RARE 1757 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND DAVID HALL IMPRINT, FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF PIKE'S EPISTLE TO THE NATIONAL MEETING OF FRIENDS, IN DUBLIN
(FRANKLIN, Benjamin) PIKE, Joseph. An Epistle to the National Meeting of Friends, in Dublin. Concerning good Order and Discipline in the Church. Philadelphia: Re-printed, and Sold by B. Franklin, and D. Hall, 1757. Small octavo (4-1/2 by 6-3/4 inches), early 20th-century full red crushed morocco rebacked with original spine laid down, top edge gilt. $4500.
First American edition of Joseph Pike's influential Quaker work, a rare imprint of the firm of Franklin and Hall, issued near the same time Franklin became a representative for the Pennsylvania Assembly and the colonies of Massachusetts, Georgia and New Jersey in Britain, handsomely bound in full morocco.
During Franklin's partnership of several decades with David Hall, their firm focused "on those aspects of the printing business which were best established and likely to be most profitable—the Pennsylvania Gazette, the public printing for the Assemblies of Pennsylvania and the Lower Counties, the Poor Richard and pocket almanacs" (Miller, xxx). By 1757, the year this work was published, Franklin had developed a close relationship with the Overseers of the Press on behalf of the Society of Friends (Minutes of the Meeting for Sufferings, August 29, 1757, 93). Franklin maintained a "lifelong friendship with Quaker politicians, merchants and scientists… He admired Quakerism because of its affirmation of simplicity, frugality, anti-slavery and humanitarianism" (Waldstreicher: 7.7). Pike, author of this Epistle, was a prominent Quaker merchant of Cork whose "business affairs frequently took him to England, Holland and Flanders. On one of these journeys he accompanied William Penn to Holland and attended the yearly meeting at Amsterdam" (Myers, 151). First issued in Dublin in 1726, his Epistle addresses "good order and discipline in the Church." Its publication in both Ireland and America signals its importance as a defense of the faith. As issued with "Joseph" spelled "Josph" on title page. Evans 8008. Hildeburn 1552. Miller 655 (issued behind a section title with Barclay's Anarchy of Ranters). Bookplate of Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes, who was the son of prominent New York financier Anson Phelps Stokes and a descendant of two early American families, the Phelps and Stokes, both "early settlers in the Massachusetts colony… the Reverend was secretary of Yale University, and pastor of New Haven's most fashionable church, Saint Paul's Episcopal" (Birmingham, The Rest of Us, 58).
Text generally fresh with light scattered foxing, expert restoration to morocco.