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The Bible of the Revolution

This is a photo of James Darlack working (scanning and cleaning up) his way through the book of Exodus that will become part of our 1782 Robert Aitken Bible, aka “The Bible of the Revolution”.

Aitken published his first complete Bible in 1782.  This is the first Bible in English to be made in America.  He added this 1782 Old Testament  to his previously printed 1781 New Testaments. I believe that Aitken planned ahead and printed about ten thousand additional New Testaments in 1781 and had them waiting to be bound with the ten thousand Old Testaments that he printed in 1782. You will notice that the 1782 Bible’s New Testament title page is dated 1781, while the Old Testament is dated 1782. This was the only year that the Aitken Bible was made.

The war ended in September 1783 and America was once again flooded with inexpensive Bibles from England. Aitken was stuck with way too many Bibles because he could not get as many into the hands of the soldiers as he had planned.   Aitken was near financial ruin, but the  Presbyterian Synod stepped in and purchased Aitken’s remaining stock and gave them to the poor.

The original Aitken Bible is very rare. The last copy I saw at auction went for about $150,000