[Philadelphia? Printed by T. Dodson? 1796? or after]. First edition. 12mo. xxxv, 156 pp. With the printing note on the title page "Printed in the Fifth Year of intellectual life, or the Publication of the Apocalypse of Nature [his title, published in London, 1791], in the 7,000th year of Astronomical History, ascertained in the Oriental Tables, beyond which the incalculable Epocha of human existence is lost in absurd conjecture and legendary Fable." Laid in is a TLS from Richard Gimbel on Yale University letterhead offering an opinion on the printing of this pamphlet. A 16-page prospectus for the book was printed by Thomas Dobson in Philadelphia in 1796; presumably the book followed. Not in Evans (Evans 31237 for the prospectus). Not in Shipton & Mooney or Bristol. Not included in American Imprints. OCLC locates six copies, one (American Philosophical Society) dated 1796, the other five (New York Historical Society, Bowdoin, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Brown) in a single record dated "1810s"; OCLC locates five copies of the prospectus. Copac, giving place of publication and date as "[London? 1795]," locates five copies (Dublin, Bowdoin, American Philosophical Society, Library Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Rare in trade, with one copy sold at auction in the past 35 years (ABPC, 1976-2011; Freeman's, 2003, $2990). First few leaves brittle, with a little chipping, stitching broken, but a very good, untrimmed and mostly unopened copy in original condition. Original brown marbled wrappers (spine a little eroded). (#6000). Item #58824
John "Walking" Stewart (1747-1822) won his nickname by walking from Madras, India, where he had been working for the East India Company, to Europe between 1765 and the mid-1790s. "Stewart is thought to have walked alone across Persia, Abyssinia, Arabia, and Africa, before wandering into every European country as far as Russia. During his journeys, he developed a unique brand of materialist philosophy which combines elements of Spinozistic pantheism with yogic notions of a single indissoluble consciousness. He began to promote his ideas publicly in 1790 with the publication of his treatise 'Travels Over the Most Interesting Parts of the Globe.' Over the next three decades Stewart wrote prolifically, publishing nearly thirty philosophical works, including 'The Opus Maximum' (London, 1803) and the long verse-poem 'The Revelation of Nature' (New York, 1795)" (Wikipedia). Stewart spent much of the 1790s in the United States when the title offered here was written and, apparently, published. Later in life, in London, he became friends with writers such as Thomas De Quincey, William Wordsworth, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Taylor.