1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint
1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint
1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint
1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint
1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint
1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint

1769 JOHN THOMPSON. Judas Iscariot. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition. Rare Rhode Island Imprint

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An exceptionally rare early Rhode Island imprint by important American printer, John Waterman, the great great grandson of Roger Williams. He was Captain of the First Regiment of Rhode Island. In 1768, Waterman purchased his equipment from the famed Samuel Kneeland's press in Boston; the present perhaps the very first work printed by Waterman. Some sources even date its publication to 1768, the year the press was acquired. Certainly we have no indication of anything preceding it with any certainty. This would make it the first non-broadside published in Providence, though Franklin's press was operating in Newport Rhode Island for some time before.

Waterman famously printed The Tree of Liberty by a Son of Liberty in 1768; an important pre-Revolution address. 

Fascinatingly, one wonders if this retelling of the story of the Judas mythology was specifically meant to instill fear in the heart of those who would remain loyal to England rather than to the growing independence movement in the United States. In the myth, Judas believes he has heard that if he is loyal to the throne and betrays his people, that the Queen, who has lost her son, will choose him to be her heir. But in the end, his treachery is not just treachery against his people, but against Jesus, and it ends in despair and self-murder. It does not take a tremendous leap of imagination to think that Waterman, descendent of Williams and publisher of other pro-Revolutionary works would see this as a metaphor for "Americans" who remained loyal to the Crown at all costs. 

Thompson, John. The Lost and Undone Son of Perdition, or, the Birth, Life and Character of Judas Iscariot; Faithfully Collected from Several Ancient Authors of Undoubted Credit. Providence: Printed and sold by John Waterman, at the Paper-Mill. 1769. 20pp.

Inscribed multiple times by Azariah Dickinson and Thankful Dickinson of Amherst, Massachusetts. Inscription of Thankful dated to 1775. 

Very scarce, complete textually with title and all text; lacks wraps [as usual]. Tears at folds and deterioration of the last two leaves with very minor losses, though not obstructing the intelligility of the text. 

Evans 11493. Other variously date it from 1765 to 1769. 

See biography of Waterman here: https://books.google.com/books?id=O70aAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA400&lpg=PA400&dq=%22john+waterman%22+kneeland+printer&source=bl&ots=cLgdU0adX8&sig=ACfU3U2Xj5sX5YgAZUkagb3ltGCXvEbdlw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiI-5HNkeXuAhXNHM0KHVAFCIsQ6AEwAXoECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=%22john%20waterman%22%20kneeland%20printer&f=false