(Boston: Charles E. Goodspeed & Co., 1979). 210 x 180 mm. (8 1/8 x 6 1/4"). 2 p.l., 10 pp.,  leaf. ONE OF 87 COPIES printed and bound by the Stinehour Press.
Publisher's blue cloth, flat spine with silver lettering. In the original sheer blue dust jacket and blue cloth slipcase. WITH A LEAF FROM ELIOT'S INDIAN BIBLE mounted on a stub following the title page. The book in as-new condition, the leaf with a little smudging to margin on verso, otherwise clean and fresh.
This very attractive little leaf book contains a desirable leaf from Eliot's Indian Bible, the first Bible printed in America, along with a brief essay on its significance. In the words of Darlow & Moule, the Eliot Indian Bible "constitutes the earliest example in history of the translation and printing of the entire Bible in a new language as a means of evangelization." Darlow & Moule adds that this Bible "was the first scripture printed in North America, and also the first version prepared for a pagan people in their own language. John Eliot performed the Herculean task of learning the difficult Algonquin tongue, of translating, unaided, the entire Bible in this unknown and unwritten language, of overcoming many technical difficulties, and of then teaching the Indians to read their own tongue. Samuel Green, the printer, was aided greatly by James Printer, an Indian compositor and corrector of the press. . . . The language is now extinct." Eliot (ca. 1604-90) was a Puritan minister in Roxbury, Massachusetts, who, beginning at age 42, studied for 15 years the Narragansett, or Massachusett, dialect of Algonquin used by the Indian tribes in his vicinity. He worked for an additional eight years on his translation. Printing was begun in 1660 with equipment and supplies shipped from England by the Corporation for the Promoting and Propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in New England. The New Testament appeared in 1661, and the entire Bible in 1663. A descendant of the Plymouth colonist for whom he was named, the author of the essay here, John Eliot Alden (1914-91) had a distinguished career as a librarian and bibliographer, culminating in the production of "European Americana: a chronological guide to works printed in Europe relating to the Americas, 1493-1776," designed to be the successor to Sabin. (CBJ1769)
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PJP Catalog: 72.062