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Le Nouveau Testament - C'est a dire la Nouvelle Alliance de nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ, Nouvelle édition Revue par les pasteurs et professeurs de Geneve
Amsterdam: Comp.. Very Good. 1708. Hardcover. Unpaginated pages; Handsome binding, from the end of the eighteenth century -- polished brown calf, flat spine with panels formed by delicate tooling in gilt, decorative acid staining to the covers, which display a border of small gilt tools, marbled endpapers. Minor wear to the binding, with light rubbing at the spine ends, corners and a faint line of rubbing running down the center of the spine. Title page entirely engraved. This handsome French New Testament is especially interesting for its provenance; the front free endpaper has the neat ownership signature: "Wm Ladd / Portsmouth / New hampshire." Opposite this inscription, there is a pencil note in Ladd's distinctive handwriting: "London 3/ 1798." William Ladd was, in turn, a sailor, a captain of an ocean-crossing vessel, a plantation manager, a farmer, a politician, a preacher, and the father of the American peace movement. William Ladd [1778 - 1841] was born in Exeter, New Hampshire; his father was Eliphalet Ladd [1745?-1806], a wealthy ship's captain, merchant, shipbuilder, and member of the New Hampshire State Legislature. His mother was Abigail Hill [1750-1838] of South Berwick (in the Maine District, as it was then). William Ladd attended Exeter public schools, and then the Phillips Exeter Academy, from which he graduated in 1793. His family had moved from Exeter to Portsmouth the prevous year. William Ladd subsequently attended Harvard, and graduated with an A. B. degree with the class of 1797. After Harvard, he sailed as a seaman on the Ship Eliza, owned by his father, and under the command of his brother-in-law, Capt. Samuel Chauncey. It was a potentially dangerous time to begin life as a seaman on the Atlantic, during the hottest part of what the Americans came to call the "Quasi-War" with France. The year after he acquired this pocket-sized French New Testament in London for three shillings, William Ladd became master of the "Eliza" in 1799. It was not the only thing from London young William Ladd added to his life. On a voyage from London to Philadelphia he met Sophia Ann Stidolph [1780? - 1855] -- who was living in London, and was traveling to meet her parents in Wilmington, Delaware. William and Sophia were married in London in October, 1801. In 1802 William moved to Savannah, Georgia, and in January 1804 was granted by the Spanish Government about 1500 acres of land in New Smyrna, East Florida, to establish a cotton plantation. Ladd was firmly opposed to slavery from his earliest years; for the Smyrna Plantation, Ladd's plan was to make primary use of the services of Dutch indentured servants, (called redemptioners), rather than slaves. The plantation failed, at least in part from Ladd's experimental alternative to slave labor, and he left the land in the care of his neighbor Ambrose Hull. William and Sophia returned to Portsmouth in 1806 and he returned to life on the seas.Between 1812-14 William and Sophia lived in Portsmouth -- at least one source suggests that he was so opposed to the War of 1812 that he turned again to a life on dry land. William became involved in the Washington Benevolent Society, wrote on the state of the country for the 'Portsmouth Oracle,' and was elected to the Portsmouth Committee of Safety. During this time he purchased his brothers' shares of a farm in Minot, Maine District, which had been deeded to them by their father. William and Sophia moved to Minot in June 1814. William served as a representative of Minot to the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1815, and as a delegate to the first convention of Maine which formed the independent state government and prepared a state constitution for the separation of Maine from Massachusetts in 1820. A later newspaper account of Ladd's life recorded that during this period, he took up Christianity in a serious way; in about 1816, his life became "an exemplification of applied Christianity." Ladd traveled to Brunswick in 1819 to meet with Jesse Appleton, the president of Bowdoin College, who was on his deathbed at the time. Appleton talked about the work of various local peace societies. From that time onward, Ladd was driven by the idea that peace might transform mankind and society. He wrote articles on peace for the 'Christian Mirror' under the pseudonym "Philanthropos" beginning in 1823and gave his first lecture in 1824 before the Peace Society of Maine. William Ladd was the organizing force in the formation of the American Peace Society in 1828 and served (reluctantly, according to one source) as its first president. He edited the APS publication 'Harbinger of Peace' from 1828-1831, and wrote for its successor the 'Calumet' from 1831-35. Ladd corresponded with the leaders or various peace societies throughout the Eastern United States and England, and spent the major portion of the rest of his life traveling and lecturing to promote the cause. It became a personal goal of Ladd's to see the establishment of an International Congress and a High Court of Nations to resolve disputes between countries without citizens of disagreeing nations resorting to warfare. All this sounds reasonable in the early 21st century, but Ladd's views were not always popular. As an example, he was outspoken in his opposition to the Bunker Hill monument, calling it a "monument to "barbarism and anti-Christian spirit."He observed that, "Such things encourage military glory, and thereby endanger the peace of the world. Because it is as vainglorious for a nation to erect a monument of her own victories as it is for an individual to trumpet his own fame…" Ladd opposed both defensive and offensive war; in a letter that was part of a series of exchanges with a later Bowdoin College President William Allen, Ladd wrote, "What war in modern times has not been called defensive by both sides?" One of his intellectual innovations was to invite women (in a pamphlet called 'On the Duty of Females to Promote the Cause of Peace,' 1836) to join the peace movement.William Ladd was stricken with partial paralysis in Canandaigua, New York while on a lecture tour in January 1841. Ladd, never lacking determination, continued on with his planned tour, giving his last lecture in Boston. One source reports that he delivered part of this last lecture on his knees. William Ladd returned to Portsmouth and died in the family house in April 1841. His widow, Sophia Ladd, died in 1855. There is an unrelated short inscription in a different handwriting under William Ladd's signature on the front free-endpaper. A clipping relating to a Maine preacher is laid in (but the clipping is posthumous to William Ladd). There is also a small sheet of paper inserted, folded once vertically to form four small pages, with notes in English relating to eight numbered comforts of the Christian Life. The handwriting does not resemble the youthful signature of Ladd's on the front endpaper, but this insert, probably a draft of a lecture (or sermon) deserves further study. The book itself is now scarce. See OCLC: 19952663 (which locates three copies: Keller Library in NY; Miami Ohio Univ., and Washington & Lee Univ. in Virginia). Another OCLC accession number (302412674) locates two copies in the Netherlands [Univ. of Groningen; Universiteit Leiden]. The text is unpaginated. The collation of this small 18mo is unusual: A-M with alternating gatherings of 8 and 10 leaves, followed by gathering "N" with 10 leaves, a second "N" with 8 leaves, O with 10, and P with 3 leaves. [139 leaves, and apparently complete]. At least one of the OCLC copies was bound with a Psalter from the same bookseller-publishers, but this copy ends with the NT text. ; Signed by Notable Personage, Unrelated .
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Last Found On: 2017-07-18           Check availability:      Biblio    

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