Description of the Last Judgment

John Peck (1735-1812), A Description of the Last Judgment: with Some Reflections thereon, the Happiness of being Ready and the Misery of being Unready for such a Day: also, a poem on death, and one on the resurrection. Second edition (Boston N.E.: Printed and sold by E. Russell, adjoining the cornfield, in Union-Street, near the market. M,DCC,LXXIII. [1773]). Inscribed in ink on t.p. verso Lebadia Tomson his book 1774. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 63(a)

As Sinclair Hamilton notes, on the verso of the title-page there is a woodcut which represents George Whitefield (1714-1770), the well-known Methodist preacher, in the pulpit. Whitefield had visited America on a number of occasions. This cut appeared on a Boston broadside containing A Poem, occasioned by hearing the late Reverend George Whitefield preach, which both Winslow and Ford date as 1771 although Evans dates it 1774.


The 1771 date would seem correct as Whitefield had died the year before and the cut is also found on the title of Jane Dunlap’s Poems, upon Several sermons, Preached by the Rev’d and Renowned George Whitefield, while in Boston, published in Boston in 1771. It also appears on the verso of the title-page in Watts’ Divine Songs, which was printed for John Perkins in Boston in 1771.

On the final leaf is a woodcut of The Destruction of Sodom by Fire, the word Sodom being torn out in this copy. This cut will also be found on a broadside, Oppression: A Poem. Or New England’s lamentation on the dreadful Extortion and other Sins of the Times probably published by Russell in 1777.