The Thomson Bible—a First!

The Thomson Bible—a first in the history of Bible publishing in America. Jane Aitken took over the family publishing business when her father died in 1802, leaving her with a sizable debt—a debt incurred in her father’s failed business venture with his brother-in-law to make printing of the first English Bible printed in America financially successful, the 1782 Aitken Bible. Despite professional limitations for women, Jane became an accomplished printer. But accomplishment didn’t pay the bills.

Jane never recovered from her father’s debt, even spending time in jail. Yet her greatest accomplishment was the Thomson Bible of 1808—the complete Old and New Testaments translated by then former Secretary of Congress, Charles Thomson. It was the first complete Bible ever printed in America—by a woman!

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