Asbury’s Journal as a Methodist Circuit Rider – Volume 1 of the 1821 Edition

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Asbury, Francis. The Journal of the Rev. Francis Asbury, Bishop of the Methodist-Episcopal Church, from August 7, 1771, to December 7, 1815. Vol. 1: From August 7, 1771, to July 4, 1786. New York: Published by N. Banks and T. Mason, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1821.

Sabin 2162, Howes A346

Binding: Hardcover (Full Leather). Book Condition: Very Good- Condition. One volume of the 3-volume set. Item Type: Book. Plus a commemorative folder from the World Methodist Historical Society.

Pagination: viii, 400 pages. Size: 8"-9" - Octavo (8vo).

Volume 1 (only) of the First Edition of the three-volume set of Asbury’s complete journals, following earlier Extracts volumes published in 1792 and 1802 and completing the entries to 1815 (Asbury died in 1816). Howes’ note says the entries provide “[v]aluable detailed accounts of travel throughout southern and midwestern frontiers in their crude early period.” However, Frederick E. Maser’s “Discovery” column published in Methodist History in January 1971 provides an extensive comparison of the entries between editions demonstrating that “matters dealing with slavery seem to have been largely expurgated between the 1802 edition and the 1821 edition” (pp. 34-5, quoting Rev. Edwin Schell).

Includes a reprint of Asbury’s “Advertisement” (or preface) from the 1802 second volume (pp. iii-v) and Francis Hollingsworth’s “Notice of the Transcriber,” dated March 28, 1821 (pp. vi-viii).

Also includes a commemorative folder from the World Methodist Historical Society that provides a one-page history of the publications of Asbury’s Journal, including the Extracts from 1792 and 1802. It labels this 1821 edition as the “First Printing of The Journal of the Rev. Francis Asbury” and includes a tipped in leaf from that printing (pp. 185-186, probably from Vol. 2 since it is headed 1794).

A WorldCat search failed to find any holdings of the Banks & Mason first edition (OCLC No. 191250770). Only two libraries (Concordia Theological Seminar & Yale University Library) are listed as having the microfiche copy (OCLC No. 31546216). There are six libraries with a competing edition by Eaton and Mains (OCLC No. 31941434).

Bound in marbled polished leather. The spine has six compartments. There is a red morocco label with “Asbury's | Journal” and a black morocco label with “Vol. 1” in a decoration, both in slightly dulled gilt. Brighter gilt double lines separating the compartments. Corners are turned with wear; the bottom corner of the front cover has worn through to the board. The front hinge has been expertly repaired with cloth tape and new end papers. The bottom half of the rear hinge is cracked but holding. There is a quarter-sized area of loss at the lower left corner of the front cover.

Text block is broken between pp. iv and v. The rest is tight. The paper is tanned with foxing and some spotting throughout. From p. 49 on the area on the page containing the text has darkened more than the margins. The bottom 2" of the front end paper has been torn out. There is a tide mark in the gutter of pp. 143-157, affecting some of the text on the inside edge. The bottom corner of one leaf (pp. 37-8) and top of another (pp. 389-90) are torn off, not affecting any text. Another leaf (pp. 199-200) was narrow, so the page edge is deckled and doesn't reach to the edge of the block. From p. 359 to the end it appears that some ink spilled onto the top page edge and has eaten away an area 1/4" wide by 3/16" deep (at its largest). The rear free end paper has been torn off. The page edges are heavily browned. 

Shipped Weight: 1 lb 3 oz

Inventory No: 1262.