In July of 1777, Three Clergymen Signed a Petition to the Continental Congress


“To the honorable Continental Congress of the United States of North America now sitting in Philadelphia. Honored Gentlemen, We the Ministers of the Gospel of Christ in the City of Philadelphia, whose names are under written, taking it into our serious consideration that in our present circumstances, books in general, and in particular, the Holy Scriptures contained in the Old and New Testaments are growing so scarce and dear, that we greatly fear that unless timely care be used to prevent it, we shall not have Bibles for our schools and families, and for the public worship of God in our churches.

“We therefore think it our duty to our country and to the churches of Christ to lay this danger before this honorable house, humbly requesting that under your care, and by your encouragement, a copy of the Holy Bible may be printed, so as to be sold nearly as cheap as the common Bibles, formerly imported from Britain and Ireland, were sold. The number of purchasers is so great, that we doubt not but a large impression would soon be sold. … We are persuaded that your care and seasonable interposition will remove the anxious fears of many pious and well disposed persons; would prevent the murmurs of the discontented … would be the means of promoting Christian knowledge in our churches. …

“Our sincere prayers shall ever be for your welfare and prosperity, and we beg leave with the greatest respect to subscribe our selves. Honored Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble servants,
Francis Alison,
John Ewing,
William Marshalle”