1827 EDWARD PAYSON. Scarce Autograph of "Praying Payson of Portland."

1827 EDWARD PAYSON. Scarce Autograph of "Praying Payson of Portland."

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A very scarce excised autograph of perhaps the most famous American person of  prayer, Edward, Praying Payson, of Portland [1783-1827].

Payson graduated Harvard in 1803 and became the Assistant, and then Pastor at the Congregational Church in Portland, Maine. Upon his death, Archibald Alexander said that perhaps no minister had a greater reputation for real, earnest piety than Payson. His works were published in three volumes. It was his memoir though, revealing after his death a lifetime of intense, wrestling fellowship with God and for the souls of men, that made its mark. It was published over and again decades, exhausting vast editions from the American Tract Society. 

His works were then reprinted in the 20th century by Sprinkle Publications, complete with an introduction by Leonard Ravenhill. 

Autographs of Payson are exceptionally scarce. 

This one is from the superb early and mid-19th century autograph collection of Rev. Robert Crawford, son-in-law of Edward Dorr Griffin and friend of perhaps the autograph collector of the period, William Buell Sprague. 

Accompanied by Crawford's handwritten note, "Autograph of the late Dr. Payson of Portland Maine. Recd from his widow, Mrs Payson a short time before her death. She said it was the last autograph of her husband she had."