EARLY RARE LATTER-DAY SAINTS HYMNAL, 1839
(MORMONISM) ELSWORTH, Benjamin C. A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Selected and Published by Benjamin C. Elsworth. [Mexico, New York?]: Printed for the publisher, 1839. 24mo, original full brown sheep. $75,000.
An early and rare Latter-Day Saints Hymnal from upstate New York in 1839, in contemporary sheep binding.
The contents of this work are taken almost entirely from the Emma Smith hymnal (1835), including the preface verbatim, and David White Rogers (1838) hymnals. In A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Peter Crawley writes, "Little is known about Benjamin C. Elsworth. On November 16, 1836, John E. Page ordained him a teacher at a conference in South Crosby, twenty-five miles north of Kingston, Canada, and fifteen months later he was chosen a member of the Second Quorum of Seventy. Elsworth reported on October 18, 1840, that he had been laboring in the vicinity of Oswego County, New York, and had baptized one hundred or so people during the preceding year. In April 1844 he was assigned to stump for Joseph Smith's campaign in New York. One year later he was excommunicated, apparently because he had aligned himself with James J. Strang. Elsworth was appointed to the office of apostle in the Strangite Church in 1847 but was never ordained, and later that year Strang excommunicated him 'for teaching and practicing the spiritual wife systems.' The following year Elsworth joined another Strang dissident Joseph Robinson in a new church in Franklin, Illinois, which apparently had a short life. At that point he seems to have dropped from sight, until 1871, when he was baptized into the RLDS Church, on McKisick Island, ten miles down the Missouri River from Nebraska City, where he had been living for a number of years." OCLC locates only six institutional copies. Crawley 61. Flake/Draper 3160. Chism 5.
Small loss from the top edge of the title page, affecting first three words of the title; slightly larger loss from the bottom edge of the blank rear free endpaper. Fore-edge margins of a number of the preliminary pages trimmed close, small contemporary repair to top edge of page 29/30, just affecting a few letters. Spine label has perished. A very good copy. Scarce.