John Thayer (1755–1815).
An Account of the Conversion of the Reverend Mr. John Thayer, Lately a Protestant Minister, at Boston in North-America, Who Embraced the Roman Catholic Religion at Rome, on the 25th of May, 1783.
Baltimore: William Goddard,
This small pamphlet is the first American edition of the testimonial of the first American Protestant clergyman to become a Catholic, the Rev. Mr. John Thayer, Boston-born and acquainted with many of the Founding Fathers. This edition of his work survives in fewer than twenty copies, but it set the pattern for two centuries of Catholic convert accounts and includes many of the tropes of those later works: visiting the Catholic heartland on the Grand Tour; disputation with learned clergymen; pious reading; witnessing miracles; and finally, the zeal of the convert who desires to convert first his family, then his home country.
William M. Klimon