1766 · Halle
This Bible was specifically designed and printed for the reader to annotate: the pages measure 8.5" x 6.75" and the text area only 5.5" x 2.875", leaving 1.5" to 2.25" of margin for notes on either side and 1" in the upper margin with 2" in the lower. => An early owner did just that, not heavily, but here and there in both the Old and New Testaments. It was owned by a member of an American scholarly and clerical family that had not one but two generations of association with the city of Halle, which was a mecca and fount of the Pietism that drove so much of the early German religious migration to America.
Provenance: Signature of G. Henry Muhlenberg, dated 1784, on the front free endpaper; later ownership signature of Jacob Strein (1814) on same. Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753–1815) was the son of Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg, one of the founders of the German Lutheran church in the U.S. and a pastor of Pietist background whose first post, after completing his studies, was a teaching position at the Francke Foundation's Historic Orphanage — of which the Waysenhaus that printed this volume was the working press. His son, born in Trappe, PA, and recorded above as owner of this book, was sent to be educated in Halle starting in 1763, entering the University in 1769. After his return to Pennsylvania in 1770, he was ordained a Lutheran minister and later received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Princeton University, while becoming known as a significant American botanist; in 1787 he was made the first president of Franklin College, now Franklin & Marshall College. Strein was a fellow Lancaster County pastor.
=> Of this scholar-serving production of this scholarly press in its hyper-scholarly city, we find but three library copies reported, all in Germany.
Darlow & Moule 4251. Contemporary plain brown calf , rebacked, original spine retained, with modest ruling at cover edges, rubbed and abraded with offsetting to edges of first and last leaves from the leather; round, plain spine with five raised bands and no label, leather lost at top and bottom with rear joint opening and leather wanting to peel over spine generally. A little foxing with, in a few signatures, a bit more than that. => A good, overall solid, and clean copy of a Bible having multiple points of significance. (Inventory #: 36853)