From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations

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This work is a translation of Lewis Bayly’s Practice of Piety: Directing a Christian How to Walk that He May Please God, attributed to John Eliot. English clergyman Lewis Bayly was best known for this Christian devotional, which was first…

Containing the complete Old and New Testaments translated from English into the Algonquian language, the Algonquian Bible was the first Bible printed in British North America. John Eliot and his native translators, including Job Nesuton, labored for…

This is the second edition of the Algonquian Bible, printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1685. This edition is “much corrected and amended” from the first, and took approximately five years to print. The imprint statement on the title…

This book of Psalms, translated by Experience Mayhew of Martha’s Vineyard, relies heavily on the interpretive work performed by John Eliot and Job Nesuton for the Algonquian Bible, published nearly fifty years earlier. However, the dialect of…

John Cotton authored many religious texts and sermons, including the popular children’s catechism, Milk for Babes. Drawn Out of the Breasts of Both Testaments. Chiefly, for the Spiritual Nourishment of Boston Babes in Either England: But May Be…

Missionary work among the native population in New England did not begin in earnest until several years after English settlements had been established at Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. New England’s First Fruits is the colonists’…

Eliot’s Indian Grammar was meant as a tool for standardizing the spoken language of New England natives and as an aid for colonists who wished to learn the language. The pages of the grammar include rules for pronunciation, spelling, and syntax…

Charles Evans’s American Bibliography gives this work the distinction of being the first book printed in a native language in Boston. A collection of sermons given by Increase Mather, the text is titled Greatest Sinners Exhorted and Encouraged…

In 1699, Bartholomew Green, son of Samuel Green, printed a translation of A Confession of FaithOwned and ConsentedUntoby the Elders & Messengers of the ChurchesAssembledatBoston in NewEngland,May12,1680. This Confession of Faith outlines the…

Thomas Shepard’s popular catechism, The Sincere Convert: Discovering the Small Number of True Beleevers, and the Great Difficulty of Saving Conversion, was first printed in London in 1641. The translation of this work into Algonquian was a…