1800.019: The Prospect Before Us. Volume I.

Published: 1800

Full Title: The Prospect Before Us. Volume I.

Author: Callender, James Thomson (1758-1803).

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Meriwether Jones; Samuel Pleasants; James Lyon

Description: 184 pgs.; 21 cm. (8vo).


Imprint states: "Printed for the author, and sold by M. Jones, S. Pleasants, jun. and J. Lyon. 1800." An avowedly partisan work, Callender wrote in his preface that the "design of this book is to exhibit the multiplied corruptions of the federal government, and more especially, the misconduct of the president, Mr. Adams" [p. 3]. He began writing this politicized history in Philadelphia in 1799, before fleeing to Petersburg in the face of a threatened arrest under the Sedition Act of 1798 in order to complete it. Though not identified on the title page, Callender was arrested on sedition charges when this volume was released in May 1800. Convicted in a controversial trial in June, Callender was imprisoned in the Richmond jail until pardoned by Jefferson in March 1801; Callender wrote volume 2 in his jail cell, publishing it in two parts (1800.020 & 1801.008) before his release. Production of this first volume was shared by the presses of Pleasants and Jones, with Lyon assisting in the Jones office; none of them took credit for the imprint however, in order to avoid a similar prosecution.

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