THE DEPLORABLE STATE OF NEW-ENGLAND, BY REASON OF A COVETOUS AND TREACHEROUS GOVERNOUR, AND PUSILLANIMOUS COUNSELLORS WITH A VINDICATION OF THE HONOURABLE MR. HIGGINSON; MR. MASON, AND SEVERAL OTHER GENTLEMEN...
by [Mather, Cotton]
[Boston]: London: Printed in the year 1708. Reprinted, 1721. ,34 (of 36)pp. Antique-style half calf and marbled boards. Titlepage neatly mended in gutter and on outer margin. Final leaf in expert facsimile. Light soiling and wear. Inscribed by Thomas Wallcut at the top of three leaves. Very good. The first American edition of this scarce and important Mather tract, of great importance for the history of Massachusetts. Much of the text is an excoriation by the Mathers of Gov. Joseph Dudley, with whom they had bitterly disagreed and attempted to have removed from office on grounds of poor administration. To prove this, Cotton Mather herein details charges against Dudley going back to 1677, when he first went to Massachusetts. Dudley served in Massachusetts until 1715 and died there in 1720. The text also includes an accounting of Dudley's disastrous foray against Port Royal, Jamaica during Queen Anne's War in 1707. The first edition was printed in London because the Mathers could not have the tract printed in Boston, where the printers feared Dudley's power as governor. It is probably no coincidence that this second edition was published the year following Dudley's death. Unlike the first edition, this printing does not contain the Indian captivity narratives of Mrs. Hannah Bradley, first in 1697 and again in 1703. This work is sometimes ascribed to Alexander Holmes or John Wise. Thomas Wallcut (1758-1840), whose signature appears on three leaves, was a major early American book collector from Boston. He was a founding member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and worked for thirty- eight years as a scribe at the State House. "As part of his job as secretary for the Society, Wallcut bought appropriate material for the library from book sales and auctions. In this way, and through exposure to political events at the State House, he developed an interest in colonial history. Many of the events of the time were recorded in tracts and pamphlets, an ephemeral record that Wallcut collected in depth. He was a steady customer in Boston secondhand-book shops and auction rooms. Some of his important religious tracts came from the 1790 Mather Byles sale. Since Byles was the grandson of Increase Mather, many of these items had a distinguished provenance" - Dickinson. Much of Wallcut's collection was dispersed to the American Antiquarian Society, Massachusetts Historical, and Bowdoin College. An extremely scarce work, with ESTC noting copies at American Antiquarian Society, Boston Public, Harvard, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Holmes adds a copy at the Massachusetts Historical Society. A rare work with a desirable provenance. EVANS 2214. HOLMES, COTTON MATHER 88-B. ESTC W18640. HOWES H608, "aa." Dickinson, Donald C. DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BOOK COLLECTORS. Westport, Ct., 1986.
(Inventory #: WRCAM51169)
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