Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Bible CauseA History of the American Bible Society$

John Fea

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190253066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190253066.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.  Subscriber: null; date: 09 December 2019

The Bible in Times of Plenty and Want

The Bible in Times of Plenty and Want

(p.163) 15 The Bible in Times of Plenty and Want
The Bible Cause

John Fea

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the American Bible Society (ABS) in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s—a time of prosperity and economic hardship. It begins with a discussion of ABS distribution to the blind, to immigrants, and to Native Americans during the 1920s and its attempts to connect the prosperity of the 1920s to its vision of America as a Christian nation. It then moves to the financial difficulties that the ABS faced during the Great Depression and the distribution efforts during the Depression, including its work with the Civilian Conservation Corps and other New Deal programs.

Keywords:   Bible, Great Depression, 1920s, Civilian Conservation Corps, Native Americans, New Deal, The blind, immigration

As the United States and the world healed from the horrors of World War I, the American Bible Society went back to business as usual—working domestically and internationally to print, translate, and distribute the word of God. Keeping with its commitment to stay above divisive issues that might hinder its ability to bring the Bible to as many people as possible, the ABS did not take positions on some of the major cultural developments occurring in the United States during the decade. The ABS refused to make pronouncements on subjects such as Prohibition, the ever-changing youth culture, consumerism, immigration restriction, or the political corruption that American history textbooks tell us defined American life in the 1920s. The ABS was silent about the so-called Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy that divided Protestant denominations in this era. The 1926 Annual Report did make reference to the “famous Scopes Trial in Tennessee,” but only to note that this nationally broadcast debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools had “produced no adverse effect on Bible distribution in the regions where it was held.”1 Though no one in the Bible House would deny that the scriptures spoke to contemporary issues, the Board of Managers and staff knew that Bible-believing Christians often differed on such matters. The Society was not in the business of interpreting the Bible and instructing people how it related to the spirit of the age. That was the work of the churches.

This, of course, does not mean that the ABS was immune from the changes taking place in American life during the 1920s and 1930s. Nor does it mean that these changes did not inform the Society’s decisions about where to expend its resources and distribute Bibles. The ABS would work between the Great Wars to reach those groups in America—immigrants, Native Americans, the blind, the poor, the unemployed, African Americans, and the growing white middle class—who needed to be exposed to the message of God’s word. It remained true to its mission—bringing people the good news of the Gospel and promoting the general principles of the Bible, without note or comment—as a means of Christianizing the larger culture.

(p.164) Let’s begin with immigration. The US policy toward immigration changed drastically in the 1920s. Between 1901 and 1920 roughly 14.5 million immigrants came to the United States. As we saw in chapter 9, most of them arrived via steamship from southern and eastern European destinations. Not everyone appreciated these newcomers. They were Catholic and Jewish and were darker skinned than the Irish and Germans who had come to the country in earlier waves of immigration. For those who favored immigration restriction, these newly arriving strangers seemed less willing to adapt to an American way of life. Organizations such as the Immigrant Restriction League used scientific arguments from the growing field of eugenics to show that they were racially different from the old immigrants and were thus, for the most part, incapable of assimilation. The champions of immigration restriction achieved a major victory in 1924 with the passage of the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act. The law reduced the number of immigrants to 164,000 per year and decided who got into the country and who did not based on quotas derived from the ethnic makeup of the United States in 1890.2

Though the number of immigrants would decline greatly due to the Immigration Act of 1924, the millions of new immigrants who arrived in the United States in the decades prior to this restriction law were still here. They needed Bibles. They needed to become American citizens. The ABS was there to help. In 1920 the Society echoed a now familiar refrain from the pages of the Bible Society Record. The assimilation of the “foreign elements into the body politic here in America” was a serious cultural issue deserving “the attention of the Christian public.” This problem was not simply a matter of education, or providing the Bible to immigrants in the appropriate language, or even “implanting political ideas and ideals” in their heads. While all of these things were important, if not essential, to the work of assimilation, immigrants ultimately needed to be inculcated with “the spiritual truths contained in, and revealed by, the Word of God.” Without the Bible, the ABS argued, “true assimilation cannot be accomplished.” This “influx of foreigners” would eventually “threaten the very life of the republic.” The Bible taught immigrants “character,” and such character was intended to “form the backbone and the safeguard of our nation.” Until the immigrant population learned these lessons, they would continue to be described by the ABS and others as a “problem.” Once again, the ABS was not only offering a path to eternal life; it was “rendering a truly incalculable service to our country.”3

