Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Swann Galleries to Auction Virginia Man's Rare Bibles

In 1782, during the waning days of the American Revolution, Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken obtained the authorization of Congress to print a rather patriotic Bible. The tome would be printed in the Colonies, independent of the authority of the King of England, who had slapped an embargo on Bibles (and almost everything else) to the rebellious New World.

This endorsement by the secular of the spiritual would have been a flagrant violation of the church/state divide -- but it was nine years before that concept would be codified and ratified in the First Amendment. So Aitken printed 10,000 copies of his pocket-size Scripture, with the congressional plug on the very first page (Congress "recommend[s] this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States.")

Click here to read the rest of this story.

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