"HE WHO DOES NOT MEAN TO BEAR A PART IN THE PUBLIC BURDENS OF THE DAY… IS NO PATRIOT": GORDON'S REVOLUTIONARY-ERA SERMON DELIVERED IN 1775
(DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE) GORDON, William. A Sermon Preached before the Honorable House of Representatives, on the Day Intended for the Choice of Counsellors, Agreeable to the Advice of the Continental Congress. Watertown: Benjamin Edes, 1775. Slim octavo, period-style full sprinkled sheep, red morocco spine label; pp. (3-5), 6-29, (1). $3200.
First edition of William Gordon's powerful election sermon delivered before the Massachusetts Provincial Congress assembled at Watertown in 1775, after being driven out of Boston by British troops.
"Much of the most important and characteristic writing of the American Revolution appeared" in pamphlets such as this first edition of William Gordon's 1775 Sermon. Gordon was "a vigorous partisan of independence and in 1775 was made chaplain to both houses of the Provincial Congress assembled at Watertown… He delivered the election sermon before the General Court on July 19, 1775 [the present work] and the first independence anniversary sermon on July 4, 1777" (ANB). "This celebrated sermon was delivered at Watertown on the 19th July, about a month after the Battle of Bunker Hill, and nearly a year before the Declaration of Independence, while the General Court was in Session there, having been driven out of Boston by the British troops" (Sabin).
Of the forthcoming conflict, Gordon says in his address: "He who does not mean to bear a part in the public burdens of the day, but to escape wholly unhurt in property and person is no patriot; while he that, instead of serving, designs only to serve himself of the public, to acquire riches and raise a fortune out of the general calamity, must be really the worst of men, cannot deserve the protection of the state, and when dicover'd must be detested by every true son and daughter of liberty, as being a most odious character" (p. 27). Gordon later wrote the "first full-scale history" of the Revolution in his 1788 History (Howes G256). "The House ordered 600 copies for itself—50 for the author and 50 for the committee" (Adams 168). Without half title. Sabin 28010. Evans 14073. ESTC W3243. Adams, American Independence 168. Occasional marginal markings.
A bit of minor marginal spotting to last few leaves only. Near-fine condition.