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Item #40930 Sketches of the Elements of Natural Philosophy. Accompanied with Sketches of a New Theory of the Earth. John Linnaeus Edward Whitridge SHECUT.
Sketches of the Elements of Natural Philosophy. Accompanied with Sketches of a New Theory of the Earth.

Sketches of the Elements of Natural Philosophy. Accompanied with Sketches of a New Theory of the Earth.

Charleston: Printed and published by C. C. Sebring, No. 44 Queen-street, 1826. 8vo. (5 1/2 x 9 inches). First edition. Signed "1-17" in fours, "18" in two. [i]-vi [7]-140. 140 pp. Title, Deposit statement, Dedication to Samuel L. Mitchell, Preliminary Remarks, Elements of Philosophy I-XLV, Directions to the Binder, Index. One engraved plate with diagrams opposite p.18 titled "For the Elements of Philosophy" and one table on pp.24-25 titled "Jennings' Tabular View of Analogies"

Red quarter morocco with tips over blue paper boards, spine ruled gilt into six compartments, gilt title in second, on wove paper, uncut

Rare, electric work of natural philosophy by John L. E. W. Shecut, a South-Carolina Renaissance man of the early 1800s.

Shecut, an American botanist known for his descriptions of the flora and yellow-fever in South Carolina, herein tackles a Grand Theory of Everything. From today's viewpoint of academic overspecialization, the book is audacious, if not eccentric, but it was not out of the norm for the Enlightenment and the self-styled Renaissance men it wrought. His topics do truly range, from the "Formation of Solar Light" to an "Analysis of Acids" to "Proofs of the Universality of the Remains of Extinct Animals" to a "Sketch of a Theory of the Earth" itself. All of this in a lean 140 pages, and, somehow, for a treatise concerned with the explication of natural phenomena and the espousal of then empirical views, Shecut's first axioms for his "New Theory of the Earth" all concern the existence and righteousness of God. Shecut, born in Beaufort, South Carolina, graduated in medicine at Philadelphia in 1791, and soon afterward began to practice in Charleston, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a co-founder of the South Carolina Homespun Society, the first cotton-factory in the state, and in 1813, he organized the Antiquarian Society of Charleston, now the Literary and Philosophical society of South Carolina. Shecut maintained that a cause of yellow fever was the derangement of the atmosphere upon its being deprived its due proportion of electricity, and he is said to have been the first physician in Charleston to apply electricity in the treatment of this disease. He was the author of Flora Caroliniensis, a Historical, Medical, and Economical Display of the Vegetable Kingdom (1806); An Essay on the Yellow Fever of 1817 (1817); An Inquiry into Tile Properties and Powers of the Electric Fluid, and its Artificial Application to Medical Uses (1818); and Shecut's Medical and Philosophical Essays (1819).

Shaw Shoemaker 26063.

Item #40930

Price: $6,500.00