children ofhis faith to hear readings from the Douay-Rheims translation ofthe Bible instead of the King James Version (KJV) sacred to Protestants, the city's Protestants rioted and tried to burn down Philadelphia's Catholic churches. Abraham Lincoln, in his sublime second inaugural address of i865, put the Civil War into perspective by quoting Matthew 18:7 and Psalm 19:9 and by noting that 'Both [sides] read the same Bible.' In 1881, American publication of the Revised Version, produced by noted biblical scholars from Britain, for the first time provided a serious alternative to the KJV as America's Bible'. Throughout this period, a huge number of foreign-language editions of the Bible were also printed in the United States (for example, at least a hundred different German editions between i860 and 1925). In 1898, two travelling salesmen, John H. Nicholson and Samuel Hill, who met by chance at the Central Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin, formed a society to provide easy access to Scripture that came to be called the 'Gideons' and that has distributed hundreds of millions of Bibles all over the world.

Fiction, hymns and poetry employing biblical themes were staples of popular publishing. In the visual arts, biblical materials provided inspiration for German immigrants embellishing needlework with Fraktur print, nineteenth-century lithographers like Currier and Ives, countless painters at countless levels of ability along with a few masters (like Edward Hicks who in the mid-nineteenth century painted several versions of The Peaceable Kingdom). After the mass-marketing of religious objects began after the Civil War, both Catholics and Protestants purchased immense quantities of pictures, statues, games, children's toys, greeting cards, calendars and business cards decorated with biblical motifs.

The Victorian era was the great age of the decorative family Bible whose massive size, graphic illustrations, blank pages for recording family births, deaths and marriages, and considerable expense illustrated the domestic force of religious values. For Catholics, an equivalent to the Bible-centred ritual of Protestants could be the celebratory street festival where images and folk practices sometimes enlisted more enthusiastic support than was given to the church's ordinary ministrations. Yet Catholics also remained loyal to the Douay-Rheims translation of Scripture, and also sponsored several new translations, including one prepared by Francis Patrick Kenrick in the late i840s.

The Bible was the focus of private meditations, regular reading by families, informal study in Methodist cell groups, Catholic retreats and a multitude of other gatherings. In addition, millions of Americans regularly listened to sermons, a nearly universal vehicle through which biblical phrases, values and

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