Eliot Indian Bible
Printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, between 1660 and 1663, the Eliot Indian Bible was the first complete bible printed in the Western Hemisphere. As part of his mission to convert the indigenous people of Massachusetts, Puritan clergyman John Eliot spent fourteen years translating the Geneva English Bible into Natick, a dialect spoken by the Algonquin tribes in the region. Equally formidable was the story of printing the bible. Under Stephen Daye’s supervision, 1000 copies were printed by Samuel Green on the first printing press in colonial America. He was assisted by a newly arrived English printer, Marmaduke Johnson, who brought with him 100 reams of paper and 80 pounds of new type, including extra “O’s” and “K’s” necessary to accommodate Algonquin spellings. At its completion, the Eliot Bible emerged as the largest printing project in seventeenth-century America.
John Eliot (1604–1690). The Holy Bible: Containing the Old Testament and the New. Translated into the Indian Language. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Samuel Green and Marmaduke Johnson, 1663.