Elihu Burritt's Bond of Universal Brotherhood, No. 5, Oct. 1846. PEACE, Elihu Burritt.

Elihu Burritt's Bond of Universal Brotherhood, No. 5, Oct. 1846

Worcester, Mass and Birmingham, England: 1846.

Single sheet folded to 5 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches; 4 pp. Creasing, edgewear, a few short tears; good.

The scholarly son of a Connecticut farmer and cobbler, Elihu Burritt (1810-1879) moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1837 to access the collections of the American Antiquarian Society, where he promptly taught himself to read more than two dozen languages. Caught up in the religious enthusiasm of the Second Great Awakening, he became an itinerant evangelist and temperance lecturer and an active member of the American Peace Society, which opposed all war, whether offenseive or defensive. In 1846 he became disillusioned with the Peace Society when less radical members of its executive committee expressed support for the Mexican War. He moved to England and formed the League of Universal Brotherhood, which aimed "to initiate reforms conducive to world peace, universal brotherhood, and mutual respect among nations and individuals" (ANB) and was the first peace organization to attract a mass audience. The Bond of Universal Brotherhood served as the voice of that organization in both England and America. Although it was published until 1850, physical copies are now quite scarce (only the AAS shows any physical holdings according to OCLC, and those are sparse). This issue is headed by a pledge signed by League members (who numbered approximately 50,000) to never enlist in any military service or support the preparation for or prosecution of a war. This is followed by several short articles detailing the costs of various war-related activities--among them naval protection, war debt, military training and salaries, and the decline of markets when confidence in peace and security is lost--as well as a plea for "sentimental young ladies" to consider the underpaid laborers whose toil went into producing their muffs, bonnets, and shawls.

Item #19747

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