AN ESSAY ON MATTER. IN FIVE CHAPTERS.
Philadelphia: Printed for the Author, 1784. [7, [1 blank], 26, [2 blanks] pp. With the half title and final blank, as issued. Bound in contemporary marbled wrappers, with contemporary paper title label. Light to moderate foxing, Good+.
An early, perhaps the earliest, American book on Physics. Ledyard, after whose family the town of Ledyard, Connecticut is named, also wrote, under the pseudonym Mentor, a pamphlet in response to Alexander Hamilton's Letter to Phocion.
Influenced by the Enlightenment and the discoveries of Isaac Newton, Ledyard explains that "Matter cannot waste. Philosophy and Reason can allow nothing supernatural to happen in this world, as it carries with it an idea of imperfection in Omnipotence, which is both impious and absurd..."
Ledyard discourses on the Motion of Matter, the Generation and Change or Death of Matter, the Finer Composition and Action of Matter, and other scientific subjects. He appears to deny the existence of a Soul as distinct and separate from Matter.
Evans 18554. Hildeburn 4474. Streeter Sale 4152. ESTC W31979. Not in Rink. Item #39116