tKe Àrst edition did not do well.
Booksellers needed to come up
with a great sales angle, so they
focused on tKe onl\ bona Àde
17th century celebrity on the passenger
list: Robert Barrow.
Although Barrow is only
scantily mentioned in the pages
of Dickinson’s book, a preface
b\ an unidentiÀed contributor
focused on him. In the second
edition, publishers gave Barrow
top billing on the title page. Book
sales tooN oͿ witK man\ editions
to follow. Widespread religious
publications like The Friend later
retold the tale from Barrow’s
Soint of Yiew Àlling in missing
details. Poor Dickinson was not
viewed as the hero of his own
account. His role in the epic drama was reduced to the status of an
aftertKougKt. 7o add insult to inMur\ SublisKers eYen sSelled 'icNinson’s
last name wrong on the title pages of more than 14 reprints.
7o understand wK\ %arrow Kad sales aSSeal \ou need to remember
that the 1600s were a time when religious controversies held
center stage. Many died or were imprisoned for their beliefs. One of
tKe burning issues was wKetKer *od sSoNe solel\ tKrougK ordained
authorities. Barrow believed the Lord communicated directly with
ordinary believers via an “inner light.” It was a revolutionary notion,
and some historians say it was the source of American individualism
as we know it today. Barrow picked up the idea in 1652 >>
ber RICK CRARY
The title page of the Journal describes the book as the story of
Robert Barrow’s “remarkable deliverance.” Note that Dickinson’s
name is misspelled.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Barrow left England after the death of
Quaker leader George Fox, above, to
calm the reported dissension among the
faithful at the Pennsylvania colony.