The American Bible Society, organized in 1816, was founded to distribute the Bible around the United States through nondenominational and nonprofit groups. Their first grant for Bibles was given for a distribution in New York state in 1817. And in that same year, the Scripture grant program for the armed services began with Bibles being distributed to the crew of the USS John Adams. The Society provided Bibles to both the North and the South during the Civil War. The Society was a part of a growing evangelical press in America in the 19th century which was covering the expanding nation with Bibles, denominational newspapers, and spiritual tracts. Though retaining "American" in its name, the ministry of the Society gradually shifted from a national to an international focus. This is evidenced by the Society's efforts in seeing the Bible translated into over 1500 languages reaching most of the world's population today. The ministry of this Society continues around the world from their headquarters in New York City, cooperating with other Societies internationally to coordinate the translation and distribution of the Bible on every continent.
This Centennial Library copy of the German Bible, published by the American Bible Society, is representative of many foreign language Bibles distributed by the Society. It was printed in New York in 1844 during the presidency of John Tyler (1841-1845), who came to office after the untimely death of President William Henry Harrison. The text of this Bible is taken from Martin Luther's German Bible translation completed in the 16th century.
Biblical Heritage Gallery, Cedarville University, American Bible Society, German Bible