Language was an important part of the assimilation process. The 1917 Immigration Act required a literacy test for entrance into the United States. Immigration inspectors at Ellis Island tested literacy by giving the new arrivals slips of paper containing thirty to forty words “in ordinary use, printed in plainly legible type in some one of the various languages or dialects of (p.165) immigrants.” After much consideration concerning what words should be placed on these slips of paper, the US Department of Labor, which handled immigration issues in 1917, turned to the ABS. Since the Society published Bibles in hundreds of languages, including those languages common among most of the immigrants arriving to American shores, it made sense to use the Bible to test the literacy of these new arrivals. The Department of Labor placed an order with the ABS and announced its decision in March, a month after the law was passed by Congress.4

Many anti-immigration groups complained that these strangers were unwilling to learn English. Though the ability to speak the English language did not prevent immigrants from gaining entry to the United States, after the passing of the Naturalization Act of 1906 the ability to speak in English was a requirement for citizenship.5 Though the individual members of the ABS Board of Managers may have had differing positions on the immigration problem, and some of them no doubt believed that the ability to speak English was important to the assimilation process, the Society made no effort to promote the King James Bible as a textbook for teaching English to these strangers. As they tried to convert immigrants and make them good citizens of a Christian nation, they did so by using Protestant Bibles translated into their own languages.

Rather than follow the lead of the immigration restriction crowd by instilling fear in the American people about the inability of these outsiders to assimilate, the ABS usually accentuated the positive and reported stories in which ethnic populations, armed with Bibles, had made great strides in learning the American way of life. For example, General Secretary William Haven was impressed with the small community of Romanians who had recently settled in Akron, Ohio. This community collected $6,000 to pay for the initial expenses needed for a Romanian translation of the Bible. The Akron Romanians had expensive tastes. Haven was surprised by the “eagerness with which these men were determined to have the very best in paper and binding that could be produced.” They did not want “the cheaper books or the cloth-bound books, but they wanted their Bibles and their New Testaments morocco bound, divinity circuit, and with their names on the cover in gold letters.” According to Haven, price was no object. Haven was also impressed by a group of young men in the vestry of a Romanian Baptist Church singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “America” in preparation for what appears to have been a Fourth of July celebration. He was even more excited about the fact that this church was influential in “voting out Saloons” in Akron. His conclusion was that “Americanization and the Bible go hand in hand.”6

S. H. Kirkbride, the superintendent of the Northwestern Agency, could not get his hands on enough Polish-language Bibles. Poles in Chicago and (p.166) the surrounding area were “wild with desire” to have a Bible for their “comfort and salvation in this land” and to send to their relatives in Poland suffering in the aftermath of World War I. The Polish population in the Midwest, Kirkbride added, was “groping for spiritual light and life as eagerly as they are for political freedom.” His experience working with this ethnic population led him to urge the ABS to become more involved in the reconstruction of postwar Europe. Nations in need of American food and money in the wake of the war also needed the kind of spiritual guidance that only the Bible could provide. Kirkbride was confident that the people of Europe “will be eager to take from our great republic the Bible, to be their inspiration and spiritual guide.” In this regard, “America and the American Bible Society are practically synonymous.”7 Kirkbride also reminded the ABS of the need for the Bible in the “wilds” of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, where immigrants on “the Range” were forming towns and cities. He estimated that 93 percent of the people living in this region were of foreign birth or the children of foreign-born parents. Kirkbride defended the human dignity of these immigrants, making sure that the ABS and its middle-class constituency knew that these people were more than just “Yaps,” “Polaks,” “Hunkies,” and “Dagoes.” Kirkland described them as a “heterogeneous mass” that had the potential to be “refined and transformed into educated, prosperous, useful, and Christian citizens.”8

Unlike its decision in 1901 to open an agency for African Americans, the ABS did not do the same thing for Native Americans. But this does not mean that the Society ceased working among these groups after it moved to a system of home agencies and a more centralized organizational structure. The ABS continued to supply scriptures in various Indian languages to missionaries working with Native American communities. For example, in 1921 there were 65,751 Indians within the bounds of Kirkbride’s Northwestern Agency, and several benevolent and missionary organizations working hard to bring them to Protestant faith. The ABS made efforts to supply all literate Indians in the United States with a Bible in their own language.

