
C Estate of Robin Gottlieb
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