• Yale Abolitionist Leonard Bacon Influenced Lincoln, Preserved Works of 17th Century Puritan's Work

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    RICHARD BAXTER (November 12, 1615 – December 8, 1691) was an English Puritan church leader, poet, hymnodist, theologian.  After the Restoration, he began a career as theological writer.  He became one of the most influential leaders of the Nonconformists, spending time in prison. From 1662 until the indulgence of 1687, Baxter was constantly disturbed by persecution of one kind or another. In 1680, he was taken from his home and though he was released that he might die at home, his books and goods were seized.  His worst encounter was in May 1685 when Chief Justice, Sir George Jeffreys, committed him to the King’s Bench Prison on the charge of libeling the Church in his Paraphrase of the New Testament.  Baxter was sentenced to pay 500 marks, to lie in prison until the money was paid and to be bound to his good behavior for seven years. Baxter remained in prison for 18 months. The government released him and remitted the fine, hoping to win his influence.


    REVEREND LEONARD BACON (February 19, 1802 – December 24, 1881) was an American Congregational preacher and writer who held the pulpit of the First Church New Haven and was later professor of history and polity at Yale College.  His father, David (1771-1817) was a missionary among the Indians in Michigan and the founder of Tallmadge, Ohio.  Leonard Bacon graduated from Yale College in 1820 and from the Andover Theological Seminary in 1823. He was one of the founders of the New Englander, later the Yale Review, and he co-founded The Independent, a magazine devoted to combating slavery.  His anti-slavery essays had enormous influence on Abraham Lincoln.

    Our offering concerns Bacon’s undertaking to publish two volumes, 600 pages each, of Richard Baxter’s writings.  Offering a tract, containing a beautiful description of Bacon’s The Life and Select Writings of Richard Bacon, along with a one-page ALS by Bacon, contained on the third page, New Haven, July 18, 1831, to Rev. Dr. [William Buell] Sprague, an American Congregational and Presbyterian clergyman who compiled a biographical dictionary of leading American and Protestant ministers who died before 1850.


    “Among all your collections have you an autograph signature of Richard Baxter. The work of which you will see a prospectus on the opposite page, having been hindered by the unusual amount of labor which the blessed revival in this place has the arm upon me, is now in the press, & I hope will be published by commencement. A portrait has been engraved in the most superior style copied from…editions of Baxter’s works.  If you have an autograph of the good old Puritan & will lend it to the engraver for a few days, you will confer a favor not only [from] me, but also the public. I am surprised that there is nothing attached to the English engraving…as there is a great collection of Baxter’s manuscripts still preserved in the Red Cross Street Library.


    “Very truly yours,


    “Leonard Bacon”


    Beautiful integral address leaf with a red New Haven Postmark, manuscript postage of 18 cents and stamped PAID.


    Mailing folds, toning, archival tape reinforcement to the vertical border connecting the first page. 


    Everything we sell is guaranteed authentic forever to the original buyer. We also offer a 30-day return policy. If you discover a problem or are dissatisfied with an item, please contact us immediately. Our goal is to please every customer.  We are pleased to be members of The Manuscript Society, Universal Autograph Collectors Club and The Ephemera Society. [NAS 138]