Benjamin C. Smith’s Bible, “The Pioneer Bible”

Benjamin C. Smith’s Bible, “The Pioneer Bible”

Collection ID

BIB.000281

Type

Bible - Printed Book

Date

1845

Geography

New York, (United States)

Language

English

Medium

Printed on paper

Dimensions

7.4 × 4.9 × 1.7 in. (18.8 × 12.5 × 4.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on view


The settlement in the American West between the 1840s and the 1880s drew thousands of Americans across the Mississippi River. This Bible, bearing the inscription “Benjn C Smiths Book,” was one of many Bibles that made this journey as well. A newspaper clipping from July 1846 recounts Mr. Smith’s (possibly the same Smith who owned this Bible) stories of hardships of life in Oregon, including the tensions between the British Hudson Bay Company and the increasing number of American settlers, as well as the American missionary efforts led by Marcus Whitman. Nicknamed the “Pioneer Bible,” this volume is an example of the Bible’s presence in the westward expansion of the United States.

Published in 1845 in New York, United States. Acquired by Benjamin C. Smith.[1] Acquired before 2010 by Christian Heritage Museum, Hagerstown, Maryland; Purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

[1] An inscription stating “Benjn C Smiths Book” is written on the front and back pastedown of the Bible. A newspaper clipping was folded and placed inside the Bible prior to the Green Collection’s acquisition of the object. One side of the clipping includes an un-dated story of the hardships of life in Oregon as recounted by a Mr. Smith from Ohio and a Mr. Palmer from Indiana. The reverse side of the clipping has an article titled, “Correspondence of the Newark Sentinel, Farmers’ Club, New York, July 18, 1846.” While the clipping does not mention the first name of Mr. Smith, the date and its inclusion with the Bible lend credence to the possibility that the “Mr. Smith” was indeed Benjn C Smith.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley, Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press, 2014), 175.

Description

The settlement in the American West between the 1840s and the 1880s drew thousands of Americans across the Mississippi River. This Bible, bearing the inscription “Benjn C Smiths Book,” was one of many Bibles that made this journey as well. A newspaper clipping from July 1846 recounts Mr. Smith’s (possibly the same Smith who owned this Bible) stories of hardships of life in Oregon, including the tensions between the British Hudson Bay Company and the increasing number of American settlers, as well as the American missionary efforts led by Marcus Whitman. Nicknamed the “Pioneer Bible,” this volume is an example of the Bible’s presence in the westward expansion of the United States.


Provenance

Published in 1845 in New York, United States. Acquired by Benjamin C. Smith.[1] Acquired before 2010 by Christian Heritage Museum, Hagerstown, Maryland; Purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

[1] An inscription stating “Benjn C Smiths Book” is written on the front and back pastedown of the Bible. A newspaper clipping was folded and placed inside the Bible prior to the Green Collection’s acquisition of the object. One side of the clipping includes an un-dated story of the hardships of life in Oregon as recounted by a Mr. Smith from Ohio and a Mr. Palmer from Indiana. The reverse side of the clipping has an article titled, “Correspondence of the Newark Sentinel, Farmers’ Club, New York, July 18, 1846.” While the clipping does not mention the first name of Mr. Smith, the date and its inclusion with the Bible lend credence to the possibility that the “Mr. Smith” was indeed Benjn C Smith.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley, Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press, 2014), 175.


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