he Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Translated Out of the Original Tongues, and with the Former Translation Diligently Compared and Revised. Stereotype Edition. T. Rutt, Bible Society at Philadelphia, 1812. This is an extremely rare copy of the first stereotyped Holy Bible printed in the United States. The plates were prepared in London and they arrived in October of 1812. The US Government allowed them to enter duty free & the initial print run was 1050 Bibles! The Bible is bound in thick and worn leather boards, with rounding to covers, and some splitting to the crown of the spine. Front hinge intact, rear split open and resulting back 1/3 of page groupings are detached or mostly detached (but all present, minimal damage, only cases are some edge curling-no text affected). Family Record of Graham family on the first two endpapers, starting in 1776 with James Adair Graham of Pennsylvania (see below). Some browning and staining throughout but nothing major. This is truly one of the rarest and most sought after American printed Bibles. Good luck!
HISTORY OF THE 1812 1st STEREOTYPED BIBLE IN AMERICA:
Shortly after the Bible Society of Philadelphia (now the Pennsylvania Bible Society) was formed in December 1808, the managers wanted to implement a printing process used in England by the British and Foreign Bible Society to mass produce Bibles called stereotyping. This method of printing was used sparingly in the United States during the early 1800s but never for publishing Bibles. Considering the high costs of such an endeavor, the managers decided to start off distributing Bibles purchased from Bible publishers in Philadelphia over its initial two years in operation. However the managers knew that utilizing the stereotype printing method would greatly increase Scripture distribution in Philadelphia and around the country, the managers raised over $7,000* with help from all the existing bible societies in America and from the British and Foreign Bible Society between 1809 and 1811. Once all the financing was gained an order for a set of stereotype plates was placed in Britain. However, getting the plates across the ocean and into the United States wasn’t without its issues. Since the U.S. and Great Britain were at war in 1812 there were tariffs placed on all imports from Britain and the U.S. customs house in Philadelphia was going to charge the Bible Society thousands of dollars to allow the plates into the country. Not having the funds to pay this fee, the managers petitioned to the state government and then to both houses of Congress for relief of these duties. This relief passed both the house and the senate and the Bible Society was allowed to import these plates free of charge. Once in the hands of printers thousands of Bibles were instantly printed and distributed to all parts of the country. Eventually over 17,000 Bibles and New Testaments would be printed from these and future plates. The forward-thinking of the managers placed the Bible Society at a unique advantage being the first institution in the U.S. to use this printing process, which became the standard for printing Bibles in the decades to follow.
JAMES ADAIR2 GRAHAM (WILLIAM1) was born August 18, 1776 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and died September 08, 1864 in Sidney, Ohio. He married SARAH (SALLY) EMMA BELL August 13, 1805 in Lewis County, Ky.
Children of James Graham and Sarah Bell are:
i. ROBERT ROBINSON3 GRAHAM, b. 1807, Lewis County, Ky.
ii. WILLIAM MEANS GRAHAM, b. 1808, Lewis County, Ky.
iii. JOHN WILSON GRAHAM, b. May 27, 1809, Lewis County, Ky; d. December 02, 1886, Hardin, ohio.
iv. THOMAS BOYD GRAHAM, b. December 08, 1810, Lewis County, Ky; d. February 08, 1895, Sidney, Ohio.
v. ANN ELIZA GRAHAM, b. 1812, Lewis County, Ky.
vi. MARY JANE GRAHAM, b. 1813, Lewis County, Ky.
vii. RUEBEN GRAHAM, b. 1815, Lewis County, Ky; d. 1815, Lewis County, Ky.
viii. ANDREW GRAHAM, b. 1815, Lewis County, Ky; d. 1815, Lewis County, Ky.
ix. SARAH GRAHAM, b. 1817, Lewis County, Ky.
3. x. JAMES ADAIR GRAHAM, b. February 14, 1819, Lewis County, Ky; d. September 22, 1910, Fairmont, IL.
xi. SAMUEL SMITH GRAHAM, b. 1821, Clark Co. Ohio.
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