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Association Quakeriana at Yale
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ASSOCIATION QUAKERIANA AT YALE By Henry J. Cadbury* OF COLONIAL American libraries that of Yale College has had a fortunate history. It was not scattered like some libraries that we know of, nor was it burned like that of Harvard College or that of William and Mary. There is a printed catalogue of the year 17431 which has enabled the University to identify and collect more than two thirds of the actual twentyfive hundred books in the Library at that time. Moreover, there are lists of many of the early donations. Recently I was able to spend half an hour at New Haven in the room specially built in the Sterling Memorial Library to reproduce the Library of 1742 in which the surviving books are housed. The old catalogue shows seven books under the following heading and subheadings: Divinity. VIII. Treatises on Particular Subjects. 15 Controversies. [5] With the Quakers. The three figures which follow the short titles indicate respectively the numbers of the "Tier," "Box" (i.e., shelf counting from the floor up) , and book. Barkley's Apology for the Quakers,10 6 27 (& in Latin,16 3 9 Rogers's Christian Quaker, ....10 6 20 The Danger of Enthusiasm, ....10 7 7 Fleetwood of Quakerism, ------- 10 7 25 Penn's Sermons, ....13 5 2 Fox's Gospel Truth, ....14 5 8 Except for the Latin Apology of Robert Barclay all the books listed are shelved in the present collection. The old press marks identify them as the actual copies. A word may be said about each. * Hollis Professor of Divinity in Harvard University and President of Friends Historical Association. 1 A Catalogue of the Library of Yale College in New Haven (New Haven, 1743). Also a facsimile reprint (Vienna, 1930). Cf. "A Library of 1742" in Yale University Library Gazette, IX, (1934), 1-11 and "The Yale Library of 1742," ibid., XV (1940), 29-40. 15 16Bulletin of Friends Historical Association The English copy of Barclay's Apology is the edition printed by James Franklin at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1729. It is one of the very few American imprints that were in the Library.2 On the title-page this book bears the signature "Benjn. Lay" and on the verso of the title-page the manuscript note: "Benjn. Lay presented to Yale Colledge in Newhaven for Service of the Students —to whome be peace through Jesus Christ our Lord." This must be the well-known antislavery reformer. He lived near Philadelphia from 1731 to his death in 1759. Though he describes himself as "illiterate," he had in later life a library of nearly two hundred books in a room in a cave on the farm of John Phipps where he lived near the Abington Meetinghouse. Evidently Lay himself sent this book as a bit of Quaker propaganda. Of this he was quite capable. He is said to have presented in person to both George I and George II copies of Milton's pamphlet Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church!1 If he had any personal knowledge of the situation at Yale, he may have obtained it from David Ferris, who after nearly four years at Yale left without graduating and in 1733 went to Philadelphia and joined the Society of Friends. David Ferris had himself come upon Barclay's Apology in his senior year in college and had lent it to a classmate with whom he had already discussed questions dealt with in the book and to "several other thoughtful scholars."4 The Latin Barclay's Apology was the earliest edition of all, Theologiae veré christianae apologia (Amsterdam, 1676). It was probably the very copy mentioned in a manuscript list dated London, 15 January, 1712/13, "A List of the Books Given to the Colledge of Connecticut in New England with the names of the Benefactors,"5 where it is entered as "Barclaii apologia Theologiœ vere Xianae 4to." 2 Margaret L. Johnson, "American Imprints and their Donors in the Yale College Library of 1742," in Papers in Honor of Andrew Keogh (New Haven, 1938), p. 360. 3 Roberts Vaux, Memoirs of the Lives of Benjamin Lay and Ralph Sandiford (Philadelphia, 1815), p...