18th Century Antique Leather Book “The Whole Genuine and Complete Works of Flavius Josephus” by George Henry Maynard 1794 – Important Provenance
Very Large Antique Leather Book Entitled “The Whole Genuine and Complete Works of Flavius Josephus . . .” by George Henry Maynard LL. D | Printed by William Durell, New York, 1794
18th Century Antique Leather Book Entitled “The Whole Genuine and Complete Works of Flavius Josephus, The Learned and Authentic Jewish Historian and Celebrated Warrior” by George Henry Maynard LL. D | Printed by William Durell, New York, 1794 | 723 pages with frontispiece of Flavius Josephus engraved by Charles Tiebout | Includes 60 copper engraved illustrations | Original Binding – fully covered in brown leather, six raised hubs and gilt lettering on red leather on spine | Markings: Inscribed “Robert Preston” lower left of frontispiece. Also inscribed, “Robert Preston. Who died at Walnut Grove on Monday morning the 16th of December 1833 at 5 minutes after 4 ock. At the time of his death he was near the close of his 83rd year” at top of preface section. This refers to the important and well known Robert Preston of Bristol, Washington County, Virginia – See Below – About Original Book Owner Robert Preston | Robert Preston served as an officer in the Continental Army | Book Measures: Folio Size – 17.5″ H x 10.75″ W x 3.25″ D |
Book Contains the following: I. The antiquities of the Jews….; II. The wars of the Jews with the Romans….; III. The Book of Josephus against Apion….; IV. The martyrdoms of the Maccabees; V. The embassy of Philo from the Jews of Alexandria to the Emperor Caius Caligula; VI. The life of Flavius Josephus, written by himself; VII. The testimonies of Josephus concerning our blessed saviour …. The whole translated from the original in the Greek language …. To which will be now first added, A continuation of the history of the Jews, from Josephus down to the present time, including a period of more than 1700 years…. Also various copious indexes, particularly of the countries, cities, towns, villages, seas, rivers, mountains, lakes, &c…. with a great variety of other interesting and authentic particulars never given in any work of the like kind either in the English or any other language. By George Henry Maynard, LL.D. Embellished with a great number of beautiful copper plates, descriptive of the most distinguished transactions related in the work, from original drawings of the ingenious Messrs. Stothard, and Corbould…. Pp. vi+-724(complete, but occasionally misnumbered)+(list of subscribers), engraved frontispiece, plus 60 plates (including a folding plan of Jerusalem, and 2 maps with hand coloured highlights), indices; cr. folio; Keynes, Bibliography of William Blake, 100; Bentley, Blake Books, 477A (pp. 585-9). Different issues of this edition are extant (Bentley identifies 5), with minor variations, usually to the title page.
Provenance: Worthington Galleries; from Private Knoxville, TN collection; prior suspected of being owned by Robert Preston Descendants of Bristol, Virginia. Book contains several items including a pamphlet entitled “50th Anniversary, 1875 – 1925, Central Presbyterian Church, Bristol, VA”
Condition: Expected wear on leather covers. Spine is intact and adhered to cover panels. Some age related leather cracking and rubbing on covers and spine. 2 1/4″ area of blue colored pencil mark at top of preface section. Some foxing spots, toning on surface and some edges.
About Original Book Owner Robert Preston: Robert Preston and his descendants were some of the earliest settlers of Southwest Virginia according to Tim Buchanan the president of the Bristol Historical Association. https://www.heraldcourier.com/community/community_news/restoration-of-robert-preston-house-at-walnut-grove/article_a0a1c3f2-01af-11e6-b733-dfab7500dce7.html
Robert Preston was the son of John and Eleanor Fairman (Ferman) Preston was born in Ireland, probably in the Londonderry area. According to a document (statement of service) written by Robert in about 1799, he came to this country in 1773 and his parents were still in Ireland. They came over early in 1775 with Robert’s brother, Walter and his sister Jane. Apparently, arrangements for his trip to America were made by Col. Wm Preston of the Smithfield Prestons. See Statement of Services written by Robert Preston about 1799.
There are many indications in the literature that the Smithfield and Walnut Grove Prestons were related in Ireland. Robert Preston built the family home called “Walnut Grove” in 1802. Walnut Grove, also known as the Robert Preston House, is a historic plantation house located just outside Bristol in Washington County, Virginia. It was built about 1815, and is a two-story, Georgian style timber-frame dwelling covered with wood weatherboard. The house has a gable roof and has a one-story full-width porch. The Grove was built on the Walnut Grove property in 1857. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. [Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walnut_Grove_(Bristol,_Virginia)]
Robert Preston served as an officer in the Continental Army. He was excused from accompanying the troops to King’s Mountain in September 1780, having married Margaret Rhea only two or three days before the troops marched. Robert was among the first Trustees for the town of Abingdon serving until 1803.
According to Mary Preston Gray in her “Family Tree”, Robert held a commission as surveyor from Oxford College, England, and shortly after his arrival in this country he began surveying. This apparently is not true but a certificate has been found dated 20 December 1779 from the College of William and Mary appointing Robert Preston surveyor. It was signed by James Madison, president of the college. After the organization of Washington County, he was appointed surveyor of said county by Thomas Jefferson, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. At a council meeting on 9/2/1777 in Montgomery County, William Preston (Smithfields) produced a Masters from William & Mary College appointing him surveyor for Montgomery County. This was a very desirable position at that time. Wm. Preston of Smithfield and Robert Preston were engaged by Col. James Patton and the Loyal Land Company in surveying Patton’s grants for 120,000 acres and later 800,000 acres in the Southwest Virginia, Kentucky area. Col. Arthur Campbell and family fought Robert’s commission, but they were denied. After Robert produced a commission from Thomas Jefferson, Gov. of Virginia, dated 22 Dec 1779 the case was closed. Campbells and Prestons continued to have hard feelings and a duel was fought in which a Campbell was wounded. Under Documents refer to the Statement by Robert Preston at the time this position was being contested, 1799. (Link above for Statement of Service) He held this office from 1779 to 1831.
The Prestons attended the Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church in Bristol. Two women are noted to have been responsible for the beginning of this church, Margaret Rhea Preston and Eleanor Fairman Preston. Robert Preston married Margaret Rhea (1757-1822) on September 28, 1780 and they had two children: Col. John Preston (1781-1864) m. Margaret Brown Preston (1784-1843) daughter of Col. William Preston and Susanna Smith Preston of the Smithfield Prestons; Jane Preston (1781- 4/24/1863) m. Robert Preston Jr. (1772 – 9/9/1858) on April 12, 1798. (Jane’s date of birth is questionable.).
About the Author: Titus Flavius Josephus (/dʒoʊˈsiːfəs/; Greek: Φλάβιος Ἰώσηπος; 37 – c. 100), born Yosef ben Matityahu (Hebrew: יוסף בן מתתיהו, Yosef ben Matityahu; Greek: Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς), was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.
He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and presumably interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor’s family name of Flavius.
Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian’s son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city’s destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod’s Temple (Second Temple) soon followed.
Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War (66-70 CE), including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity. [Wikipedia]
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