The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXXI. Non-English Writings I

§ 5. Christopher Saur

The most noted German press during colonial times was that of Christopher Saur, established in 1738 and continuing for forty years, the son of the same name succeeding his father. In the first year there appeared a High German Calendar, which became a very popular and useful institution, published annually. The greatest achievement of the Saur press was the Lutheran Bible, both Testaments complete, issued in 1743. As the preface stated, this was the first time in the Western Hemisphere that the Scriptures had been printed in a European language; the Bible of John Eliot (Cambridge, 1661–1663), had been a translation and adaptation in the language of one of the North American Indian tribes. Saur’s Bible, containing 1272 pages, was printed in quarto form, on paper manufactured in Germantown and with German types imported from Frank-fort-on-the-Main. The second edition appeared in 1763, and a third in 1776. Saur also printed the New Testament and Psalter in separate editions, a large number of hymn-books for various sects, and some hundred and fifty books and pamphlets on a variety of subjects. His most influential serial publication was his newspaper, Der Hoch-Deutsch Pennsylvanische Geschicht-Schreiber, oder Sammlung wichtiger Nachrichten aus dem Natur- und Kirchen-Reich, at first a monthly, finally a weekly. The changes in the title to Berichte, and to Sammlung “wahrscheinlicher” Nachrichten, bear witness to Saur’s sense of responsibility and his love of truth. In 1753 the paper had four thousand readers, spread over all the areas of German settlements, from Pennsylvania to Georgia.