1 page, oblong, 4.5 x 7.75 inches, Philadelphia, June 1, 1809 -- a very rare example of Jane Aitken's signature and handwriting, originally sold by Mary Benjamin in 1955 with her original description in brown type: "This is her original bill, rendered to Charles Thomson, Perpetual Secretary of Old Congress, for binding 40 sets of Thomson's translation of the Bible in sheep and one set in calf gilt. Thomson was the first to translate the bible from the Greek in America. This bill is itemized and receipted by Jane Aitken. Also docketed by Charles Thomson . . . VERY RARE AUTOGRAPH." Near fine condition.
Early American printer, publisher and bookbinder who, at the age of 18, assisted her father, Robert Aitkin, in publishing the first complete English Bible in America. She inherited her father's business upon his dearth in 1802 but also incurred thousands of dollars of his debt. On at least two occasions she lost her printing presses to a sheriff's sale and once ended up in debtor's prison. Shockingly, despite being a pioneering woman in early American printing, she is largely unheard of in historical records other than her obituary, and to make matters worse, her burial place is assumed to be in the destroyed cemetery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
Condition: Near Fine