Translations into Indian languages also continued through the 1920s. Rev. Fred Mitchell led a team of scholars in Tolchaco, Arizona, that translated the Bible into Navajo so that the 32,500 members of this growing tribe (there were only about 8,000 Navajo at the end of the Civil War) could teach the Bible in their schools. The US Commissioner of Indian Affairs granted permission to teachers in government-funded Indian schools to read the Navajo translation “side by side with the English Bible.” While the government believed that the ABS translation was useful as a stepping-stone toward teaching the Navajo how to speak English, the ABS saw this as an excellent way of lifting these people from the “dense darkness of heathenism.”9

(p.167) The ABS home agents had to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves when they worked with Indian schools. Many Indian young people were educated in reservation schools funded by the US government. None of these schools permitted religious instruction, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs did allow missionaries from nearby stations to minister on the reservations, provided that it was done without undue proselytizing. It also encouraged the ABS to provide Bibles for the purpose of teaching Indian children to read. As an official in the Bureau told Arthur Ragatz of the Society’s Western Agency, “reading the Bible has never made a good Indian bad, but has gone a long way in helping make bad Indians good.” The ABS hoped that missionaries, equipped with Bibles that were often distributed to children as graduation gifts, might bring “ever-increasing numbers of the Red race into the Protestant church.”10

The ABS always had a special affinity for its work among the so-called Five Civilized Tribes. There were about 120,000 Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole living in Oklahoma in 1920, and the ABS had translated the Bible into three of their languages (Choctaw, Cherokee, and Creek). In 1818 the Society was pleased to report that these Indians, living in their ancestral lands in the southeast, had “removed the appearance from the traditional Indian of paint and feathers” and become “nearly dressed men.” After failed attempts at land ownership in the nineteenth century, following their removal to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the influx of white settlers to Oklahoma during the first decade of the twentieth century, many of these tribes were living in poverty in white towns and rural communities. Christian missionaries made an effort to integrate them into white society by helping them with medical issues, teaching them English, and providing them with an education. From the perspective of the ABS’s Southwestern Agency, the “red man of America” presented “the clearest call to missions which Christian America has to-day.”11

As the ABS brought the Bible to immigrants and Native Americans, it also continued to connect the Bible with the larger story of the United States. On November 30, 1919, the ABS called for a “Universal Bible Sunday” across the nation. The Society encouraged ministers representing every Protestant denomination to arrange their morning services on this day in such a way that would emphasize “the priceless worth and marvelous power of the Christian Scriptures among all peoples of the world.” The long-term plan was to make the last Sunday of November Universal Bible Sunday.12 The second Universal Bible Sunday would be a special one. Ever aware of important moments in America’s past where the Bible played a role, the ABS declared November 28, 1920, to be Mayflower Universal Bible Sunday in celebration of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth three hundred years earlier. The ABS (p.168) reminded its constituency that “the greatest gift brought by the Pilgrim Fathers to this country was the open Bible.”

The Mayflower Universal Bible Sunday was a success. Several months following the November 1920 event, the Bible Society Record noted that “it did more, under God, to create a living interest in the tercentenary celebration of the Landing of the Pilgrims, and to emphasize the spiritual significance of the coming of the Pilgrims to America, than any other single plan.” The ABS printed 100,000 copies of a historical booklet called “A Little Journey to Plymouth, Where the Mayflower Landed” and supplemented it with over 10,000 copies of two other booklets: “In the Name of God, Amen!” and “The Pilgrim and the Book,” for adult readers. (This appears to be a rare case in which something other than Bibles, Testaments, or scripture portions came off the ABS presses.) These booklets emphasized “the indisputable fact that the Pilgrims were the folks they were because the Bible was the foundation of their religion, the keynote of their worship, the guide of their conduct, the strength of their character and the creator of a spiritual brotherhood, [and] the cornerstone of America’s democratic institutions.” The Mayflower Universal Bible Sunday was a smashing success. Ministers from around the country wrote to the Bible House in New York describing the popularity of the booklets and the large overflow crowds who showed up for worship on Sunday morning, November 28, 1920.13

