Below are some of the handwritten letters and notes Noah Webster wrote regarding his research surrounding his edition of The Holy Bible. These notes were written on the galleys, or proofs, of his Bible about to be printed. The letters also contain information regarding the printing of the Bible.
Observe that we omit the Contents under the head of Chapter 9 all notes & references. The Old Testament copy has no Ital. running titles; the New Testament has: there we understand are to be omitted also. Does Dr. Webster wish to give any direction as to the division of words. Our plan is to divide them as nearly as possible where they are divided in correct pronunciation. What shall the signatures be? 26 mo. 32 mo or -.
New Haven, December 19, 1840
There is a mistake in Grammar in Acts 24. 26, which it is possible may not be marked in the copy sent to you. “He hoped also that money would have been given him” – This should be, would be given.
You must excuse me such trouble as I give you.
I wish the Bible to be paged – but the New Testament paged by itself. Our printers have always use figures for signatures, which [I would] prefer to letters. I prefer pages to be numbered on the upper margin.
Copy of a letter from N. Webster delivered to Msrs. C. [Pertuasse] No. 3 Tennant Place – as an autograph – Dec. 15. 1841 –
New Haven Dec. 10, 1840
I delivered the Copy Bible for Copy to W. Maltby without thinking of the enclosed Correction – The errors are all Corrected in the New Testament. I believe they are all noted in the margin of the old – but notwithstanding I have thought it best to send copies of them.
(Signed) N. Webster
New Haven Jany 27. 1841
I am often perplexed with differences of [orthog. (abbreviation of orthography: the study of correct spelling)] regularly in different books. Last evening, for the first time, I was led to the spelling of Immanuel. It is different in different books & in different languages, English, French & Italian. I have it right, Immanuel, in Isaiah, but in Matthew 1. 23. Emmanuel. I have discovered the reason. The latter spelling is from the Greek of the Septuagint & of the New Testament. But the more common spelling is Immanuel, & I wish you to let the word in Math. 1. 23 be altered to Immanuel, as I wish to be uniform. I aim at uniformity, but am sometimes led into discrepancies by differing authorities.
Yours with respect