1782 Aitken Bible - Bible of the American Revolution. First English Bible Printed in America. (Facsimile)
Title: Bible, King James Version: “The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments...”
Publisher: Originally printed by Robert Aitken in Philadelphia
Condition: New facsimile reproduction of Robert Aitken’s 1782 printing of the King James Version of the Bible
Size: Bible measures approximately 4 3/4” x 7 3/8” x 1 3/8”.
Description: Bound full-leather with gilt page edges. Gilt lettering on spine reads: HOLY BIBLE/ Robert Aitken/ Philadelphia/ 1782. Pages printed on thin, gilt-edged paper with heavier stock at the endpapers. Text in this copy is reproduced in facsimile including title page. There are no commemorative or historical pages. This is only the second facsimile edition ever produced. Includes Robert Aitken's printed decorative script initials, used as his printer's mark.
History: Prior to the end of the War of Independence, the United States was still under the rule of England and thus not legally allowed to print the King James Version of the Bible – a job reserved solely for the King’s printers. English Bibles were imported to the New World from England. Quaker Robert Aitken had fled to Ireland to escape English persecution, finally moving to the United States and settling in Pennsylvania, where he became a printer in Philadelphia. War had shortened the supply of English Bibles. Aitken supported the Revolution and determined to publish a Bible in English. In 1781, he sought Congress’s approval and financial aid. Congress recommended the publication of 30,000 Bibles, at a cost of ten thousand dollars. Called the Bible of the Revolution, Aitken’s Bible became the first English-language edition of the Scriptures to be printed in the United States.