Beecher Memorial: Contemporaneous Tributes to the Memory of Henry Ward Beecher, the “most famous preacher in the nation,” published shortly after his death in 1887. This copy from the personal library of the editor, Edward W. Bok.
Octavo, viii, 110pp. Full brown morocco, title in gilt on front cover. Touch of wear to leather spine, else fine. Silk endpapers. All edges gilt. Frontispiece portrait and an illustrated plate by William H. Beard. This copy is signed on the front flyleaf: “My personal copy, Edward W. Bok / July 1, 1887.” Edward W. Bok would go on to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography in 1920, titled The Americanization of Edward Bok.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was an American social reformer, abolitionist and influential clergyman. His sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, achieved worldwide acclaim for her abolitionist novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. During Beecher’s lifetime, his sermons focused on God’s love, a notable departure from his Calvinist upbringing. He was a religious guide to multiple Republican presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, who said that no one in history had “so productive a mind.” A recent work on his life by Debby Applegate, titled “The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher,” won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2007.