In 1929 these warm feelings of patriotism gave way to an economic crisis. During the Great Depression the ABS had to balance its own financial difficulties with the high demand for the spiritual sustenance that the Bible could offer a suffering American population. In December 1934, the ABS used its annual Christmas greeting in the pages of the Bible Society Record to offer a clear diagnosis of the problem facing the country. The Society extolled the “courageous” efforts of the US government and ordinary Americans to relieve the burdens of the poor and offer “new ways of thinking” to help solve the country’s economic woes, but also lamented the “personal and corporate selfishness” and the “unrealized degree to which competitive aggrandizement and social and racial class consciousness” was hurting American society. Even more damaging was the “separation of education and religion” and the failure of Christians to teach their children spiritual values at home. The Depression brought economic hardships that could have “eternal” implications for the lives of ordinary people unless something was done to meet the spiritual needs at the heart of the crisis. The game plan was a familiar one—distribute more Bibles, inform the churches of the role they might play in the process, educate the American public about the nation’s historic relationship to the Bible in times of crisis, and work harder at obtaining the financial support needed to pull it all off.14

(p.169) While this all sounded fine and good, the ABS was suffering economically just like everyone else. The number of ABS donors dropped from 21,000 in 1929 to 12,000 in 1934. The money the ABS took in from the sale of Bibles dropped from $305,081 in 1929 to $178,397 in 1932. Associate General Secretary Rome Betts connected this drop in donors and sales to families having to choose to put food on their tables or give to the work of benevolent societies. This was an understandable choice, but Betts also believed that the decline in giving to the ABS and other Christian organizations was representative of a decline in American values. “Have we as a people become so infatuated with the material and ‘the number of things which a man possesseth,’ ” Betts fumed, “that we are increasingly forgetting our responsibilities toward those forces which truly help to create the abundant life of which Jesus spoke?” Betts estimated that the net taxable income of the American people in 1936 amounted to $19 billion. Of this number, nearly $3 billion could have been given to charity and claimed as an income tax exemption. Yet the American people donated less than $400 million to charity, a number that Betts pointed out was well below even the “Biblical tithe.”15

ABS distribution during the 1930s was focused on special interest groups affected by the Depression. For example, in 1932 about 20,000 World War I veterans—known as the Bonus Army—arrived in Washington, DC, demanding the cash bonuses that the government had promised to every veteran of World War I. Bonus Army camps provided opportunities for ministry as Christian organizations and churches rushed to meet the spiritual needs of these men and their families. The National Capitol Agency, a federally sponsored organization responsible for the development of Washington, DC, landmarks, and the Washington City Bible Society requested 5,000 copies of the Gospel of John for distribution among the veterans. The ABS praised the members of the Bonus Army for their “fine attitude … toward the Bible, and their cordial reception of those who come to the camp in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to help them in their time of need.”16

The Agency Among the Colored People of the United States was also active during the Great Depression. In 1932 the Atlanta Division reported “more than usual interest.” There was a hunger for the “Bread of Life” among blacks in the South that was greater than the hunger in “many of the more favored places,” but it was difficult to locate volunteer distributors due to the economic climate. “As the bread line lengthens,” the agency reported, “and the number of those who cannot find work with which to purchase the bare necessities of life increase each day,” it became considerably more difficult for African American colporteurs to “carry on.” Those who were working on behalf of the agency reported that Bible sales were difficult among the African American communities due to their “embarrassing shortage of funds.” In one instance, (p.170) a colporteur received a shipment of 500 Bibles from the ABS designated for a “colored school” in Newnan, Georgia. There were enough Bibles in the delivery for every child in the school to receive one, but the colporteur needed to come up with some funds to underwrite the books because the parents could not afford to purchase them.17

The ABS also provided Bibles to the men employed in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program that put young unmarried men to work thinning forests, building hiking trails and roads, and planting trees in rural areas. The Maryland Bible Society brought Bibles to workers who, according to Rev. Edgar Cordell Powers of the National Capital Society, maintained the kind of “healthy activity” and “strong bodies” that provided a “splendid foundation for alert mentality and power to grasp the spiritual verities of the Book.” As of June 1933 the Society had distributed over 100,000 Bibles in CCC camps. In Vermont, a chaplain reported that the men were often seen resting in their bunks reading ABS Testaments. He added that “I have never seen a single New Testament go out by way of the waste basket.” A West Virginia chaplain affirmed that some of the young men had started a Bible Class with their ABS Bibles. In Alabama, the Bibles were used for impromptu Sunday school classes, and in Iowa over five hundred workers began a “Chapter-a-Day Club.” A Kansas CCC chaplain wrote that he distributed most of his Bibles after dark when men who were “timid and afraid to take a Testament in front of the company” during the day would stop by to pick one up.18

