First English Bible Translation by an American
English Bible. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Covenant: Commonly Called the Old and New Testament, Translated from the Greek.
Philadelphia: Jane Aitken, 1808. Four volumes. (00127–00130)
Jane Aitken (1764–1832), the daughter of the printer Robert Aitken, published the first English translation of the Bible by an American in 1808. Translated by Charles Thomson (1729–1824), the Secretary of the Continental Congress, this edition in four volumes was also the world’s first direct translation of the Greek Septuagint into English as well as the first Bible printed by an American woman. Retiring from the Congress in 1789, Thomson had worked on his translation for twenty years at his estate in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. The success of this translation was limited. The first reprint of the Old Testament appeared in 1904 and the New Testament was not published again until 1929.