The Bible in America

History From its founding in 1816, the American Bible Society has grappled with the task of making the Word of God available to Christians and churches in America. From its earliest days, it has worked to provide scriptures to the men, and later women of the military, to local and international bible societies, and to translate the Holy Bible to other languages used by peoples in the United States so that they could not only possess scripture, but could understand its importance in their own lives.

Leaders Starting with a leader of the American Revolution, Elias Boudinot, John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and going right down to the most recent president Lamar Vest, The American Bible Society has always been led by “true believers” in the Bible cause.

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Edwin Francis Hyde

President of the American Bible Society, 1924-1930

Church Affiliation: Dutch Reformed

Black and White Portrait of Edwin Hyde from a color portrait by Jassa Salganik

Edwin Francis Hyde spent much of his professional life as a banker in New York City. He was born on June 23, 1842 in New York City, the son of Edwin and Elizabeth (Mead) Hyde. He received his AB degree from the New York Free Academy (now the College of the City of New York) in 1861 and his LL. B from Columbia Law School in 1863. He served as a member of the 22nd NY Regiment in the Civil War and was present at Harper's Ferry in 1862. He was employed at the Central Trust Company from 1886-1919 where he rose to the position of Vice President.

He served as the President of the New York Philharmonic Society from 1888-1901, as a Trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary (1898-1924) and as Treasurer of the New York Sabbath Committee. He was elected President of the American Bible Society on April 3, 1924 and resigned on May 1, 1930. He served until his death as President Emeritus. He died March 18, 1933.

A biographic sketch by the New York Philharmonic Society relates the following:

After graduating from Columbia Law School he entered the field of banking, becoming in time a man of wealth who not only enjoyed his money but knew how to place it at the service of his community. He was a life-long patron of the Philharmonic Society, as well as serving as its president from 1888-1901. He was a connoisseur of art, a patron of the Metropolitan Museum, and - most peculiarly - a connoisseur of total eclipses, often traveling long distances to observe them. He was an inveterate traveller in general, with 76 Atlantic crossings to his credit.