The Power of Literature and its Connexion with Religion: An Oration, Delivered at Bristol College, July 23, 1834, Before The Philologian Society.

“The power of literature .... is most potent for good and evil”


Scarce address given by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), the author of America’s Star Spangled Banner, to poor students at Bristol College in Pennsylvania. The institution had, literally, been built by the hands of its students; young men from families of little means who earned their tuition by working for the school. (Dubovoy)

“To Key, as to many other Americans who grew up in the years following the Revolution, religion and patriotism were virtually fused in their ultimate purposes, as indeed were religion and literature. In an address delivered late in life to students at Bristol College in Connecticut, Key stressed the importance of religion in human affairs. There is little point, he contended, in recognizing intellectual achievements while neglecting the ‘one thing needful, the care of the soul’; religion, he declared, ‘must take high precedence, and hold supreme dominion over every thing belonging to man.’” (Meyer, “Religion, Patriotism and Poetry in the Life of Francis Scott Key” in Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 84, No. 3, 1989)

BAL 11088. OCLC, [16], but apparently none in Maryland. Key’s oration illustrated that he “interpreted ‘literature’ quite broadly—to mean higher learning or humanistic education—rather than just prose and poetry.” —Dubovoy, Lost World of Francis Scott Key.


Description: The Power of Literature and its Connexion with Religion: An Oration, Delivered at Bristol College, July 23, 1834, Before The Philologian Society.

[Bristol, Pennsylvania]: Published by order of The Society, Bristol College Press, [1834]. [1-3] 4-19 pages. First and only edition. Pamphlet; removed, without wrappers; foxing, else Very Good.

[3730528]

Price: $350.00

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