I found this amazing information on Wall Builders online library of Historical documents. I highly encourage you to read the entire article at: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=46
Below are some segments from Wall Builders article:
History of the Aitken Bible
“a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.”
Philadelphia, September 10th, 1782.
Honble James Duane, Esq. Chairman, and the other
Honble Gentlemen of the Committee of Congress on
Mr. Aitken’s Memorial.”
THAT the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion, as well as an instance of the progress of arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work, they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorize him to publish this Recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.
CHA. THOMSON, Sec’ry.
On January 21, 1781, Robert Aitken presented a “memorial” [petition] to Congress offering to print “a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.” This is the text of that memorial:
To the Honourable The Congress
of the United States of America
The Memorial of Robert Aitken
of the City of Philadelphia, Printer
That in every well regulated Government in Christendom The Sacred Books of the Old and New Testament, commonly called the Holy Bible, are printed and published under the Authority of the Sovereign Powers, in order to prevent the fatal confusion that would arise, and the alarming Injuries the Christian Faith might suffer from the Spurious and erroneous Editions of Divine Revelation. That your Memorialist has no doubt but this work is an Object worthy the attention of the Congress of the United States of America, who will not neglect spiritual security, while they are virtuously contending for temporal blessings. Under this persuasion your Memorialist begs leave to, inform your Honours That he both begun and made considerable progress in a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools, But being cautious of suffering his copy of the Bible to Issue forth without the sanction of Congress, Humbly prays that your Honours would take this important matter into serious consideration & would be pleased to appoint one Member or Members of your Honourable Body to inspect his work so that the same may be published under the Authority of Congress. And further, your Memorialist prays, that he may be commissioned or otherwise appointed & Authorized to print and vend Editions of, the Sacred Scriptures, in such manner and form as may best suit the wants and demands of the good people of these States, provided the same be in all things perfectly consonant to the Scriptures as heretofore Established and received amongst us.
WallBuilders reported: “Prior to the American Revolution, the only English Bibles in the colonies were imported either from Europe or England. Publication of the Bible was regulated by the British government, and required a special license. Robert Aitken’s Bible was the first known English-language Bible to be printed in America, and also the only Bible to receive Congressional approval. Aitken’s Bible, sometimes referred to as “The Bible of the Revolution,” is one of the rarest books in the world, with few copies still in existence today.”
On January 21, 1781, Robert Aitken presented a “memorial” [petition] to Congress offering to print “a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.” This is the text of that memorial: Click here; http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=46 to read.
In 1968, the American Bible Society reprinted the Aitken Bible, this is the title page of that reprint:
AGREEABLY to your desire we have paid attention to Mr. Robert Aitken’s impression of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Having selected and examined a variety of passages throughout the work, we are of opinion that it is executed with great accuracy as to the sense, and with as few grammatical and typographical errors as could be expected in an undertaking of such magnitude. Being ourselves witnesses of the demand for this invaluable book, we rejoice in the present prospect of a supply; hoping that it will prove as advantageous as it is honorable to the Gentleman, who has exerted himself to furnish it, at the evident risk of private fortune. We are, Gentlemen,
Your very respectful and humble servants,
(Sign’d) WILLIAM WHITE,