Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by Joseph Crukshank, 1781. First edition. Four later editions were also published, including two German language editions (also published in Philadelphia). The German editions were published in 1783 and 1798, and two later English language editions were published in 1802 and 1806. The letters printed here were originally exchanged in 1712 and seem to have circulated in some form in the intervening years, though not from this publisher. The preface states that the present printing of the letters had been revised to update the “incorrect copies” that had been distributed previously from other sources. Uniform toning due to paper quality, and some foxing. A good copy of an important work by one of the earliest known American Quaker writers, as well as one of the first women circulating their writing in the colonies. Disbound, with stitching holes at inner margins. Twelvemo. 44 pp. Item #16724
The two letters here were exchanged between Anthony Wilhelm Boehm (1673-1722), the Lutheran minister and court chaplain to the Prince of Denmark, and Quaker minister Elizabeth Webb (née Hoopes, 1663-1726). Webb had been drawn to Quakerism during her youth, while growing up in a more traditional Protestant family, and eventually became a certified minister before relocating from England to Philadelphia in 1697. Her letter recounts to Boehm her process of spiritual discovery, and the motivation that spurred her to leave England and preach in the colonies. Boehm’s response is considerably shorter than Webb’s initial letter, comprising only the final two pages of the present item, though he expresses mutual respect and gratitude for her story.
The work of Webb has recently been collected and published in The Writings of Elizabeth Webb: A Quaker Missionary in America, edited by Rachel Cope and Zachary McLeod Hutchins (Penn State University Press, 2019). Sabin 102212. Evans 34973.