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CLARKE, John (1609-1676) Ill Newes from New England: or, A N...

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CLARKE, John (1609-1676). Ill Newes from New England: or, A Narative of New-Englands Persecution. Wherin is declared That while old England is becoming new, New-England is become Old . London: Henry Hills, 1652.
CLARKE, John (1609-1676). Ill Newes from New England: or, A Narative of New-Englands Persecution. Wherin is declared That while old England is becoming new, New-England is become Old . London: Henry Hills, 1652. 4 o (178 x 135 mm). (Title with ink show through and small hole from early inscriptions on verso, some browning and staining, one catchword cropped.) Modern morocco, by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, OF ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST IMPORTANT CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS OF EARLY RHODE ISLAND. Dr. John Clarke was a Baptist minister who co-founded the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He founded the First Baptist Church in Newport in 1644, which was the second Baptist Church in America, and was a leading advocate of religious freedom in America. Clarke stands out as perhaps the most important Baptist in seventeenth- century America. Born in Westhorpe, Suffolk, England on October 8, 1609, Clarke first immigrated to Massachusetts Bay in 1637, and then went south to Rhode Island. He immediately sided with Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomians and was one of those forced into exile by Massachusetts Bay. Clarke learned from Roger Williams that Aquidneck Island (Rhode Island) was available, and he, Williams, Coddington, and other settlers purchased it from the Narragansetts. They left Massachusetts and established Portsmouth in 1638. Clarke is one of the signers of the Portsmouth Compact. In 1651, John Clarke and his friends John Crandall and Obadiah Holmes were arrested and imprisoned in Lynn, Massachusetts for conducting an illegal worship service. Their religious persecutions served as the basis for Clarke's only major work Ill Newes from New England, or a Narrative of New England's Persecutions (1652). The work exposed religious persecution in seventeenth-century New England, and demonstrated Clarke's argument for religious freedom in America. In it he wrote: "it is not the will of the Lord that any one should have dominion over another man's conscience... [Conscience] is such a sparkling beam, from the Father of lights, and spirits that it cannot be lorded over, commanded, or forced, either by men, devils, or angels..." (Epistle Dedicatory). Clarke's role in securing a new charter for Rhode Island Colony was particularly significant, in that it formally guaranteed the colony full religious liberty. In November 1651, along with Roger Williams Clarke traveled to London to secure a new charter for the colony of Rhode Island. Williams returned to Rhode Island in 1654, but Clarke stayed in England as the colony's agent working against great odds to obtain a new charter. Clarke convinced Charles II to grant religious toleration and separation of church and state to a political entity, the tiny Colony of Rhode Island. On July 8, 1663, the King granted a Royal Charter to Rhode Island. Clarke wrote the charter himself, and its words soon enriched other colonial charters and eventually found their way into America's founding documents. "The Charter of Rhode Island of 1663 has been universally recognized as the most liberal state paper ever issued by the English Crown" (Thomas W. Bicknell, Story of Dr. John Clarke , Providence, 1915, p. 182). Clarke returned to Rhode Island after his twelve year quest, where he was elected to the General Assembly and served three terms as deputy governor of the colony. EXTREMELY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current no copies have appeared at auction in at least thirty years. Alden & Landis 652/50; Church 516 ("contains a brief account of the settlement of Providence, R.I."); Howes C-438; JCB (3) II:729; Sabin 13307; Wing C-4471. Not in Vail.

Informationen zur Auktion
Auktionshaus: Christie's
Titel: Important Books, Atlases and Manuscripts: The Private Library of Kenneth Nebenzahl
Auktionsdatum: 10.04.2012
Adresse: Christie's
10 April 2012, New York, Rockefeller Center