Portsmouth [N. H.]: Sherburne, Emery, & Leighton, Printers, 1840. First edition? Pamphlet stitched into contemporary cheap card stock, 5.75 x 3.5 inches, 16 pages. Foxed; some wear; in good condition. Item #19117
A curiously fugitive popular Universalist title from the Quaker-born Universalist preacher and editor Thomas, generally known (as with the caption title to the text here) as “213 Questions without Answers.” Titled in autograph ink on the wrappers by Alpheus H. Brooks, So. Elliott [i.e., Eliot, Mane] 1840, with his signature repeated on the title page and the blank verso of the title. Thomas notes in his 1852 autobiography, “In June, 1833, I wrote and published a Tract of 12 pages, which, though a small affair and requiring only a little tact in its preparation, excited an interest highly advantageous to the cause of Universalism. . . . Reference is had to ‘213 Questions Without Answers,’ the title being sufficiently expressive of its character. The Questions related to Universalism, directly or indirectly, and were so framed, with few exceptions, as to admit of Yea or Nay in reply. They were meant to train up the inquirer in the way he should go, or involve him, by natural Answers, in the inconsistencies of the popular theories. A large edition was printed and circulated at the time—and hundreds of thousands of copies, by estimate, have since been issued, in various forms, by others.” For all the wide circulation, early editions seems uncommon (none evidently held at the American Antiquarian Society under this title or the “213 Questions” title) with the earliest dated separately published edition on OCLC from 1852, and no separately published editions found in the NUC. This edition not found in the NUC, nor on OCLC (May, 2019).