According to the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company, "the principall ende of this plantation ... [is] to wyn and incite the natives of the country, to the knowledge and obedience of the onlie true God." Reverend John Eliot, the chief missionary agent in this effort, undertook to translate and publish the Bible in the Algonquin language spoken in eastern New England. The "Eliot Indian Bible" was the first large-scale printing project in Massachusetts. In the end, however, it was a tragic failure; most copies were destroyed in the turmoil of King Philip's War, which was, per capita, the most destructive war in American history.
Gift of a Mrs. Coffin, 1793.