1817.101: The Life of the Pilgrim Joseph Thomas.

Published: 1817

Full Title: The life of the pilgrim Joseph Thomas, containing an accurate account of his trials, travels and gospel labours, up to the present date.

Author: Thomas, Joseph (1791-1835).

Place Issued: Winchester

Issuing Press: Jonathan Foster

Description: 372 pgs.; 18 cm. (16mo).


Thomas was an itinerant evangelical minister who came to be known as "The White Pilgrim," based on his adoption of a simple linen suit as his only clothing style; in 1812, he established residence in Frederick County, where Foster, an elder in the Presbyterian Church, officiated at his wedding to the daughter of a prominent farmer there; Foster published seven works by Thomas over the next several years, including this title. The first was a justification of his ministry (1813.103) now lost; but the rest of Foster's publications have proven to be the bulk of Thomas's surviving corpus, as seen in the titles A Poetical Descant on the Primeval and Present State of Mankind (1816.125); Pilgrim's Hymn Book (two eds.: 1816.124 & 1817.101); an autobiographical Life of the Pilgrim Joseph Thomas (this item); A Discourse on … Sunday Schools (1818.117); and The Trump of Christian Union (1819.092). Several of his poetical works were frequently reprinted in his lifetime. Title page bears an imprint date of 1817, so the date reported here; yet this autobiography was evidently printed over the closing days of 1817 and opening ones of 1818 as last page carries a concluding address dated January 8, 1818, indicating that this personal tale would be continued "God willing."

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