[N.p.]: June 14th - July 22nd 1793. Small 4to. Autograph manuscript on laid paper, one volume only: (1), 298, (3) pp. (10 leaves blank, pencil notes in another hand on rear end-leaf). Matthew Brown's printed book label is affixed to the front pastedown. Laid in are 2 copies of an unidentified carte-de-visite (back-marked J.M. Scott, Vincennes, Indiana), a later (early 20th century?) photograph of an unidentified house, a clipped newspaper obituary (1818) for Brown's first wife Mary, and a monument-dedication pamphlet (1907) honoring his parents. Original full calf, rubbed, joints cracking, extremities chipped; spine label bearing the title "Lectures" partly eroded. Red-sprinkled edges darkened, end-leaves chipped at the edges; moderate foxing and a few pencil marginalia.
Matthew Brown, first president of Washington College (1806-1817), later president of Jefferson College (1822-1845), two schools that merged after the Civil War, was a student at Dickinson College in 1793 when he wrote out these lectures so carefully. Following graduation in 1794, he taught a classical school, then studied and was licensed for the Presbyterian ministry. Among his students, one in particular recalled his being a fine speaker and teacher, particularly strong in metaphysics. He was awarded honorary degrees by Princeton, Hamilton, and Jefferson. A table of contents at the rear outlines the first 173 pages, from "Of Being in General" to "Heroes and Demigods"; headings and shoulder notes highlight topics in the text. (749). Item #54643