In 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, the American Bible Society celebrated a century of service to the blind. Since it sold its first Bibles for the blind in 1835, the ABS had delivered over 100,000 embossed Bibles to individuals without sight in the United States and an additional 15,590 Bibles abroad. At the time of the anniversary the ABS had published embossed Bibles in several different reading systems and in twenty-five different languages. The Society commemorated its centennial of distributing to the blind with a service at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. A choir from the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind performed several musical selections; a blind soloist, Rose Weinstein, and a blind organist and composer, Edwin Grasse, also performed. An Old Testament lesson was read from a Braille Bible and a New Testament lesson was recited by a talking book machine, a recent invention sponsored by the Library of Congress. These lessons were followed by addresses from Reverend L. B. Chamberlain, the ABS recording secretary, and J. Sutherland Bonnell, the pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.19 But the highlight of the event was a short speech from Helen Keller, the internationally known advocate for the deaf and blind. Keller expressed her “profound gratitude” to the ABS and praised the organization for its work in providing “new hope” to the disabled, for quickening “their wills (p.171) to rebuild their broken lives,” and for providing a “benefit” to the blind that was unmatched by any other organization. She concluded that the Bible “is a book to live with, to think from, and to die by.”20

The ABS got involved in the production of Bibles for the blind when in April 1835 it began to support the work of Samuel Gridley Howe (the husband of Julia Ward Howe, the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”) in the development of a raised-letter printing system that allowed blind people to read independently. At the time Howe was the principal of the New England Institution for the Education of the Blind (later the Perkins School for the Blind) in Massachusetts, a school to teach blind children how to read, write, perform music, and gain useful skills in broom and mattress making. Howe developed a system of printing for the blind that featured raised letters of the common English alphabet (he was unaware of the work of Louis Braille, who was working on his system of raised points at roughly the same time). Unlike more cumbersome editions of the Bible with raised letters, Howe was able to produce books that were smaller and cheaper by using thinner paper and reduced type. His type became known at “Boston” or “Howe” type. The first book published in Boston type was The Acts of the Apostles, and, by 1835, an entire New Testament has been produced. A few years later Howe published the entire Old Testament in an eight-volume set, a work that was much less cumbersome and expensive when compared to the nineteen-volume work that had recently been done in Europe. This Bible was funded heavily by the ABS and sold by the Society at affordable prices. The original Boston-type Bible was published by Howe in Boston, but all subsequent editions, until 1922, were bound and embossed at the New York Bible House at Astor Place.21

In 1874, a new system of raised lettering for the blind known as “New York Point” was invented by W. B. Wait, a teacher in the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. By 1894, the ABS was printing the entire Bible in the New York Point system, although this style fell quickly out of favor due to the cumbersome nature of the capital letters and a negative review from Helen Keller. By the second decade of the twentieth century, most of the ABS publishing efforts for the blind concentrated on what was commonly referred to as Revised Braille Grade 1½, a method of Braille taught to blind military personnel during World War I. These scriptures were sold throughout the country at prices well below cost thanks to ABS subsidies. In 1921, the Society experimented for the first time in its history with the publication of selected portions of scripture published in both New York Point and Revised Braille Grade 1½.22

In the 1930s the ABS partnered with the Library of Congress in the promotion of the “Talking Book.” Phonographs and newly created reproducing machines, usually priced anywhere between thirty-five and sixty dollars, were used to play books recorded on special disks. The Four Gospels were published (p.172) in 1934 by the American Foundation for the Blind. The Pratt-Smoot Act of 1931, which provided government funds to the Library of Congress to provide books for the blind, was amended to allow some of those funds to be used for talking books.23 When the Library of Congress’s Talking Book Service to the Blind was established with records that included the Gospels and the Psalms, the ABS described it as a “providential intervention.” In 1938, with the help of the ABS, the Library of Congress had completed a sound recording of the entire New Testament and twelve books of the Old Testament on seventy-three separate disks, which were sold at twenty-five cents each. In 1944, one could to listen to the entire Bible on 169 disks in about eighty-four hours. The talking Bibles quickly outsold the traditional Braille Bibles. The response was so great that the ABS appointed its first full-time Secretary for the Blind.24

The two decades between the Great Wars brought mixed results to the work of the American Bible Society. The Society continued its distribution efforts to Indians, African Americans, immigrants, the poor, the blind, and the (largely) white middle class. It celebrated some important historical milestones in the life of the county, providing the Society with yet another chance to show the importance of the Bible to the democratic institutions of the United States. It also weathered the Great Depression and managed to balance its own financial needs with the spiritual needs of ordinary Americans suffering through the economic woes of the era.

