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[Alcott, Louisa May] Freeman, James, And Colonel Joseph May, Compilers. Listings

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1 [Alcott, Louisa May] Freeman, James, and Colonel Joseph May, compilers. A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, For Publick Worship.

Boston: Printed by Manning and Loring, 1799. First edition. Contemporary dark green leather, decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers, (A)6, B-X6. The personal copy of co-compiler Joseph May, his name gilt-stamped on the front. This is the first American Unitarian hymn book. Freeman, Minister of the King's Chapel (also known as the Stone Chapel) in Boston, and May, Assistant Church Warden there and a merchant, were instrumental, with many others, in the establishment of American Unitarianism. May was the grandfather of Louisa May Alcott and father of the abolitionist Reverend Samuel J. May. On the front flyleaf is the ownership signature of Emily James who writes: "This book was given to me by Rev. Samuel J. May in 1842, several months after the death of his father. It was compiled by Dr. Freeman & Col. May and was used at the Stone Chapel until Mr. Greenwood's collection was substituted." A beautiful copy, somewhat rubbed but perfectly sound. The gilt on the lower spine is less bright than the rest, just as would be expected from Colonel May's usage, held open in one hand. A Fine copy. 
Price: 1600.00 USD
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