In the midst of it all, the ABS decided to move out of the Bible House at Astor Place. The Board of Managers announced to the ABS constituency that the “grand old red-brick building had served its purposes.” The magisterial Bible house that the ABS opened in 1853 was built as a manufacturing plant, but in 1935 it had been fourteen years (from 1922) since the ABS found that it was more profitable to have its books printed and bound by other, more modern, printing establishments. As a result, only about one-third of the structure was being used. The board also worried about the safety of the Astor Place Bible House. The ABS library of rare Bibles was growing, and many in the organization were afraid that the House was not fireproof. The new Bible House would be located at 450 Park Avenue, an uptown location where “the march of business” was moving. More importantly, in the midst of the Depression the Park Avenue Bible House was paid for completely through the sale of the Astor Place building. “Not one cent,” the Managers wrote, “goes for its purchase from the funds given for the distribution of the Scriptures.” The hope, of course, was that anyone who walked by this new building, located “at one of the prominent corners in the metropolis of the new world,” would be reminded of the “need of the world today for the living Word of God.”25

(p.173) One of the speakers on the day in which the new Bible House was dedicated was President William Mather Lewis of Lafayette College. In his address titled “The Bible and Modern Problems” he decried the disastrous attempts to bring peace to the world through the “force” of politics. In a reference to the horror of World War I, he added, “we have tried international affairs and it has proved a ghastly failure.” The only way to true peace, Lewis believed, was “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” This, indeed, was the primary way in which the message of the Bible might speak to the “problems” of the world.26 Lewis was not a prophet, for another war was on the horizon—a war that made the so-called war to end all wars look tame by comparison. And if what Lewis said at the Bible House dedication about the true source of peace was correct, the ABS needed to be ready to face the greatest challenge of Bible distribution in its history.


(1.) Annual Report of the ABS (New York: ABS, 1926), 22.

(2.) Desmond King, Making Americans: Immigration, Race, and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 199–228.

(3.) Bible Society Record (hereafter BSR) 64:4 (April 1920), 49–52.

(4.) “An Act to Regulate the Immigration of Aliens to, and the Residence of Aliens in, the United States, February 5, 1917,” http://library.uwb.edu/guides/usimmigration/39%20stat%20874.pdf, accessed May 5, 2015; BSR 62:4 (April 1917), 76.

(5.) Donna Gabaccia, Immigration and American Diversity: A Social and Cultural History (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002), 124–125.

(6.) BSR 64:7 (July 1919), 109–110.

(7.) Annual Report of the ABS (New York: ABS, 1919), 61–62.

(8.) BSR 66:6 (June 1921), 104.

(9.) John H. Zimmerman, “Distribution in the USA, 1901–1930,” ABS Historical Essay 14, Part VII, 1967, ABS Archives, New York, 349; BSR 63:2 (February 1918), 17–18.

(10.) BSR 75:12 (December 1930), 200–202.

(11.) Annual Report of the ABS (New York: ABS, 1920), 146; BSR 82:6 (July 1937), 105–106.

(12.) BSR 64:9 (September 1919), 137; 64:10 (October/November/December 1920), 155–156.

(13.) BSR 66:3 (March 1921), 54–56.

(14.) BSR 79:9 (December 1934), 135.

(15.) Creighton Lacy, The Word Carrying Giant: The Growth of the American Bible Society (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1977), 164; BSR 83:9 (November 1938), 144–146.

(16.) BSR 77:8 (August 1932), 134–135.

(17.) BSR 77:11 (November 1932), 188–189.

(18.) BSR 79:7 (September 1934), 95; 80:7 (September 1935).

(p.332) (19.) Annual Report of the ABS (New York: ABS, 1935), 19–20; (1936), 22–23.

(20.) BSR 80:10 (December 1936), 151, 163.

(21.) Harold Schwartz, Samuel Gridley Howe: Social Reformer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956), 59–60; BSR 80:10 (December 1935), 155–157.

(23.) Edward M. Peterson, “The Talking Book,” Bulletin of the American Library Association 25:5 (May 1934), 243–244; National Library Service, “That All May Read,” www.loc.gov/nls/about_history.html, accessed May 12, 2015.

(24.) Lacy, The Word Carrying Giant, 171–172; Annual Report of the ABS (New York: ABS, 1938), 22–23.

(25.) BSR 80:6 (July 1935), 87; 82:1 (January 1937), 3–5.

(26.) BSR 80:6 (July 1935), 87; 82:1 (January 1937), 6.